Everyone wants to find a job they'll love, but how can you know in advance whether or not you'll actually enjoy a certain job?
Given a choice, wouldn't you rather work in an environment where you are stimulated intellectually and given ample opportunity to exercise your creativity?
While it might seem that the ideal job is one you love, I believe it's more realistic to aspire to be happy at least most of the time at whatever job you take.
But how can you know in advance whether or not you'll actually enjoy a certain job? Here are some things that might help:
- You may be tempted to look for a job based on your interests, but if you pay careful attention, you'll find that what really motivates you is likely to change over time. Pay attention to the activities and environments that most strongly motivate and reward you, and which ones make you feel fulfilled and energized. What works for others may not work for you. Some people are motivated by money; others find monetary rewards to be a poor motivator. Some people like working alone, while others want to collaborate with colleagues. Some people want frequent feedback and praise from their managers, while others prefer autonomy and independence.
Finding your passion is like finding a long lost friend after years of searching. All it takes is some self-reflection and honest questioning about what really matters to you.
Research a company's reputation for treating employees well before accepting a job offer. If you love your work environment but hate your direct boss and/or colleagues, your days will be miserable. Find out whether the people who do this job enjoy doing it. You may have a better chance of being successful if people who've done this type of work before really like their jobs or if they're willing to talk with you about how they got into this career and what they like or dislike about it. You should ask them what kinds of challenges and rewards they encountered, and what kinds of opportunities for growth and advancement exist in the company etc.
Ask yourself if the skills required to do the job match the skills you want to develop. For example, if you want to be a great writer, don't choose a career in welding.
Finding a job that you love is not easy, because it involves knowing yourself pretty well. But taking the time to know yourself and what makes you feel fulfilled and motivated is worth the effort.
While there are plenty of businesses out there that make work feel like a chore, finding a job you love in an organization where your talents will be valued is possible.
There's more than one ideal job for each of us! Your ideal job will change over time. What motivates, rewards and fulfils you today will likely do so less in the future.