In our culture, the mass media bombards us with the idea that there is a “dream career” or a “perfect job” out there for everyone. I believe this is true, but for many of us finding that ideal work situation can be like trying to catch a butterfly – it always seems to be just beyond our reach.
You may spend years in school studying to become a ___________ (you fill in the blank) only to enter that career and discover it’s not what you really want – or worse – that you just aren’t good at it.
Some folks chase the money and plan their career trajectory based on what work yields the highest paycheck, but even if they end up making the big bucks, most don’t report feeling they have the “work of their dreams.”
So the question is, how do we discover what the perfect career for each of us is?
The keys to determining what might be fulfilling work for you are pretty simple:
1. Identify what work tasks you both enjoy and do well
2. Identify work tasks that you don’t like BUT do well
3. Identify work tasks you enjoy BUT don’t do well
4. Identify work tasks that you both dislike and don’t do well
Here is a video explaining this further:
The challenge is that most people get stuck in jobs where they have several tasks that they do well, but don’t really enjoy. In order for us to be fulfilled at work, we need to be engaged doing things that we both are good at and therefore can be successful doing, but that also connect us to our passions and have an intrinsic value to us. This is what makes work truly fulfilling. By identifying the things above, you are taking the first step toward determining what the best work for you may be.
Bottom line: you’ll never find that dream job without first determining what you’re naturally talented at and enjoy doing. You must to be willing to take some risks in following your heart’s desire for doing work you’ll really enjoy. You may need to take a less than perfect job to make ends meet while you return to school to increase your knowledge or get training to learn new skills. You may experience criticism from friends, family and colleagues if you decide to “leave the mainstream” and significantly change your career path. You are the only one who truly knows what that great work will be and it won’t be found in a job description written by someone else.
If you’d like some support and resources to begin this process, check out the exercises and inventories in my free “Discover Your Calling” e-course. Sign up on the top right of this page.