When navigating your career, making money is nice, but in time, you start to think about doing work you love rather than work that just pays the bills. That’s easier said than done, of course. For example, you may have a particular talent or skill, but that skill may not translate to work you love to do.
Still, there is evidence that finding work you love can make you an overall happier person than someone who is comfortable financially but can’t stand their job. Here are four things to keep in mind to help you find a job you love, rather than one you can simply tolerate.
Forget About Money
This is probably the toughest step toward finding a job you love. In fact, some would argue that you should find a career that makes you money rather than finding one doing what you love to do.
The best of both worlds is to find something you love doing and also pays you well to do it. Not surprisingly, those types of jobs are few and far between. If you truly want to find a job you’re passionate about, try not to bring money to the equation.
You can’t forget about it completely — you still have to pay the bills, after all — but money should be far down the list of priorities if you want to transition to a career you love and are passionate about.
The average U.S. adult age 25-54 spends 8.8 hours per day working, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That’s more than three times the amount of time people spend on leisure (2.6 hours), and it even beats out sleeping (7.8 hours).
If such a huge portion of your day is dedicated to work, then it only makes sense that you’ll be a happier person if you spend those hours doing something you actually love. On the flip side, if you spend around nine hours per day grinding away at something you can’t stand, it’s bound to affect your mood and demeanor when it comes to other aspects of your life as well.
In other words, if you’re happy at work, you’re more likely to be happy at other times throughout the day.
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Find a Role Model
When it comes to your career, there is nothing wrong with being a copycat. One good way to begin finding a job you love is to look at the career of someone you admire in a field you’re interested in, and then attempt to mimic the steps they took to get there.
There are stories of inspiring people all over the place, and most are more than willing to share what it took to help them reach their goals and dreams.
Not everyone will rise to the top, obviously. But if you’re working in a field you enjoy, and your day-to-day work life is fun and exciting rather than tedious and dull, you’ll still enjoy attempting to make it to the top.
Discover Your Passion
Finding a career you love may come down to rediscovering what you’re passionate about. This may involve looking at a college course catalog and finding something you would choose if you could do it all over again. It could also be simply listing all of the things you love to do, and figuring how each might play into a potential career.
It’s called “work” for a reason, and it certainly won’t be easy. However, it can be much more exciting and rewarding to pursue something that piques your interest — and keeps it — rather than something you really don’t care about.
In the end, you don’t want to downplay money so much that it makes you financially unstable. That said, if it’s possible to pursue something you love while still paying the bills, you will be much happier putting your eight or more hours a day toward something that brings you joy.
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