Your career is going to take up a significant amount of your life. If you plan to work from your early 20s and retire, you could be looking at 40 years of work at least. Think about that for a second and then consider this: do you want to be bored for 40 years?
When writing about getting a dream job, people often suggest that you follow your passions. There’s some logic to this because if you can get paid for doing something you wanted to do anyway, that’s a win-win. But this doesn’t always work out, and for some, the dream job quickly becomes a nightmare as their hobby becomes laborious.
So if you shouldn’t necessarily follow your passion and turn your hobby into a business, what can you do to find a job you love?
The best way to get a job you love is to educate yourself. But how you decide to educate yourself is what really matters. If you aren’t sure what you want to do, following your interests is a good place to start and studying broader subjects that teach more general skills is a wise move. Subjects such as literature, philosophy and any of the sciences can lead in a few directions so you won’t be narrowing yourself down straight away.
Another option is to choose a vocational study that will lead to a particular job. For example, if you want to fly planes, don’t waste your time learning about Shakespeare when you could be looking at the top aviation colleges. Vocational subjects are often quite narrow but many courses are offered and you won’t necessarily have to do a degree to get qualified.
Continuous education is one of the smartest ways to work your way up the career ladder and give yourself more options if you fancy a change. Going on courses through your work is a good way to show your enthusiasm but any kind of learning is good. The world is full of skills to learn from cooking through to languages, music to people skills and everything in between. The more you learn, the more chances you give yourself to find something you love.
Think About What You Want to Achieve Not How
Lots of people think about their careers in terms of particular job titles or roles. This is fine for some but it doesn’t always work. For example, you might want to become a doctor because you want to help people but you might not have the skills required or you may find the job too stressful. This doesn’t make you a failure, it just means that you need to reframe your ambition.
The solution here is to think about what you want to achieve without setting any particular rules. Becoming a doctor isn’t the only way to help people so, once you start thinking about it, you could become a researcher, a teacher, a therapist… The list goes on. There are lots of ways to help people just as there are lots of ways to make a lot of money, spend more time with family or retire early. Working with your skills and your life priorities is a good way to think about which job would be best for you.
Aligning your goals with your skills is a really important step as this will help you to identify the best way to achieve your ambitions. This will make it much easier to pursue different paths and open your mind to other options that may be available to you. If you spend all your time thinking about a particular route, you’ll never have a shot at finding something better.
Open Your Mind to Other Options
Keeping an open mind is really important, even when you think you are already in your dream job. You never know what sort of opportunities might come your way and if you are closed off, you won’t even spot them as they roll up to your feet.
Being open to new opportunities doesn’t mean that you have to be interviewing for new jobs or even thinking about changing your career. All it means is that when something comes up, you indicate your interest – if you are interested – and see what happens next. You don’t need to tell your boss or even think seriously, just don’t immediately shut the door if something new pops up.
Some of the best life changes happen because you have an open mind. An open-minded person accepts new ideas and allows themselves to be a little more flexible. This doesn’t mean that you have to agree with everything you hear or stop being critical but it does mean that you can play with ideas with a bit more fluidity. In your career, having an open mind often leads to going in a new direction you hadn’t planned on or trying something a little bit risky. Stepping out of your comfort zone is the best way to discover new opportunities and you don’t have to go very far to find exciting chances waiting to be grabbed.
Spend Your Time Wisely
Your career will take up a significant portion of your life so spend your time wisely. If you hate your job, look for a new one but don’t look in the same way. List your priorities, skills, and passions and consider roles that you wouldn’t have thought of before. Millennials are surprisingly good at this.
Life is an endless test of creativity. Your job is only a part of that life so don’t treat it as though it is everything. Sometimes the job you love isn’t the one that offers a high profile career or high wages, it’s the job that allows you to spend time doing other things or working on a passion project.
There’s no one way to find the perfect job and no guarantee that you will ever find the one for you. However, what you do along the way is still important. Spending your time wisely isn’t just about getting to the next thing but enjoying what you have now.