According to a study by Business Insider, the average person spends 90,000 hours at work in their lifetime. 90,000 hours = 10,000 days (assuming 9 hours per day) = 27 years and 21 weeks (assuming you worked every single day). That’s a lot of time to spend on something. If you’re spending 90,000 hours doing anything, it might as well be work you love!
If you don’t like your job or are unhappy in any way, studies show that you are significantly less productive. You are less likely to think of something creative and will have more negative interactions with coworkers than positive ones. Huffington post reports that approximately 75% of today’s workforce are disengaged from work while Business Insider reports 80% people are dissatisfied with their jobs.
So what is the good news in all of this? If you can find a job that you truly love, then you can be engaged in your work and instantly put yourself in the top 20-25% of today’s workforce.
I know it can sound like a myth, depending on your past experiences, but believe me it is possible. In fact, many believe that making lateral career moves can be more effective today than vertical moves. Forget the idea of a career ladder and make your own career lattice!
Here are a few keys I would like to share about finding work you love:
1. Figure out how you want to impact your world
It’s time to sit and really think about what impact you want to have on the world you live in. What gives you a sense of purpose? What changes do you want to see?
This will give you an idea of what you are really motivated to do in life. You can take this knowledge and really think about jobs that will help you succeed in that goal, while avoiding those that don’t. Remember: your goal doesn’t have to be on a global scale. Start by thinking about your immediate world, and let your actions grow from there.
2. Hang out with people that love what they do
The truth is that you become who you choose to surround yourself with. If you hang out with successful people that love their jobs, then you have a greater chance of finding work you love on your own. If you hang out with folks that have jobs that they hate, you will be more likely to become one of them.
It is important to pay attention to who you are hanging around with and how they are influencing your life. If you are the smartest person in the room, you are in the wrong room!
3. Give it some time
You might not know what you want to do with your life as soon as you graduate high school or college, and that is OK. You can be 30 years old reading this and still not know what you want to do and that is still OK. Take the time to try different things,continue learning and partaking in new experiences, and eventually it will click.
4. Find your own path
We have all heard the saying “take the load less traveled”. That really applies for those of us that are finding work that you truly love. Just because everyone else in your field is following a certain career path doesn’t mean that you need to follow that some path.
Finding your own unique angle can make all the difference in the world in your life. Don’t be afraid to stick out and do something new.
5. Discover your strengths
On the journey to decide you want to do in life, it helps to know what you are good at. If you know your strengths, you can focus on those and build off of them. Your strengths won’t always manifest as school topics: you could be an incredible motivator, someone who others go to for inspiration. You could be great at action planning and identifying the clearest path forward. You may be an engaging presenter. All of these are strengths that you can leverage for your success, as long as you find a role that leverages these strengths.
Finding work that you love is possible: don’t be afraid of making moves to get there. Check out this great video from Shannon at Whole U. for more motivation to go out and figure out what you love to do!
If you’re still uneasy, don’t fret. TED speaker and career coach, Emily Wapnick, expresses that it is possible that you don’t have one true calling.
Have you succeeded in finding work you love? What do you do? How did you crack the code? Share your story in the comments!