Every time a young professional asks an expert, a magnate, or an entrepreneur about their success, they all answer: To be successful, you must be passionate about what you do.
But passion is only a fraction of your success. You won’t necessarily go to places if you solely rely on it. You’ll need a combination of authenticity, supporting skills, experience, and adaptability to help you realize your dream. So to do what you love, you must have a strategic and mindful approach to your career path.
Why is it important to have a career you love?
An average person spends roughly 13 years and 2 months working. How can one endure working on something they don’t enjoy? That just drains the life out of you.
A career doesn’t only allow you to pay your monthly dues; it’s supposed to offer fulfillment, joy, and purpose. Here are the reasons why it’s worth pursuing the career you love:
- Going above and beyond to find a career you love gives you an extra push to explore other interests. Because it gives you energy and motivation, you have extra energy to do additional activities too. Doing so might translate into creative thinking that will give you an added boost on the job.
- Loving your career can give you a satisfactory life because you have a better work-life balance. Even if you work a 9-5 job plus commute, you still have a positive energy even when you get home.
- When you love your career, you have a deeper level of commitment to it. You’re willing to go the extra mile to develop innovative ideas that can help you level up from your position.
How to find a career you love
Finding a career you love creates a meaningful life experience since you’re eager to choose what’s best for your professional development. Consider these steps to help you find the career you love:
1. Know your authentic self
If you want to know how to find a career you love, you must understand who you are first; your true passions, values, long-term goals, and lifestyle priorities. However, not everyone has the privilege of landing their version of a perfect job. Instead, they accept an awful job for the sake of financial security that they forget their aspirations.
Think of your natural gifts because it serves as a compass for finding work that’s aligned with what you love. You may take an online aptitude test to help you identify these talents that can match your career path.
However, your career aptitude test scores don’t define your future. It’s there to help you narrow down your options while finding your unique constellation of traits and abilities.
2. Make a careful inventory of your talents and skills
Skills and talent are two different things. Your skills are the abilities that you can develop with time and proper resources, while talents are the built-in or innate capabilities. And both are the pillars of your career path. For that reason, strengthening them is necessary to land the job that you enjoy. But if you think your knacks need tweaking, there are virtual courses you may take to reinforce your hard and soft skills.
Examples of hard skills:
- Data mining
- Video editing
- Graphic design
- SEO/SEM marketing
- Project management
Examples of soft skills:
- Creative thinking
- Time management
- Emotional intelligence
If you don’t exercise your skills and talents, you’ll eventually lose them. So if you’re trying to pursue a particular career, attend training to highlight new and relevant skills on your resume.
3. Research different careers
Many people are still unsure about their calling. While there are a variety of opportunities out there, specializing in a career choice makes it easier to scale your capabilities. Thus, researching career paths is an essential step.
Remember that you have all the resources in the palm of your hands. The internet is a great tool to find exciting job types and companies with excellent work environments. You may connect with people in your field of interest so they can offer you practical advice on your career search.
Your network of friends, former classmates, professors, and recruiters can give you valuable insights into your career journey. You can rely on them because they can help you find a career you love.
4. Get some hands-on experience
There’s no other way to know if you enjoy working in a particular field but to gain real-world experience. Consider internship programs, job shadowing, and part-time jobs if you think that particular career path is for you.
These temporary experiences will give you the hands-on knowledge you’ll need without the long-term commitment. Once you’ve made a rational decision, take the necessary steps to pursue a permanent role. But stay persistent. While it may take a while for someone with minimal job experience to land a career they love, it helps to stay positive during your career search.
5. Leverage technology to widen your job search
Technology has made job hunting easier. People can connect with companies in their industry no matter the distance and the time difference. At the same time, recruiters use the internet to find valuable employees across the globe. So learn to maximize this technological advancement to widen your job search.
These online career boards will expose you to jobs that pique your interest in the most convenient way possible. Although it’s not always a guarantee that you will find it right away. But one job hack that can help you land an interview is to align job description keywords with your resume and application letter.
6. Be flexible in your job search
There may be times when you have a solid idea of your career path. But with unforeseen setbacks, like fear and lack of qualifications, you need a way to move forward. So keep your mind open to changes and try different avenues to have the best chances of finding your ideal career choice.
If you get the chance to land a job that fits your career goals and values, go for it even if you have to do some tasks that you don’t see yourself doing.
When you encounter these obstacles, look at these circumstances as a learning experience. These mistakes can help you learn new things about yourself that success can’t teach you.
Be ready to pivot anytime to a direction that aligns with your personal goals and values. You will thank yourself in the future when you have this type of flexibility during your career planning.
7. Reflect on your career journey
Throughout your journey of searching for your definition of a perfect career, think carefully about the lessons you have learned during this process. Go back to your drawing board often and reflect on how you can evolve to help you make better career choices that embody your core values. Then make the necessary changes based on those reflections.
7 Questions to ask yourself when finding a career you love
1. What is my dream job?
Picture out an industry where you see yourself excelling. If you see yourself enjoying work indoors, outdoors, or remotely, consider the type of profession and work environment that permits you to achieve your dream job.
2. What jobs do my family and friends recommend for me?
Sometimes you need the observation of others to help you decide on which career path you could take. Seek advice from people who are close to you. These are the people who can offer great insights about yourself. But ultimately, you make the final choice.
3. What are my personal values?
Everyone has some things that are important to them. They could be financial security, work-life balance, or achieving a particular lifestyle. These values will help you pin down on the type of career to pursue. So if you value a traveling lifestyle, choose a career path that lets you work virtually.
4. What are my goals?
Your goals determine the milestones you set now to achieve the career you love. For example: if your goal is to establish a business, you can work for a company related to that particular business venture. This will allow you to gain relevant experience for when you’re ready to launch your company.
5. What are my interests?
Start your career planning by asking yourself what interests you the most. While many people sacrifice their dreams just so they can make ends meet, following your heart makes life purposeful. Pursuing your interest will make your job more satisfying and successful.
6. What are my strongest skills?
Think back to when you demonstrated your talents and capabilities when you were little. These traits make you unique. And you can leverage them to find your true calling, as you’ll thrive in an industry that allows your strongest skills to shine.
7. What is my ideal compensation?
Having a career serves two functions. It’s to satisfy your soul and support your daily needs and lifestyle. You may use an online salary navigator to research various compensations for different industries.
Creating your dream career is fulfilling
Finding the career you love takes a lot of planning and preparation. It requires you to take a step back and think deeply about yourself, your strengths, passions, goals, and core values. But once you have a good idea of what and how to achieve a fulfilling career path, you’ll feel proud of yourself for all the sacrifices you made to attain it.
If you’re working a job that doesn’t feel like work, it’s a sign that you love what you’re doing.