The world tends to over complicate the concept of finding a great job.
The most common advice is to do something you love and are passionate about. But while great words of wisdom, it’s all too easy to say and much harder to do.
When you break it down, passion and love are emotions. If you are passionate about your career or love your job, it just means you are emotionally invested.
The problem is, as humans we have difficulty associating those particular emotions with something like work or a job. We’ve been conditioned over our lives to believe that our career is to first and foremost make money. Enjoyment is secondary.
On top of that, they are emotions that we are not overly familiar with. Can you describe what passion or love feels like? Possibly, but it’s completely subjective and will be different for each person. Depending on the relationships in your life, most people don’t consciously recognize when they are feeling these emotions.
Finally, the love we have for our spouse, family or pets is completely different than the love we may have for our house, hometown, car and especially for our career.
How To Find Your Calling:
In two previous articles I detailed the science behind finding your passion, explaining that passion for your career will either come from a negative or positive experience in life.
If it is a negative experience (say you had health or weight problems as a child) then you may be motivated to create change in the world. You will want to help other people NOT experience what you went through. You may become a nutritionist or personal trainer as examples.
If it is a positive experience (say you’ve had great success in the stock market); then you may be motivated to share with the world. You would likely be driven by wanting to help others experience what you did and reap the same benefits. You may become a wealth manager or stock broker.
The point is, passion or love won’t be the first emotions you feel towards that dream job. It will be a more recognizable emotion like anger, rejection, sadness or frustration. Or if positive, perhaps it may be happiness, excitement, gratitude or achievement.
So, if you are having difficulty finding your calling in life, start looking for an industry, company or a cause based on emotions you are more familiar with.
Here are 4 simple steps to identify your dream job:
- Start taking note of what products, industries, situations, people, companies, or services ignite any sort of an emotional response mentioned above.
- When you find something that gets you going or gives you goose bumps, stay with it for a bit. Write it down and try to understand why you feel this way. What has happened in your life that may be connected to it? Does anything trace back to your childhood? You can even ask your family or friends to see if they can make any connections.
- Start researching that field. See if diving into it further, gets you more motivated and excited. Discover what jobs are out there, how that topic is affecting the world, how it affects your life and what problems it’s facing etc.
- Keep it at the top of your mind as you go throughout your days. It likely won’t be an aha! moment where you realize in an instant that this is it. Give yourself time to connect the mental and emotional dots throughout your life.
Remember that your calling in life is based on strategic emotional investment. Anything you feel strongly towards could open the door to internal power, confidence and purpose.
This article was originally published on Graham’s blog here.