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“I’m in my thirties and I hate my job because it’s boring and unfulfilling and I don’t know what I want to do with my life and I fear it’s too late to leave it because I’ve got all kinds of responsibilities and I’m scared that this is it and I’m just trapped for the rest of my life.” Gentleman, it’s time to break free. Don’t become stagnant. Find work that inspires you. Here’s how to find work you love.
A heart that’s full up like a landfill
A job that slowly kills you
Bruises that won’t heal
It’s not too late to change your life.
I can say this from experience. I have spent most of my life searching for fulfilling work.
A journey that has taken me from lows such as gutting cod in a cold grey fish factory and biking 10 miles in the cold hard rain at 5.30am every morning, to highs such as interviewing some of the biggest sports stars in the world.
But I never found my true calling until I realised how to properly look within and hear what you truly desire.
I’m now a men’s lifestyle entrepreneur and I wake an hour earlier everyday because I’m dreaming about work. Perhaps it sounds sickeningly sweet, I know. But it’s true.
Here’s how I found my true career calling and here’s how you can too.
Step 1 | Write Down All The Things You Enjoy
“The only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle.” — Steve Jobs
Sit down and have a brainstorm. Write down everything you enjoy. Don’t be too stringent with you choices — if it makes you feel good, write it down.
You may enjoy playing piano or relaxing with a cup of coffee in the morning. Write it down.
Even if it’s something as simple as sleeping in, this may hint you’re better suited to self-employment where you can choose your own hours.
Step 2 | Ask Yourself What You Loved Doing As Kid
Asking yourself what you loved doing when you were young can help you find work you love.
It captures the creativity and imagination that can leave you as an adult.
“Can you remember who you were, before the world told you who you should be?” — Charles Bukowski
What excited you? What made you burst with energy? Even if it’s a fondness for building things out of Lego, this points towards a potential career in construction or design.
For example, I used to always collect items such as yogurt pots and branches from the garden. I’d glue them together and make rockets. Anything I could find, I’d use it to build something.
This helped me realise I’d deflected away from one of my true passions: making things.
I was filled with passion again.
Ultimately, a business making these wasn’t financially viable due to planning laws and regulations in the UK and an incredibly small niche market.
But the important thing is I tried it and explored the idea. And it ended up leading me on to even greater projects.
Step 3 | Analyse It
In order to find work you love you need to carefully analyse.
Look at everything you’ve written down.
Are there any common links? Do they all point towards a general area or field?
Is there a problem people experience that you could solve with your passions and skills?
Take some time thinking about this. How could you change other’s lives doing what you truly enjoy?
Also, don’t put too much pressure on yourself to work it out instantly. The beauty of life is we can try things first to see if they work out or not.
If it does, it’s a success. If it doesn’t, it’s a success because you’ve learned what you don’t want to do which puts you one step closer to what you’re truly meant to do in life.
You may be scared about the financial risks but don’t worry, you can volunteer and try things out.
Nobody is forcing you to make any big changes yet. You have time to explore and find work you love. If you need to free up time, check out my article ‘How To Create Time In Your Thirties.’
Step 4 | Try It
“You can never know what you are fully made of until you start to do the things that fear you the most.” — Edmond Mbiaka
Volunteer, even if just one hour a week. Even if it means sacrificing some time at the weekend.
It’s one of the best investments you can make.
You still have at least another 30 working years to experiment. This will also show some of the experience needed on your CV which will help you find work you love further down the line.
Step 5 | Develop A Financial Plan
This is often the biggest roadblock to making a dramatic career change.
Here’s the deal:
If we’re going to be realistic we have to consider if we can afford a potential pay cut.
We have to look at if we can financially sustain ourselves (and potentially our family) while we’re training.
But there are ways to gain experience and get your foot in the door without shelling out thousands on training in order to find work you love.
The important thing is to do your research and find any help any way you can.
Step 6 | Don’t Tell People About Your Plans
Because you’re actually less likely to accomplish them.
Repeated psychology tests have proved that telling someone your goal tricks your mind into feeling like you’ve already done it and making you less motivated into actually doing it.
This increases the sense of satisfaction but reduces the drive to actually do the tasks ahead, meaning you’re less likely to go ahead and find work you love.
This isn’t to say you shouldn’t be telling people who may be necessary aids in kicking off your new business idea.
But by simply telling everybody you know you’re thinking of launching a business or thinking of retraining may actually hamper your progress.
Step 7 | Surround Yourself With The Right People
My grandma used to say to me:
“Bad associations spoil useful habits.”
Little did I know her wise sentiments are shared with the majority of millionaire entrepreneurs today.
Back then, it was avoiding kids who might steal a pack of Gummy Bears from the local store.
Now, it’s avoiding the cynical people who tell you it can’t be done because they can’t do it themselves.
If you do find yourself with people like this in your life, avoid them at all costs. They serve no purpose.
“Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.” — Mark Twain
Even if it’s your parents. Take a step back from them, explain you don’t need that kind of negativity in your life and you’ll come back to them when you’re feeling stronger.
Then, go away and follow your ambition. No distractions. No discouragement.
Only motivated and fierce.
Equally, seek refuge in talking to inspirational people. Those that have proved it can be done and will offer some wisdom on how they found work they love and guide you on how to find work you love.
Step 8 | Just Do It
“Pushing through fear is less frightening than living with the underlying fear that comes from a feeling of helplessness.”
It’s true. The years of shame and wondering ‘what if’ are terrible feelings. They far surpass doing it, perhaps it not quite working out, but then learning some invaluable lessons in the process.
Remember, mistakes are good. They are the most fundamental part of learning.
And what if it does pay off? What if you finally find work you love?
Take small steps today and you’ll feel bigger tomorrow.
If you have any career success stories you’d like to share, let us know in the comment section below. How have you found your true calling? What mistakes have you perhaps made that lead you down a wrong path?