For most of us, our career takes up a significant part of our lives. But if you’re clocking in 40+ hours a week at a job you don’t enjoy, it can become a real source of stress. If you find that your current job is leaving you mentally exhausted and discouraged, it might be time to consider something new. And if this is you, you’re not alone—over half of Americans say they’re unhappy with their career.
While you’ve probably heard the common piece of career advice to “follow your passion” in order to find a job you love, it can be difficult to figure out how to actually do that. While finding your passions is a lifelong journey that ebbs and flows with time, it’s still possible to identify the things that bring you joy and translate them into a more fulfilling career. All it takes is some dedicated time and self reflection. Here are a few tips to help you get started.
1. Set Aside Time for Personal Reflection
If you’ve been stuck in a dead end job for a while, you might not even remember the last time you thought about what actually makes you happy when it comes to your career. That’s why setting aside some dedicated time to go inward and self reflect is a critical part of the process. Consider these pointers:
Spend a week making note of any high points in your day
Think about topics that you enjoy learning just for fun or love talking about with others
Ask yourself: if money were no object, what types of careers would you want to pursue?
2. Find the Sweet Spot of Your Skills and Interests
Finding a career you love usually involves a role that speaks to not only your passions and interests., but also your skills. Make a list of your interests and passions, then make another list of the skills you know you have. Then, spend some time researching different roles that cater to both. When you align your passions to your job skills, it can help you land a role where your natural talents can shine and which allows you to feel confident and motivated at work.
3. Analyze Your Passions
Making a list of your passions is an important step, but to translate it into a potential career, you should spend time thinking critically about why you’re passionate about those things. As you explore the things you’re naturally drawn to, take the time to ask yourself this question: What about this thing or activity makes me happy? This allows you to hone in on the specific things that motivate you and give you purpose in life.
Finding a career you truly love might feel daunting, but life is too short to work without passion! While the process may require some deliberate thought, effort and time, it’s 100% possible to discover a job that brings you more joy. There are endless possibilities and opportunities to explore—you just have to be willing to commit to the process and remind yourself that the ideal role for you does exist. Finding the career of your dreams isn’t as impossible as you might think!
Sophie Isbell writes on behalf of Siege Media about finance, productivity, and career growth. Specifically, she is interested in removing the barriers of complicated finance and career topics and teaching them in a way that is accessible to all.