The type of jobs people take can shape their lives in profound ways. Even excluding the differences in income, the contrast can be massive. That’s why I’m writing this post to help those who may be ready for a career change, may just be entering the work force, or are even starting their own company.
Even with the unique set of skills and experience we each have, there are a wide variety of jobs and careers we can take. My goal here is to make you think critically about which job path you take. A lot of them may seem the same, but the impact each could have on your life (and happiness) could be drastic.
Given the choice, most people would opt for a job that lets them work when and where they want. Only then can they interweave work into life, and not the other way around.
And here’s the good news, most people have the choice, they just don’t know it.
To find most people’s perfect job, there are 3 factors that you should focus on.
This is more important than anything else. You have to wake up loving what you do. Being passionate about what you do or to a lesser extent, just enjoying it, means you’re more likely to be successful.
It also means that once you gain the freedom to work on your own schedule, you’re more likely to stay focused.
Working remotely on something you don’t enjoy makes it much easier to get distracted and fill your time doing something else.
On the other hand, if you enjoy it, it doesn’t really feel like work.
Start with your passion, but not only on a specific job you see as your passion. Look deeper into why you like it so much.
I’ve found I like jobs that give me constant challenges, and allow me to be creative without any oversight from someone else. With that in mind, there wasn’t just one job that I could be passionate about, there were TONS of them.
Once you realize the fundamentals of your passion, you’ll realize there are A LOT of careers that you’ll enjoy. The next step is ensuring they’ll still make enough money to support you and give you more freedom than you have now.
This is where you start narrowing down what jobs are possible. Enjoying them is not enough if you’re going to be permanently struggling to pay the bills.
Career changes are usually accompanied by a cut in income while you’re ramping up in the new job. That’s expected. Instead focus on how much money the new career can really make. Look at sites online like glassdoor.com to get examples of how much people in that field make.
Next figure out how much you need to make. There are numerous sites online that let you input your monthly expenses, savings goals, etc. to help you narrow down that number. This is also a good time to remember that luxuries like fancy cars, expensive vacations, etc, are nice, but pale in comparison to enjoying what you’re doing EVERY DAY.
When you’re working on something you enjoy, you normally need less expensive “distractions” to make up for not enjoying your job.
If you’re already doing something you enjoy and you’re making good money, that’s awesome! But if you want the perfect trifecta, you need the freedom to work when and where you want.
Even if you’re happy now working set hours in an office or on the job, it may change later.
When I was single, I was happy working long hours dictated by someone else, and now that I look back, I think the only reason is that I didn’t know any better. Once I had a taste of what it was like creating my own schedule, I could never go back. Even if I’m putting in more hours per week than I was before, I can put them in when I want.
One of the benefits of having the freedom to work when you want is that it allows you to work during your more productive times of the day. I’ve found that I work best between 7:30am-12pm and then again from 3pm-8pm. That didn’t fit well with the schedules other people had me working on, so I always found myself drinking copious amounts of coffee to “make” myself productive during my normal 12-3pm slump.
Now if feel a slump coming on at noon, I can make a run to the grocery store, hit the gym, go paddleboarding, or go meet up at a coffee shop with a friend.
The key is that you make your own schedule. Everyone’s unique, and being crammed into a forced work schedule works best for no one.
If you can find a career that you enjoy, makes enough money, and gives you the freedom to work where and when you like, it’s almost impossible to not be happy. And you can find it!
It may not happen immediately, but if you focus on it and work towards making it happen, there’s little to stand in your way.
Enjoying life, everyday, every hour, is worth the struggle to get there.