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Do You Love Your Job? Here’s How To Find Out

We all have dreams and aspirations from an early age. In fact, career plans are usually laid out even before we get our first resume together. How’s that possible?  In our minds, we’ve selected the specific goals and skill sets which we would like to eventually present to the world.

Does everyone do that?

Not necessarily.  However, if we’re in touch with our innermost yearnings, we know what resonates.

For instance, if you love cooking for others and being in the sort of environment where food is served; if you fancy making sure that the folks who partake of  your carefully prepared concoctions are satisfied with the presentation and with the quality of the food, that passion is not new to you.

You’ve always liked either visiting restaurants or, as soon as you were old enough to bring in a paycheck, to wait on tables. And the first time you ventured into the chef’s domain, you were drawn to all the action going on in that inner sanctum.

In fact, you fancied yourself standing where she or he was standing, busily chopping, dicing and sautéing while service staff scurried around to do their bidding… and getting that dish JUST right.

You see where this is going, don’t you?

After that, it’s just a matter of coordinating what you love with what’s being sought by those who have the monies to pay you.

Question: I’m only 18 and I Don’t Get Paid; I’m a Volunteer.  Yet I’m Doing What I Love.  Have I Laid Out My Career Plans?

Good question!  Absolutely you’ve laid out your career plans!   When you are finally getting paid what you’re worth, you will see that you will not have strayed far at all from what you’re doing now.  The difference between you and someone who just “falls into” a career is that you are choosing a set path…you’re doing what you were meant to do.

For those folks who end up doing what they love, their avocations; their extracurricular activities, turn out to be VERY similar, if not exactly identical, to their paying jobs.

Question: OK, But I Have A Friend Who’s Not Happy with Her Job.  What Do I Tell Her?

It’s great that you want to help your pal out. We should ALL be doing what makes us happiest. There’s no law that says we can’t get paid for it, too!  Here’s what you might tell her:

  1. You’re at liberty to make a choice. It’s ALL about decision-making. When you finally do get into a slot that makes your heart sing, you won’t be able to hide it…and, really, why should you?   You’ll be all smiles from the second you get into work to the time you punch out.  Decide now.
  2. You don’t need to stay in the rut of a “dead end” job. Now, a job that isn’t going anywhere for you might be the ideal stopping-off point for someone else.  Again, it’s a choice YOU have to make. But be practical. Don’t jump ship until you’ve got another vessel to carry you safely to shore.  What that means is that, unless you have got about six months’ expenses worth of savings in the bank or under your mattress, you will first need to find a substitute job which provides income for you.
  3. Don’t hesitate to give your all to your present job (our work goes smoother when we bring a positive attitude to the task). Lunch times and break times can turn into search times.
  4. Don’t become discouraged. Explore the job listings using key words of skill sets which come naturally to you. For example, do you love to gather helpful information in an organized manner?  Try these phrases:  coordinate data; gather resources; funnel information…you get the drift.  There’s no set limit to how many times you can search, so go for it!

Question:  Cool!  But Once My Friend is In a Job, Will She REALLY Know It’s For Her?  If So, What Are The Signs?

Glad you asked.  Here are a few:

  1. You will NOT be the slightest bit interested in gossiping about your co-workers, because you’ll be too delightedly busy to go there. Instead, you WILL be gung-ho to champion their accomplishments and to root for their endeavors. After all, you’re a team!  And you’re loving everybody’s contributions (as well as your own). One final thought: you will be happy, and happy people don’t mind other people’s business…they’re too busy creating, contributing, resolving and just plain ol’ being fulfilled.
  2. You are in favor of meetings…in fact, the more meetings, the merrier. “Well, that’s not the way I feel now,” you (or your friend who’s not happy with her job) might say. Understood. You don’t like going where you don’t feel like a valuable cog in the wheel of progress.  HOWEVER, you will adore going to company get-togethers when you’re happy, because you like and trust your team-mates… AND you like picking their brains. It’s a mutual feeling; they like hearing your side of the story. And you ALL will like getting to be a part of resolving issues. What’s not to like?
  3. The substance of a thought, and not the way you need to couch it, will be your only concern when you and a colleague or two or three are talking. Why?  Once you decide you have something to say…something valuable to bring to the table…you will NOT have the feeling that you must walk on eggshells about HOW you say it.   That oughta be nice, right?
  4. Now this next point can be applied in any life situation, but you can certainly take it to your nine-to-five, as well. Ready? Here goes: You will want to roll up your shirtsleeves and PITCH IN.  It’ll be like a shot of vitamin B12 when you are able to see your co-workers excel, and, if they need your help to do so, you’re there.
  5. Who has time to look at the clock when you’re doing what you love? You certainly won’t!  In fact, nine times out of ten, you’ll find that time files by SO quickly that someone’s got to remind you that it’s way past quitting time!
  6. You are not at all concerned about the retirement scenario in the future…in fact, you have a hard time even thinking of what sort of savings plan you’ll need for that time of your life. Do you know why? Because you have no intention of retiring. You simply love what you do too darn much!

Additionally, when you are loving what you do for a living, you will have a “to-do” list that excites you.   All the stuff you have to get to will seem uber-cool…and not just one day, but every day.    Rather than wanting the list to grow smaller when you’re ready to tackle it, you will RELISH jumping on each item.

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