How to Find the Work You Love


Finding work we enjoy is vital for our well being. After all most of us spend a fair portion of our week engaged in work. So how do we find work that we love? Here are some practical tips that I have found useful in my own life and when working with coaching clients.

1. Believe it is Possible

This might seem obvious, but if you don’t believe that you can find work that you love you won’t. Some people think that other people can find work they love, but they can’t — or that they are too old, too young or just don’t have the skills. Start to be aware of any limiting beliefs you have and catch yourself. Start to read stories about other people who are doing work they love. There are plenty of websites out there dedicated to this. It is amazing how who we associate with can influence our mindset. Since starting my own blog and joining a blogging community full of people living on their own terms and doing work they love, my own working life has changed beyond recognition! What seems possible expands.

2. Try New Things

Sometimes people think that one day they will just know what their “calling” is and they are waiting for that day. Sometimes this happens, but usually the people that find work they love are the ones who are proactive and get out into the world and try new things.

Sean Aiken is a great example. Sean was unsure what he wanted to do with his life, so he started the One Week Job project. He traveled anywhere in the world working 52 jobs in 52 weeks to find his passion.

Trying new things makes life more enjoyable and interesting and expands your horizons and who knows where it may lead? Don’t be afraid to try new jobs after all how will you know what you enjoy if you haven’t tried it! I have had lots of jobs and each one got me a little bit clearer on what I enjoy doing.

3. Freelance

Freelancing is a great way to try different types of work and earn money at the same time. Have a look at your skills and see what you could do. Are you great with kids? You could do some babysitting. Good at tinkering with web design? Who not look into providing web design as a service? Good at organising your home? People will pay someone to do that for them. Obviously there needs to be a match between what you can offer and what people want and need but to get started brainstorm and see what you can offer. It is easy to dismiss ideas but with a little bit of thought you could turn your skills into a job and get experience at the same time. In my own search for work I love I realised I loved listening to and inspiring people. For a long time I didn’t know how to turn that into a job but when I took it seriously I became a Life Coach and Mentor and now love my work.

4. Do Some Research

There are some great resources out there which can help you to get clearer about the type of work you enjoy. The internet is a brilliant way to access these resources and it is amazing what information is available to help you succeed in any area of life. I also recommend books like “The Work You Were Born To Do” by Nick Williams and “What Colour is Your Parachute” by Richard. N. Bolles.

5. Volunteer

Volunteering is a great way to gain experience and learn a new trade at the same time. Many organisations welcome volunteers and have their own volunteering scheme. Volunteering is also a great way to build up your confidence and get comfortable with what you are doing. Volunteer positions often lead to paid employment within that organisation or in other places.

6. Don’t Be Afraid to Have Multiple Jobs

There is no rule that says you have to just have one job. I have been doing two different jobs this year as well as the work I do on my blog and I have realized how much I enjoy having a variety in my working week. I love coaching and mentoring but also discovered I really enjoy writing and the technical side of having a website. Don’t limit yourself. If it’s helpful to you pursue a few different avenues at the same time.

7. Follow Your Bliss

Pay attention to what you enjoy. There are lots of messages from society about what constitutes a good job, but in order to find work you truly love it is necessary to tune out to other peoples messages and focus on what you really want to do. Sometimes your job may be different to the traditional path or maybe it’s not been invented yet and it will be down to you to do that! Have the courage to follow what feels right for you. Then you start to find work you truly love and it won’t feel like work!


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Jen Smith is a Life Coach and Mentor living in the UK. She has tried many career paths herself and now helps people achieve their goals and dreams.

Discussion

  1. Mits on the 24th September

    What other books do you recommend?

    • Jen Smith on the 24th September

      The two I mentioned are my favourites… I’d also recommend having a look at what’s new in the Business section of your local bookshop, there are lots of good books coming out all the time. A website I’d highly recommend too is: http://www.adifferentkindofwork.com

  2. melanie brooks on the 24th September

    I started freelance writing when I had a full time job. I was out of college and missed writing. I didn’t make a lot of money at it…but it did prompt me to go to journalism grad school. Now I have the job that I do love and I thank my lucky stars every day.

    • Jen Smith on the 26th September

      Thanks for sharing your experiences Melanie. It’s really great to hear you have a job you love and is a great example that we don’t know where things may lead us. :)
      Jen

  3. Jen Smith on the 24th September

    Those two books are the ones that have really helped me. Otherwise there are good books coming out all the time which you can find in the Business section of bookshops/libraries… always worth a look. Also a website I would recommend is: http://www.adifferentkindofwork.com. It is full of useful information about finding fulfilling work that suits you.

    Jen

  4. Daquan Wright on the 24th September

    “Imagination is more important then intelligence.” 😉

    I agree with the post, just keep an open mind and research the possibilities. Some people say if there’s no door, make one.

    • Jen Smith on the 26th September

      Hi Daquan

      Well said. :) I’m glad this post resonated with you.

      Jen

  5. Mits on the 25th September

    Hey Jen:

    To be honest, been soul searching; finding inherent meaning in my life using the textbook: At A Journal Workshop By Dr Ira Progroff. But anyway I am bordering on 30. Quick look back I left High School with No Gcse’s and did a foundational course at college and worked up my way towards University. Which at the time I thought was a good Idea so I spent 2 years at university and the end of it I failed. But since then onwards it has been like I am stuck in retail and I can’t see any way out of it due to the fact that I am not qualified.

    At the minute I work as Cashier for my local supermarket: Iceland, the company is great to work for but the job sucks. And everyone in my immediate family says you should work up your way in this job, in truth how can I as I seriously have no passion for the work.

    Oh by the way are there any blog…apart from that you would recommend?

    • Jen Smith on the 26th September

      Hi Mits

      Thanks so much for sharing your story here. I can hear the determination in your words.. you’re still searching but you are clear what isn’t your passion (your current work). In my own journey I have had lots of jobs and finding out what doesn’t light you up is as useful as finding out what you enjoy in my opinion. Your job is obviously useful in that it’s paying the bills for now but you know it’s not where you really want to be so that’s one less avenue you will need to explore in the future.

      If you were so inclined I recommend blogging as a tool to find out what you enjoy. I have made leaps and bounds in my own work through blogging, there is something very powerful about it.

      Other blogs that I have found useful are: http://www.illuminatedmind.net & http://www.wakeupcloud.com. On a slightly different tangent http://www.farbeyondthestars.com is one of my favourite blogs and is all about how owning & spending less can free you up to do more of what you enjoy.

      I hope these are helpful Mits. Feel free to drop me a line. :)

      Jen

  6. Husien Adel on the 25th September

    nice post 😉 thanks Jen
    Btw the link for http://www.oneweekjob.com is broken check it 😀

    really thanks

    • Jen Smith on the 26th September

      Thanks for flagging that up Husien. The link you wrote is correct.

      Thanks

      Jen

  7. Bob Bessette on the 25th September

    Hi Jen,
    I loved this post! I especially love #s 5,6, and 7. Volunteering is very important in our lives. I think we all get caught up chasing the mighty buck and forget about those less fortunate. I’m with you on the multiple jobs thing. I also do freelance writing and it helps to pay the bills and it also allows me to work on the creative side of my brain. And don’t we all want to “Follow our Bliss”? I know that I do. Sometimes just paying the bills gets in the way of doing exactly what we love. But I keep working on it.

    Welcome to WorkAwesome!

    Best,
    Bob

    • Jen Smith on the 26th September

      Thanks Bob! :)

      I really like what you said about Volunteering.. it is easy to just work for money but there is so much we can give (& also get) from volunteering. Doing different jobs is a great way (as you point out) to develop different sides of ourselves. With regards to following our bliss, I think it can be a step by step process & not necessarily a ‘eureka moment’ .. I know it has been for me. Listening to our feelings and what we enjoy on a day to day basis is following our bliss too in my opinion. We can use this is an internal compass to gradually work out where we want to go.

      Thanks Bob! It’s really great to be here.

      Jen

  8. Christine Livingston on the 25th September

    Hey Jen,

    What a fab post – it’s wonderful to see you here!

    Thanks also for the mention in the comment above. Truly appreciate it.

    • Jen Smith on the 26th September

      Thanks Christine! :) I am really glad you enjoyed this and it is great to recommend you.. the work you are doing is really great and I know is helping a lot of people to redefine work on their terms.

  9. Emily Schroeder Orvik on the 25th September

    Thanks for the thought provoking blog. I’m in the midst of a personal evolution and had already been incorporating many of your tips. I think # 6 (multiple jobs) most resonates with me as I can select clients that are in a variety of different industries and organizations – so I get my “fix” of variety that way. It’s especially fun to “connect” clients in unusual pairings which gets each of them additional visibility – and I get the fun of being creative and collaborative while producing results.

    • Jen Smith on the 26th September

      Thanks Emily. :)

      I really like the term ‘personal evolution’… I think that is a great way to describe the process of finding work you love.

      Working out how we like to work is important .. it’s great to hear how you like multiple jobs (I’m the same.. it keeps me interested). You sound like you are very much in tune with how you enjoy working… it’s really great to hear!

      Jen

  10. Naren on the 26th September

    Hi ya.. nice post… loved it..

    still now i couldnt get the job i loved. hope wil get it soon. i dont have an option to work more than one job as per my country rule :(

    • Jen Smith on the 28th September

      Thanks Naren. :)

      Wishing you the best of luck with that. Keeping my fingers crossed for you.

      Jen

  11. Jill S on the 26th September

    Thanks for the article! I recently just started the path to doing what I love, and the tips here are really helpful.

    Thanks!

    Jill

    • Jen Smith on the 28th September

      That’s really great to hear Jill! :)

  12. Ian on the 27th September

    Hi Jen – great post! Just a heads up – the link to the One Week Job Project in your article is incorrect – I think it’s missing the http:// probably 😀

    • Mike Vardy on the 27th September

      Fixed the broken link – linked it to WorkAwesome’s conversation with Sean about the One-Week Job Project!

      Thanks!

    • Jen Smith on the 28th September

      Thanks Ian – I will change that. :)

  13. Jen Smith on the 28th September

    Thanks Mike! :)

  14. mohamed A Fiteh on the 6th October

    thanks but i think that in real world it is very hard to find the work you love, thank again for your tips.

    • Jen Smith on the 10th October

      I think it depends on how you look at it Mohamed. It may not be easy, but it is possible (I know, I have done it). My biggest bit of advice is to keep going.. I found work I love at 33 (younger than some, older than others).

  15. Justin on the 8th March

    Great article! Just wanted to point out a typo on the first sentence under “Believe It’s Possible” Cheers

  16. Resume planet on the 2nd November

    I just want to say that this site was so helpful it gave me hope just when I lost all confidence. I hope that you can keep giving people more inspirrational help like this. You are such a great site for me to go on when all hope is lost I start feeling cheered up immediatley and I can start putting out alot of resumes with the confidence that I need. I hope that I will meet others so I can refer this site to them I have told my church about you and they are going to hang a thing up on there bulliton board for you.I will keep telling everyone about you and what a true help you are and in the mean time keep up the good site.

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