The old adage that comprises the title of this article is one that is nice to think about, but it can sometimes be hard for us to imagine what that may look like in reality. After all, the means in which we define ‘work’ is often different from person to person. For example, sitting in meetings might be the bread and butter of someone who has intrinsic charm and the ability to put their points across in an assertive manner, but publiic speaking may seem like a real chore for someone else.
Of course, there are good and bad parts to any job depending on our comfort and skill levels at that moment. But that shouldn’t mean we should consider our weaknesses to be our defining traits, nor should that prevent us from feeling truly fulfilled within a caeer. The best means in which to feel fulfilled in a career is to simply choose rewarding, worthwhile work. But how can you decide what rewarding work may entail for you? Is there a formula to help you assess this?
The following advice should help you figure that out:
Find something that stimulates you intellectually. Now, for some reading that, this can seem like an adverse consideration. But you needn’t be in academia to get the most out of intellectual pursuit, nor in pioneering part of your industry. Intellectual stimulation can also be very rewarding when applying theory to practice. It’s this spectrum, from deciding to read more about the role of a CIO in Library Science to perhaps a mechanic approximating his best practical knowledge to help a tricky automotive problem come back to health that we see intellectual stimulation can be varied, but no less inferior or superior to one another.
Find something that allows you to feel interested in the work you do. The work we often consider grueling is the work we couldn’t care less about. While stacking shelves is, like many minimum wage jobs, still a noble means in which to earn a living, you may find that it’s hard to get passionate about. Even working at the lowest rung of a non-profit dealing with solving real problems and understanding their contexts, with a potential opportunity for educational training, may help you feel more at ease with work, even if you earn the exact same amount. Don’t be afraid to make this a job-searching goal of yours.
Work That You Can Believe In
Finding work that you can believe in is often a luxury, or it can seem to be so. Remember, sometimes the effect that you have may be more complicated than you think while occupying that role. For example, someone may be unhappy working as a chef in a chain restaurant, because they may feel tired of only contributing their man-hours to the benefit of some faceless network that they will rarely be able to engage with. But that doesn’t mean every service or shift they work, they’re not making many people in the local community happy with a lovely meal and a great evening out. When you take the time to calculate that vague assessment to the context of your own work, you may see that you have a hidden positive impact, one that you are ignoring.
It’s worth thinking this way when trying to find a new career or to decide your given direction. A sense of connection to work can differ from person to person. For one person it may be designing the best and safest vehicle. For another, it may be giving the best customer support possible, one day managing a team of customer support professionals. A role you may have previously ruled out could actually hold satisfaction for you. It’s worth considering that when weighing up your potential career opportunities.
Challenging Work That Stretches Your Talents
Finding work that stretches your professional talents and candor can be important. If you’re not challenged, you’re going to sit on your laurels. You may not intend to, but it’s simply the way people are designed – that is the interest in performing work with the lowest amount of energy investment is simply good and efficient practice in many fields.
So why not find something that enables you to continually try something new? For example, consider a fitness coach. While ‘getting fit’ may be seen as a relatively simplistic job responsibility to apply to others, it can be aided by a study of nutrition, or sleep science, or helping those with disabilities exercise to the degree that they can. It also means that numerous and varied clients will find their way to your professional service, and that in itself provides the need to rethink and reapply the lessons you have considered so obvious up until this point. Even in this one, particular example, we see much potential for challenging work, and this career path is not considered to be overly prestigious.
This goes to show that finding your best and most rewarding career needn’t be part of an unrealistic ambition. Caring for the work can be the first step in this direction:
The Lifestyle You Lead
What professional lifestyle are you interested in leading? Do you hope to drive from place to place each day, meeting new people, building a new collection of clients? Are you more than happy to raise the corporate structure? Would you rather fail in your own business efforts than be part of someone elses? How might your prior knowledge and education help you bring something new to a role that you care about – such as using your prior experience in marketing to make a new restaurant you have bought become the talk of the town?
We can’t choose every small influence on our lifestyles, but we can aim in a direction that will provide us with the most affable surroundings in line with our personalities. To that extent, this effort can be reliable.
Is It Worth Your Time?