Work that Matters…
Just over four years ago I accepted a full-time job opportunity working for a city municipality in the street and sewer department. Full time job, great pay, benefits and insurance. Show up at 7, fill in a few potholes, clock out at 3 – not a bad gig.
On the surface, everything was great. Inside I was miserable. For the first three days I would return home annoyed and frustrated. By no means was it hard work. Personally, it lacked purpose. I found myself unfulfilled when I punched my time card at 3PM. The job wasn’t exciting, I didn’t experience growth and it didn’t leave me coming back for more. I knew the longer I stayed, the more comfortable I would feel, and the more difficult it would be to get out.
So, on the fourth day I walked into my supervisor’s office and put in my two week’s notice. Not even a full week before I ‘quit’. People gave me a hard time, told me I was crazy and even cautioned how much trouble I would have finding a new job. I didn’t mind, nor did I care. That day I made a commitment to do work that matters. Not just work in the sense of a career, but work in all walks of life.
Finding Work You Love…
In his TedX talk, ‘How To Find and Do Work you Love’, Scott Dinsmore discusses the importance of doing things that mean the most to you, and how to get started doing them. Whether it’s your current career, a hobby you do at home or something you’ve always dreamed of doing, it’s important to do them because you absolutely love them.
You choose to do these things not because you are told, but rather because of an innate desire. When you choose to do what you do, then you are ultimately doing something you love. If it’s not something you love, then apply your efforts elsewhere. The only problem is that it’s hard to move in the other direction if you don’t know how to start. Until you begin moving in the direction of your passion, you will always be stuck in a job. It will become a career when you thrive in what you’re doing – when you actually enjoy it.
Have you ever been stuck in a job? Are you stuck in a job at the present time? Have you ever reaped the rewards of having a career? Are you curious to know what your life would be like if you were doing something that actually mattered to you? Are your days filled without excitement and purpose? Do you wish you spent more time doing the things you love?
If you answered ‘yes’, to any of the previous questions, then consider the following ten ideas that Scott mentions. I’d like to make note that this is not my list, but merely reiterating points from his discussion.
10 Tips for Finding Work you Love…
1. Find something you can screw up – In other words, what is something you enjoy doing and where can you make the most impact with your skills? Use your interests and talents and create change – screw up what already exists.
2. Define the work you can’t afford to not do – Is there something you always wished you were doing? If so, are you doing it? If not, then what is holding you back? The same principle applies for hobbies and other activities. Determine what it is that you must have in your life.
3. Ask yourself the question, ‘Why am I doing what I’m doing’? – Are you where you’re at currently by default? Is there an end goal in mind? What’s your purpose in the role you currently hold? Is there an intrinsic reward? Did you feel as if there were no other options?
4. Become a self expert – Study yourself, know what you want and understand your limitations. Take what you learn, run with what you have and build on your weaknesses.
5. Do the impossible – Plain and simple, listen to what other people tell you that you can’t do, and do it.
6. Identify your unique strengths – Pinpoint what it is you’re good at. Instead of determining what you want to do based on what you can’t do, focus on your strengths and play to their advantage.
7. Surround yourself with positive people – In his lecture, Scott mentions the Jim Rohn quote: “You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with.” Who are you interacting with daily? Are they building you up or holding you back? Are they keeping you from doing what you want to do and being the person you want to be? Do they support you? Do their values align with yours?
8. Change your mindset – Move from the approach ‘how could I do this’, to ‘how could I not do this’. Focus on what ignites a fire in you!
9. Remove the two ‘can’t’s’ from you life – Those you tell you that you can’t do something, and YOU from telling you that you can’t do something.
10. Build your values – Your values are the framework for what you believe. What you believe leads you to action. Your actions inspire others!
In making a point of emphasis, it’s important to self-assess where you are currently. Ask yourself the questions above. Determine if you are truly happy. Figure out whether you’re content, satisfied or searching for a helluva lot more.
Identify these items. Use your passion to fuel your need to create purpose. And out of purpose, create meaning for others, but most importantly yourself. When you find yourself engaging in work and activities that you love, it’s easier to wake up in the morning knowing that today you are going to make a difference.