Finding your perfect job, career and life may be easier said than done, but with strong commitment, focus and effort it is possible. Luckily, your return on investment should far outweigh the toil.
What would you give to have your perfect job, career, and life?
People who are happiest and most fulfilled live what is the perfect job, career and life for them. This does not mean living their life would be perfect for you. Like a snowflake, perfection is defined individually. It is achievable for anyone willing to put the effort into defining, discovering and pursuing it.
The perfect job, career and life comes in many shapes and sizes which usually equates to happiness, fulfillment and success. Examine Richard Branson’s journey. He is making billions living the life he was meant to live. He is clearly having fun doing what he loves and does best.
An ex-corporate executive I recently met now spends her days in an apron covered in clay, running a pottery making shop out of the back of her home. She makes a fraction of what she made before, but loves what she does and the life that goes along with it. For her, she has achieved perfection and success.
Both Richard Branson and my friend have the perfect job, career and life for them. They are happy and engaged in their lives. They designed their lives intentionally and on purpose. You can, too.
What is your perfection? Not what has been defined for you by your family and friends, but your perfection defined by you.
Below are three steps and strategies from my new book How to Find a Job, Career and Life You Love to help you answer the above question and start pursuing your perfect job, career and life.
Eight Questions To Light Your Path
The first step in your journey is to understand what you are most passionate about, love and naturally do best. To do this, ask and answer the following eight questions. Once you have your responses, review them to look for themes and clues as to what jobs you should try. I recommend sleeping on your responses and themes prior to committing to any conclusions from this exercise.
- What gets me out of bed in the morning?
- If I didn’t need money, what would I do in life?
- What was I most fascinated with as a child?
- When in my life have I been so passionately focused on an activity that I lost track of time and what was I doing?
- What do I want to be remembered for in life?
- What do I believe I do best?
- What do others say I do best?
- What am I most recognized for in life and work?
Don’t let a rotten economy spoil your goals. Use the career and money advice in The Millennial Game Plan to get and stay ahead for good.
Experiment To Discover Your Direction
Once you have a basic understanding of what you are most passionate about, love and naturally do best, you need to experiment performing these types of tasks to confirm you actually enjoy such roles. This experimentation serves to introduce reality. Without research, you may discover only a romanticized ideal of something you believe you will enjoy. Experimentation will resolve whether you have the natural ability or temperament required for the job you seek. And whether this job will fulfill your expectations and make you happy.
In 2013, a 29-year-old Brit named Matt Frost embarked on a journey to try 52 jobs in 52 weeks. His goal was to find what he wanted to do in life.
While that would be an extreme and impractical technique for most of us, the ability to experiment even when you have a full time job is possible with commitment, some strategy and a little creativity.
Below is an exercise I have successfully used to experiment and find my perfect job, career and life – the one I am living today. If you apply it to your own life, it will work for you, too.
- List all the jobs you’ve worked at in your life. Place an asterisk by the jobs you enjoyed most. Of the ones you asterisked, force-rank the jobs from most-liked to least-liked.
- Next, make a list of the jobs you’ve always wanted to try, but haven’t had the courage or opportunity to attempt. Next to each of these jobs explain why you have not tried them and what is stopping you from attempting them now.
- Now force-rank the list of jobs you’ve wanted to try from most interesting to least interesting.
- Develop an action plan and timeline to try your top job of interest – even if it is for only a few hours after your current day job, on a weekend or as a volunteer. Work your way down your list until you have had a chance to try each job.
- Take note of why you liked or disliked each new job and also if you wanted to try any of the jobs again.
Ensure Alignment On Your Journey
Once you discover what you are most passionate about, love, do best, and actually enjoy, the last step is to figure out how to make the money you need doing it.
This requires being committed to what you have now discovered about yourself and what your perfect job, career, and life are. Do not settle for less. At the very least, make a plan to continue moving in your desired direction without faltering and denying yourself a chance at happiness.
Making a plan requires going back to your themes, likes/dislikes plus finding a job and life situation that lets you earn a decent living. Even if you need to take a job simply to make money in the short-term, it is important to always keep committed to your longer-term goal. Such a journey is evolutionary and will take time, but the voyage will be well worth it.
Remember as you travel your path to achieving your perfect life that it must include your perfect job and career. When it comes to life perfection, there is no “work-life balance”; there is simply life and doing what you love and are best at – your perfection. Such alignment is where you will achieve your greatest level of success, happiness and fulfillment.
Published on Forbes, 14th November 2014