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Do what you love: How to choose a career path that will bring you joy
Finding a career path you love is akin to hitting life’s jackpot. We all have to work to live, but not everyone is fortunate enough to enjoy their daily responsibilities and routines.
So how can you count yourself among those who can genuinely say they love what they do?
It’s not luck – it’s a careful blend of weighing up your career options and following the steps of career planning to see it into fruition.
If you’re ready to love what you do and do what you love, even if that means a career change, consider these steps:
Think about what you’re passionate about
Start by considering all the things you’re passionate about in life. A good rule of thumb is to think about the things you end up telling your friends and family about – it could be novels, discovering new hiking trails, getting involved with a local sports club, or even growing a miniature herb garden at home.
This is a clue for the kind of field you could be working in. Note that a love of sports doesn’t necessarily mean you should immediately start training to join a national team, but it could mean you might find work behind the scenes, such as in promotions, administration, or schedule management to name a few.
Ask your friends and family
Nobody knows you like your closest friends and family members, and while you shouldn’t be asking them exactly what you should do, a good question may be more like: “What did you always imagine I’d end up doing?”
Their answers may give you some insights into areas you may not have thought to consider for yourself – but are more obvious to others.
Incorporate your skills
It’s tough to love doing anything you’re unskilled in, so consider all the strengths you already possess and map out the ways they could be incorporated into your passions. In some cases, it may take further training to bring these skills up to a marketable level, but if you already have a strong foundation of competency to begin with, additional training shouldn’t be too much of a time-heavy or financial investment.
Remove money from the decision (within reason)
When you first start making career choices after high school, money isn’t as much of a factor as it might be when you’re considering a change later in life. Try to emulate this mindset once again, and think about what you’d love to do if money wasn’t a factor. This can help you focus on the roles you would truly love – not the ones you’re forced into with bills in mind.
You may need to invest in retraining, or spend some time earning less than you’d like as you’re entering into the workforce from a beginner’s level, but so long as you’re not spending everything you have with little prospect of seeing a return, this is all to be expected. In time, and with the right skills and work ethic, you should be able to earn enough to live comfortably.