The only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle.Steve Jobs
How do you find a career you’ll love?
Most people, don’t. They settle for the first job they can find after college and tell themselves they’re lucky to have it – and then spend the rest of their lives feeling miserable and frustrated.
A lucky few have a crystal clear passion they persistently follow until they manage to turn it into their dream career – and live happily ever after.
But what if you don’t have a clear passion to follow? Are you doomed to a soul-sucking job and a miserable life while waiting for a mythical passion that may never come?
There is a better way. You can shop around for your dream career like you would for a new pair of killer heels (it’s a trick I’ve learnt from my mentor, Ramit Sethi). Here’s how:
Step 1: Get Curious And Start Window Shopping
Imagine if you could only have one pair of killer heels in your life.
Chances are you’ll obsess about finding the right pair and OMG what happens if you get bored of them, the heels break, or you can’t return them to the shop in time?
So. Much. Pressure.
That’s how we treat our career. We’re told we have to pick ONE job and stick to it for the rest of our life. But what if you don’t like what you pick?
The fear is real. It keeps you stuck. Makes you not want to choose anything.
Luckily, this isn’t how you shop for a pair of killer heels. You know you can have as many as you want or take them back to the store if you decide you don’t like them or you can’t walk in them.
Without that pressure, shopping is fun. You take your time looking for the perfect pair. You feel different materials with your hands, try on different heights, look at all the various colours the shoes come in…
You narrow down your search to a few pairs you really like. Then, you google for reviews. Ask your friends if they have similar shoes and how comfortable they feel on.
If everything checks out, then you go ahead and buy the shoes.
You can do the same for your dream career. Look around for any job you think could be fun and jot it down on a piece of paper. Think about:
- Your skills: What are you good at and what jobs require those skills? For example, if you’re a good writer, you could become a copywriter, journalist, songwriter… Jot them all down.
- Your interests: What are you passionate about? Maybe you’re into fashion and know how to put together killer outfits. Jot down stylist, fashion blogger, fashion editor and anything else that comes to your mind.
- Linkedin: If you’re struggling to figure out job titles for your skills and interests, have a look on Linkedin. You’ll be surprised at how many jobs require your gifts.
PRO TIP: Don’t dismiss anything at this stage. That voice in your head that tells you you don’t have enough experience/talent/skills/whatever for a certain job? Ignore it.
Right now, you’re just jotting down ideas. You’ll narrow it down in the next step – based on what your soul craves to do, not what your Inner Mean Girl tells you you can’t do.
Step 2: Try A Job On For Size
Now you have a list of jobs you think are a good fit for you. What stands out?
These are the job titles that, when you look at them, get you excited the most – and are often the ones you think you’re not qualified enough to do.
This is a sign you’re getting closer to your life purpose. That excitement is the voice of your intuition guiding you in the right direction.
The fear? That’s your Inner Mean Girl. She knows that the only way you can fulfill your purpose is to think big and get out of your comfort zone – and that scares the hell out of her.
Reassure her. For now, you’re only gonna try these exciting jobs on for size in the comfort of your own home.
Pick one of the jobs that excite you the most and do a quick Google search:
- What does the job entails? What tasks will you be doing every single day?
- What kind of companies/clients would you work for?
- What kind of experience is required?
- How many hours do you have to work every week?
- How much is the pay?
- What are the opportunities for growth?
- Anything else you can think of
As you go through this list, ask yourself, “Could I see myself doing this?”
If the prospects excites you, you’ve found a winner. It’s definitely a career you should explore in practice.
Do you feel meh after imagining yourself in this career? Let it go. If you don’t enjoy dreaming about it, what chances are there you’ll actually enjoy doing it?
Repeat this exercise for every job on your list that stands out to you until you find the one that excites you the most. Then, move onto step 3.
Need more help to create a clear vision for your career + life? Click on the image below to download the “Life Vision Worksheet” and start mapping out your dream life:
Step 3: Get Your Foot Wet Into Your New Career
At this point, you’ve identified one job you’d love to do. Time to put it to the test.
Think of a way you can get your foot wet and explore the job without making a bit commitment.
Maybe you can take on a short apprenticeship for a company in your industry to see if you’d like working in that environment.
Maybe you can enroll in a course to learn a new skill that’s required for your new job. You could discover that you like it more than you thought – or that it’s complete hell for you.
Maybe you can start a small online shop on Etsy to test the waters and find out if there’s a market for your designs.
If you wake up every day excited for what lies ahead and you can feel deep inside this is what you’re meant to do with your life, congratulations! You’ve found your life purpose.
If you still feel miserable and like this isn’t it, go back to the drawing board and try another job on for size.
Be happy you’ve discovered this career isn’t right for you now, instead than wasting years and money on the wrong path.
This isn’t wasted time. You can bring any insights and skills you’ve learnt with you in your next job.
Spending years in the wrong career, never even exploring any other possibility – that’s time you’ll never get back.
Over to you, now. Have you ever tried a job on for size and how did it go? Share your experience in the comments below.