Happy Monday. If you’re a Regular Joe or the Average Annie, you are at work or school right now. If you have the day off, good for you. But in all likelihood, you’re working right now! And maybe you’re excited to be at your office or your school, maybe not so much.
What we do for a living can be a tremendous source of joy and personal growth, just something we do, or a soul-sucking endeavor. Sometimes it can be all rolled into one, just at different places on the timeline. But what we do for a living is a big part of our lives, and our identities too.
Before I launch into this whole let’s-look-at-your-work-assignment, here’s my official stance on work, business and career:
- In our current society there is a huge pressure on following your dreams and passions, but it’s okay if you don’t know what your passion is OR you just keep your passion your hobby. Click here for the article I wrote on that.
- It may not be easy to find a job (you like) right now, but it can be done. Click here for the article I wrote on that a couple of weeks ago.
- It’s up to you how much importance or fulfillment you (want to) get out of your career.
Today, I’m combining three exercises. I specifically chose them because I want to give you the opportunity to align with your purpose (which isn’t necessarily career-focused) and to consider what direction you want to go in with school or work.
Number one: Based on Steve Pavlina’s ‘Discovering Your Life’s Purpose in 20 Minutes‘, sit your butt down with a laptop or a notepad and write the question “What’s my purpose in life?” down. Sit and start writing what you feel like writing. According to Steve you have to keep going until you cry. That supposedly is the sign you hit the spot.
I don’t think that’s entirely necessary: Just keep going until you feel a big emotional response, whether it’s excitement or laughter or tears or a ‘FUCK YES’.
I’ve known my answer for years: “I want to teach, I want to contribute to happiness and health and I want to write.” That’s it that’s the plan. I’ll figure out the specifics as I go along.
Number two: Based on something I read in a Gala Darling Love&Sequins chapter, write down a couple of activities you’re good at and would enjoy making money with, as well as a couple of fields you would enjoy working in.
I am a representative of the unpopular opinion of “work is work” and “Not EVERYTHING you do, not even in a job you might love, is going to be fun and amazing and sparkly.” I am fortunate enough to truly enjoy my job, but I don’t particularly like grading 24 reports on the exact same topic every course. There might always be a task or part of a job you don’t like. And that should not be a deal-breaker.
But there should be some enjoyment in what you do. So write down the activities you enjoy and the fields you would like working in. Maybe it will give you an idea where to go in terms of studying or working.
My answer? I enjoy teaching, the English language, psychology, writing, helping people and establishing connections with others. I would gladly work in psychology, education, coaching, writing or translating.
Number three: This idea was sparked by Jelle when we were talking during our webinar last night. We were discussing a reader’s question of how to deal with a boss you don’t like or a job that you don’t enjoy, and Jelle’s advice was to start doing what you enjoy doing on the outskirts of your (full-time) job to make this your career.
Whether it’s creating a career you enjoy (Jelle’s advice) or doing lots of lovely activities outside of work to be happy (my advice), focus on how to do that with this exercise. Make a plan to develop outside of your job. Look for courses, activities, hobbies, or starting up extra work you like if that is something you need next to a less-than-ideal educational program or (full time) job.
My answer: I’m doing what I love by writing here. The end.
Doing these exercises is your job* for the challenge today. Good luck and see you tomorrow.
*MUCH PUN SO GENIUS MANY FUNNY.