You’ve heard it, said it and most likely feel it. Finding the right type of work, meaningful work that gives you a sense of purpose, fulfillment, and satisfaction is very important. At the same time, it is quite challenging. It is, for most of us, where we will invest the largest portion of our life. Unfortunately, we are ill- equipped to decide which path to take.
There are ways, however, to determine what we can do and what could bring us fulfillment.
Let’s first discuss why we have such a difficult time finding the fulfilling work we deserve.
Formal education is nice. We get to make friends, learn about different topics, our history, our country, languages, reading and writing and other useful skills. Our strengths and weaknesses are often mistaken to be directly related to the grades and awards we achieve. Many people get good grades in different subjects. That does not mean they are great at all of them. It also doesn’t mean that they would enjoy working in that field. It could, but we have to be more open to evaluating from different angles.
There are also other less tangible qualities that have to be looked at. Leadership skills, ability to socialize and make friends, communication, speaking, personality, etc.
One of the main problems with finding meaningful work is the way our educational institutions are set up.
In great part, because they are run by people who don’t themselves know what they should be doing with their life. Based on studies about 70% of people are not happy with their work and are unfulfilled. That means that of all the people we have around us and in our family, many of them have not found meaningful work to do with their lives.
This stacks up the deck against us. If our teachers, our educational institutions, parents, and siblings are part of the 70%, then we will have a tough time finding our true path.
To top this off, once we find something worthwhile to do with our time, something that gives us meaning, then we have to consider whether or not we can actually live off of it. That adds to the difficulty of doing what we actually want. Some people just don’t want to put in the effort. It is just too difficult they think. It may be wiser to see the other side of that coin. Maybe, not doing something fulfilling will be even harder and will result in a life that you don’t enjoy.
There is a lot of subjectivity and different perspectives related to this topic, so we will focus specifically on how you can find something you enjoy, that gives your life a sense of purpose, and adds value to enough people in society to allow you to live off that. We will also leave out the clear issues with the current education system and the one size fits all approach.
Some will say find your passion. Others will say do what you are good at, not what you like\ love. Follow your strengths. Solve a problem. Fulfill a need. Do this, do that.
Whatever you believe is the way, here is one thing that you can do with every single path you take.
Test, test, test and then test some more.
You will only know if you try. You can read on it and talk about it and listen to others talk about it and take courses but unless you go through certain things, you won’t know if it’s for you.
Use your younger years to try out a bunch of different jobs. It will give you experience, build your work ethic, give you extra money, develop your independence and responsibility, teach you the value of work and money and more than anything…it will allow you to find opportunities that no personality test, counselor, friend or family member could provide.
Whether it’s a part-time job, internship, full-time job, for a week, a day, a month, a year, etc. Just try as much as you can and take notes and get feedback from people who work with you. At the same time, talk to everyone in that business. Get to know how it works, the marketing (http://andresponciano.tumblr.com), the sales, the finances, the suppliers. Ask as much and learn as much as possible. After a few years of doing this and many jobs, you’ll have more skills, value, and knowledge. Not just of different types of work, but of yourself. That is where it all begins after all.