If you’re anything like myself and the majority of Gen Y, you dream of making it big in a job that’s meaningful and fulfilling to you. Chances are, what is meaningful to you is completely different to what’s meaningful to the rest of the population. Maybe you’re after a job where you can grow, a job where you can help other people, a suitable job for your skill set, or maybe something different. It doesn’t matter if you’ve just finished high school or if you’ve been searching for the most meaningful job for yourself for many years, it’s never too early or too late to find yourself the role that truly makes you happy.
Here are the four most important questions you need to ask yourself if you want to find meaning at work:
What is it you love doing?
The first things you should look at are your passions. What gets you out of bed each morning? Everyone will answer differently and there’s certainly no right or wrong answer. Some people might love to work with animals. Others might want to be around children. Or computers. Or food. Everyone is different! Figure out what you love to do and how you can make a living from it. If you can’t give up your day job, you might be able to complement your income with profits from working in a job you’re passionate about on the side.
Do you really have to love it?
A meaningful job doesn’t always have to be one that you love. It could be one that allows you to do the things you want to do instead. Perhaps this takes form in extra vacation time, flexible hours or other perks. Perhaps the actual functions you perform on the job aren’t exactly what you love to do but you’re passionate about the cause of the company or organisation you work for.
What are you good at?
The skills you already have and the activities you’re good at can play a big part in what you’ll actually enjoy doing for work. It’s hard to find a job satisfying if meeting the job’s requirements feels like a constant struggle. Think about how you can apply the skills you already have to benefit your career and get where you’d like to be. And of course, always strive to better your skills and knowledge while you’re fulfilling your dreams.
Have you tried it?
Test it out before you jump into a role you’re not entirely familiar with because you might find that it’s not as good as you thought it would be. Even if you’ve been thinking about it for years, you’ll never know it’s for you unless you try it. I have a friend who worked in an office for years. He loved the gym and always dreamt of working as a personal trainer. After being made redundant from a well-paying desk job, he thought this was the perfect opportunity. He studied for a few months, received his qualification and started working as a trainer right away. What he didn’t consider was the 5am starts, late nights and Saturday morning marathons he had to attend. The salary dropped significantly, which didn't help either. After a few months, he was offered a great job at a large corporation with a six figure salary pay so he went back to what he was good at. He always thought personal training was his dream job but it turns out he loved his office-based career all along. He liked working regular business hours, he liked the money and he liked his weekend breaks. He just couldn’t appreciate it all because he thought his dream job was something different. If he hadn’t tried it out, he never would have known.
So what are you waiting for? Find the job you've always dreamed about today!