I recently read an article that said, don’t follow your passions.
I almost passed out. That’s stuff from the 1950’s. Ignore how you feel and just do the work. You can just be happy after you retire.
How well has that worked for people over the last 80 years?
Just look at the people in your community who enjoy their careers. They enjoy their work because they care about the results.
How often have you tried to do something you thought would be fun, but it ended up feeling like drudgery?
I had a friend who was a really good writer. He hit some literary success, but he hated it. He did it because his father was a writer and he was encouraged to be a writer himself. He knew how to construct a good sentence, article, and book, but the passion wasn’t there.
One night he told me, “If I have to write another godforsaken article, I’m going to scream!”
How many times have you told this to yourself about an email, or an Excel spreadsheet, or taking an order from a customer, or a request from a boss?
My friend took a sabbatical from writing just to see what would happen. He paid off his debt, was recently divorced, didn’t have kids, and had saved a bit of money (this last part is most important).
An what he did was find different ways to play.
He tried woodworking, web design, travel writing, consulting, party planning, video editing, cooking, and a few other ways to “play”. He had fun with each one, but one especially called out to him.
After 3 months he went back to writing, and he hated it. So he made a difficult choice about his happiness and his career.
He decided to pursue more happiness and let the dominoes fall where they may.
The one thing that was more than fun for him during his sabbatical was web design. He had always dabbled in Photoshop and coding, but never really pursued it. So on the weekends he stopped writing, and worked on web design instead. And he put a website up and started to promote his web design services.
He told a few friends that he was transitioning his career to something that was more exciting for him, and I helped him with his connection strategies. He built up his portfolio and began to land a client here and there. He got a few more clients each month, and within 18 months, he transitioned his career from writing to web design. He was earning 2/3rds of the income that he had made as a writer for hire, but he was much happier.
You have every right to feel excited about the work that you do too!
But first you need to ask yourself one big question:
What could you be doing right now to feel happier in your current career?
It doesn’t have to be life-changing actions, you don’t need to take a sabbatical or quit your job, it can be very small actions that you can build upon.
Do you want to have a conversation with your boss about expectations to get you both closer to being “on the same page”?
From Goals to Projects
I like to think of any resume builder as a project. If I turn it into a goal I get all stressed out. A project is a fun experiment that I can try for a month and see how it helps my career. If it doesn’t I try a different project.
Can you create a project on the weekends that will help you add skills to your career?
It’s easier to coast along in your career and complain about how it’s not fun or what you want to be doing. If you want your career to bring you more happiness, you have to think about it and “own” it. Yes, it does take time, but could be very attainable in as little time as the next 30 days with a special guide I’ve developed.
And I’m not talking about big strides to attaining career happiness. It’s about little steps that get you closer to happiness on a monthly, weekly, or daily basis.
It starts with figuring out and then following your passions, and then mixing in your strengths and allowing yourself to let go of expectations and just get in “the zone”…that special place of focus where time doesn’t exist. This is the core process that will help you “unlock your career happiness” because it starts with your core needs.
You never know what is possible in your life until you start working on or for something you truly care about. Learn how to unlock your own career happiness with a little help from my guide coming out very soon.
At least, that is my belief. Have you seen the same opportunities happen because you’ve put focused energy into a new project that you cared about?