You can spend 40 hours a week doing something you love or that you hate. Here are some tips to find or create work you love.
The Washington Post tells us that 87% of us hate what we do for work. The stats also say that only 27% of graduates will find a job in their major. That’s a good portion of our society that wakes up every day depressed about heading into a job they can’t stand or doesn’t fulfill them.
We live in a time when our economy is recovering and “good jobs” are hard to find. The days of working at a job for 40 years and retiring with a solid pension are over. It’s a struggle these days to find full-time work—a lot of jobs hire part-time workers so that they can avoid paying employee benefits.
Despite our circumstances today, there are a growing group of people who wake up every day excited to do “work” that is fulfilling and profitable. I am happy to be one of those people. It took three years and a lot of hustle, but I’m living my dream. I wake up every day excited to write, speak, and coach.
For 12 years, I hated what I did for work, and it affected every other area of my life. Day in and day out I dealt with a job and boss that added unbelievable stress and anger in my life. Once I broke free, it took a year to heal. I have lived what I’m talking to you about. This is the advice that helped me break free.
Your feelings are a warning sign. Don’t ignore them. You feel the way you do about your work for a reason. It’s an alarm going off that would be dangerous to ignore. The important part is discerning what kind of alarm it is. There’s a difference between having a bad day and hating your job.
Bad days happen in every “job.” Feelings from a bad day will fade away. When you wake up for days on end disgusted with what you have to do, that’s the alarm that shouldn’t be ignored. Take some time to acknowledge those feelings and what about your job makes you feel that way. That’s the first step in identifying what you want from your work.
You have access to the information that can help you. The Internet and social media have given us unparalleled access to knowledge. If you own a smartphone, you have the wealth of the world in your palm. You can Google a job or type of work situation you want to do and get the exact steps you’ll need.
You can find or create work you enjoy. With access to knowledge comes the opportunity to find the job we want, put a plan in place to get that job, and take action on making your dream a reality. You can find creative ways to stand out and land a dream job. Will it be this simple? Probably not, but nothing that’s worth it ever is.
You can also start a dream business. Start that business online and on the side. It will keep the costs down and give you an opportunity to reach a massive potential customer base. You can grow this business to an offline location if you need to, but online business offers flexibility. The point is there is an opportunity if you’re willing to go after it.
Freedom is more important than money. Money is important in our lives. We need it to pay bills and have fun, but it shouldn’t be a crutch to stay in a job we hate because it pays well. We should strive for financial freedom that allows us to spend each day on the things that are important to the kind of life we want to live.
Money is a by-product of a life well lived, it’s not the main component. Experience and freedom are what we’ll appreciate the most as we grow older. Not how much stuff we had or how much money we accumulated. Material possessions are fleeting. Don’t stay at a job you hate just to accumulate stuff.
The biggest piece of advice I can give is: don’t wait. Life is too short to spend years of your life miserable. Those feelings will have an effect on all those around you. Once I quit my crappy job, I was able to breathe easier. I can truly appreciate life because I don’t have that anchor weighing me down.
This all starts with what you believe and what you do about that belief. If you believe nothing can change, you won’t do anything. If you believe you can and should want more from your work, you will start to take the necessary steps to freedom. I hope you choose to believe.
Photo: Flickr/ Éole Wind