You finally have it all figured out. You have a fancy job in the niche you specialize in. You’re getting paid what you want and deserve to get paid. You love what you do!
Doing what you love isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Trust me, I should know!
For years, I had a cushy corporate job in the field I majored in. I made good money. But I wasn’t happy! I never had time with my husband or son, spent way too many hours commuting to and from work, and found myself depressed and frustrated.
So what was going wrong? I was supposed to be ecstatic about what I was doing… right?
It took a big change in my life for me to realize that, maybe, “do what you love” isn’t always sound career advice.
You’ll have days when you need to make big, stressful decisions, days when you need to focus on tedious tasks that you’d rather outsource, and days when you have to have uncomfortable conversations with your clients or team.
Doing what you love is challenging and a lot of hard work. The advice is always given with good intentions, but a lot of people don’t realize that it isn’t always glamorous!
Luckily, I’ve been through enough to give you better guidance than that.
These are the 5 questions you should seriously ask yourself if the job you love isn’t feeling all that lovely.
1. Do I Have the Right Relationship With My Job?
Of course, everyone has to work to pay the bills (well, at least most of us do). But the way you feel about your job could be way different than that of your colleagues, friends, or bosses!
Most people have one of these three relationships with their job:
- It’s just a job: your job is a means to an end; you work to pay the bills, go home, and pursue your interests on your own time
- Gotta keep movin’ on up: your achievement is tied to your upward mobility at work; you see this as more of a career than just a job
- My job is my identity: you see your job as an extension of yourself, your passions, and your alignments
It’s possible that your job isn’t really jiving with the relationship you’d like to have with it. If that’s the case, think about exactly what success looks like for you. Do you want your job to fulfill you? Will you dread doing the work each day? How important are these things to you?
Could your current job meet this criterion someday?
If your job is just a job for you, that’s okay too. A lot of people fit into this category. Pursuing your passions outside of the workplace can lead you to eventually doing what you love professionally.
2. Does My Job Keep Me Productive?
An important question a lot of people don’t think about asking themselves is how their work affects their energy.
If you’re finding yourself constantly doing things that drain you, stop for a second and think about how much of your time is spent doing things that zap your energy and leave you feeling unmotivated to continue. This includes time procrastinating!
You don’t want to spend more than half of your time working on tasks that either bore or overwhelm you.
A job you love should make you feel inspired and eager! You’re not going to feel like this 100% of the time, but the more time you spend doing things that make you feel productive, the more you’ll enjoy what you do.
3. Am I Fulfilled by My Job’s Mission?
Though it’s not exactly necessary that your ideals are aligned with those of the clients or company you work with, it’s a very big part of growing to love your job.
My mission as CEO of Virtual Assistant Internship is to help women (and men!) work from home. It’s something I’m incredibly passionate about, and one of the reasons I enjoy what I do so much. I’m sure the team behind VAI could say the same thing!
Being able to find meaning in what you do, and work with people who feel the same, really gives you that feeling of community and commitment that most jobs don’t have.
This could also come in handy when you’re having a rough time and thinking of throwing in the towel. When you truly feel that your job’s mission is fulfilling to you, it can be so much easier to work past the hard stuff.
4. Does My Job Help Me Grow?
The last thing you want is to be stuck in a stagnant job, doing the same thing over and over again, day after day.
They do say variety is the spice of life for a reason!
I’ve found that jobs in which I’m constantly learning new things have been the ones that fulfill me the most. That’s one of the wonderful things about being a VA! You’re a jack of all trades, constantly picking up skills and furthering your education.
Your job should challenge you, but only if it’s in a way that benefits you.
Growing can be uncomfortable. You’re gonna have to do things you end up hating. You’re gonna stay up super late working on that new course you enrolled in. You’ll cry or get frustrated because you just can’t get that one thing right.
But remember: if at the end of the day, after all the hard work, you come out the other side better than before, it was all worth it!
Your job can also help you grow into your niche. If you work in the type of environment that encourages cross-training, don’t be afraid to ask to learn something new!
Take advantage of the opportunity. Not only do you become a rockstar who can do it all, but you can also find your specialty in the process.
5. Is It Time to Change My Job?
So you’ve asked yourself all of these questions and you’re thinking, “Now what? How is any of this going to help me love my job?”
Look back at your answers to the previous four questions.
- If you answered yes to 4 out of 4, congrats! Your job will become something you love to do if it isn’t already.
- If you answered yes to 3 out of 4, you’re on the right track. With a few adjustments, this could become a job you love.
- If you answered 2 or less out of 4, don’t panic! If you’re in the position to do so, you may want to think about a change.
Always remember: it’s perfectly normal to shop around for your dream job.
Bonus Tip: How Do I Start Looking for a Job I Love?
It can be so difficult to find the thing you love doing. It’s a struggle we all go through at one point or another in our lives, and that’s okay!
Try to reframe the search this way instead:
- What am I good at?
- What do I enjoy?
- What do I find interesting?
Think of the jobs you’re doing now as gathering information. As you go through them, you’ll start discovering what you like and don’t like, hopefully leading you to your dream job.
Keep in mind that even when you find something you like, it might involve doing other things that you don’t. It’s not always going to be wonderful and glamorous, but it’s going to help you find your way.
There is no shame in trying different things out! Be mindful of your passions and you’ll get there eventually.
No job is going to be absolutely perfect. When all is said and done, work is still work, but loving what you do isn’t impossible.
Some of you may already be heading in the right direction. If that’s the case, good on you! Keep going!
But maybe some of you are considering a change. Don’t be afraid! Again, this is all just gathering information, and making changes is a part of the process.
Helping people find their dream job is the biggest reason I created 90 Day VA. I teach all the skills you need to become a virtual assistant so that you can look for, try out, and finally find that one thing you love to do.
If you’re already a VA and not really feeling your niche, I got you too! Renew your search by grabbing a ticket to the free Work From Anywhere Virtual Summit, where I speak to high-end professionals in 15 different fields about their work, their journey, and how they got started.
You’re not alone in looking for your dream job. If you’re having a hard time starting out, check out my FREE Masterclass!