“Do what you love, love what you do.” You’ve heard this quote countless times, but that doesn’t make following it any easier. And when you’re wading through the daily drudgery of your nine-to-five job, it can feel like nothing more than a meaningless platitude. But the truth is, having a job you find engaging isn’t a fantasy—as long as you know how to get there. Here are a few steps you can take to find more fulfillment in what you do.
1. Consider your own perspective.
Before we dive in, take a hard look in the mirror to consider whether your pessimistic expectations are influencing your situation. Chances are, if you have a negative outlook on work in general, honestly believing that it’s impossible to find your passion, you won’t ever feel fulfilled. Even a change of jobs won’t help you find fulfillment if you aren’t open to the possibility of happiness in the workplace—so be careful to approach things with a positive perspective.
2. Sit down for an interview.
Specifically, you’ll be interviewing with yourself! Before you can take your next steps, think through these big-picture questions to get a general idea of what you want:
- What enjoyable activities make you lose track of time?
- What issues inspire you?
- What problems do you enjoy solving?
These questions can help you understand where you want to go from here—and how far your current situation is from your ideal situation. Once you’ve tackled the big-picture questions, consider a few smaller ones:
- What kinds of things do you enjoy doing at your current job?
- How can you start doing more of these things?
Depending on your answers, you may find it possible to pivot from your current position toward projects you find more fulfilling without changing your job. On the other hand, you may find that no aspects of your current job spark passion in you—which is fine as well! Knowing this can help you step into a more fulfilling, awesome job in the future.
3. Reach for new opportunities.
Anyone would feel bored doing the same things every day, but sometimes our work culture forces that situation onto us. If this is the case, try to switch things up. This is often as simple as a conversation with your superior asking for responsibilities more aligned with your interests. Paradoxically, feeling adequately challenged every day can make you feel happier and more engaged in the long run. If, on the other hand, you’ve decided to reshape your career, start reaching for opportunities outside of your current job. Network with people in your desired field, join professional organizations and get involved with the related hobby and volunteer groups in your community. These opportunities can help you test out your passion before you take the plunge on a career change.
Whether you need a few small tweaks to your current role or a total career change, move forward boldly. It’s always going to feel safer to keep doing what you’ve always done—but safety won’t help you follow your passion. Instead, commit yourself fully to finding the fulfillment you deserve and start to love what you do!