Samuel Butler, an English author, writes that we are the only animals on earth who don’t know that the principle business of life is to enjoy it.
With that in mind, I’ve got a question for you: Are you enjoying your present work? While there are enjoyable and non-enjoyable things about all types of work, the question here is whether or not you basically enjoy what you’re doing.
Here are 10 questions to see if you are enjoying your work:
1. Does your job allow you to be yourself and be true to what you value and hold most dear?
2. Does it put to good use your given personality, talents and favorite skills?
3. Does it help you make a difference by contributing to the good of others?
4. Does it allow you to express your creativity and bring something new into the world?
5. Is your job fun for you?
6. Does time often seem to pass quickly when you’re doing your job?
7. Does it provide you with enough variety so you don’t get bored?
8. Is it something that you will be happy doing later on?
9. Does it provide you with work-life balance so that you have consistent time for your spiritual life, family, play, exercise and friends?
10. Is it your heart’s desire work, something that you are passionate about doing?
If you cannot answer with a resounding, wholehearted “Yes!” to these questions, then you know it’s time for a change. It’s time to take a step or two back and begin a process of gathering the personal and other data you need to make a well-considered decision for the road ahead.
You and I know that our life’s purpose is more than just a paycheck, and that a life of meaning is not limited to a life of means. If we’re honest with ourselves, we know that we are a lot happier when we are doing something we love—when we are able to be who we are and utilize our given personality and talents for the service of others in a way that makes a difference. You agree?
Yet many of us suffer the self-imposed misery of doing unfulfilling work simply to make ends meet. We take jobs we don’t love by rationalizing to ourselves that we “have to.” In this society, though, there are very few have-tos. We can choose to do anything we want to with our time. So, are you doing what you really want and feel moved to do?
Or perhaps you've settled into a job and told yourself the biggest lie in working America: “I’ll just stay here for a year or two longer until I figure out what I really want to do.” People who say this almost always end up a year or two down the road still scratching their head. They may have a better resume, but they still haven’t gotten clear about the path that fits them to a tee.
If you’re not in a job that you love and fits you to a tee, you can either:
1. stay in that job and suffer through it
2. begin the discovery process of discerning what it is you want to do in the next phase of your life.
Whether you choose a discovery process offered by The Journeys Program that helps you discern the career direction that’s right for you, or choose to go another route, my recommendation is this: Find a way to get really clear about who you are and why you are here and from that base spend whatever time you need to discern the career path that fits you to a tee.
Our time is short on this planet as it is, so please do not waste your precious time in a job or career that is clearly not it. There’s nothing worse than squandering years of your life doing something simply because you don’t know what else to do.
So, if you feel bored, restless, depressed, angry, underutilized, unrewarded, unrecognized, or unchallenged in your current job or career, it’s time to call a spade a spade. It’s time to enter into a time of reflection to discover the truth about who you are, why you are here and what you genuinely feel moved to do next. Trust me, it will be worth every minute you spend in order to get clear and make a choice that feels right for you — that leaves you with an abiding sense of peace and joy over a good period of time.
If you want to get on the path of doing what you love, consider opening your calendar right now, look forward exactly six months, and write in the secret code: MTMT. That means "Make the Move Today!" If you don’t LOVE your job, please make a commitment to yourself RIGHT NOW, an internal resolution that you’ll do whatever it takes for six months to find a career that fits you to a tee—that no matter what, in six months, you’ll be moving on and starting something that you care deeply about and feel genuinely moved to do.
Isn’t your time and your life energy worth it? You and your family will rejoice in your new-found work and bask in the enthusiasm, joy and peace that you exude because you are doing a work you truly love.
Dave Beswick, MA, lives in Maryville, TN with his wife, 2 children and 2 dogs. He is the founder of The Journeys Program, a pathfinding program with ample one-on-one mentoring to help students and adults discover who they are (their given personality, talents, enjoyments and purpose) as the foundation for discerning the career direction that's right for them. For more information, call Dave directly at 865-661-0537.