Finding Work You Enjoy
Finding your Motivations
If you don't know where to look, meaning what kind of work and in which industry, first you need to gather a list of areas that you'd like to explore. You can find your niche from the following sources:
- Things you enjoy doing in your daily life
- Things you're curious about
- Things you're good at
- Problems that you want to solve either for yourself or others
- ikigai or similar books
Everyone has their own weight for each of the items above. While someone cares deeply about solving world problems, someone else is mostly driven by their curiosity. So, you need to find your own balance and don't worry if your answer is not the same as others.
The problem we're trying to solve in this stage is to identify what motivates you (aside from money) to do and enjoy the work that you're going to do.
Personally, setting long term goals doesn't work on me. By that I mean I wouldn't be motivated if I set a goal like "In 5 years I want to become X/Y/Z or have X/Y/Z". So, after a long time of struggle and fighting against the common belief that "In order to be successful, you need to have a long term goal", and after reading Consider Not Setting Goals in 2013 (I highly recommend reading this), I switched to defining areas of focus for myself instead. This switch was not something that happened overnight, but it was a gradual process that had taken a few years.
Therefore, the first step is to list down the areas that motivate you.
This is not a one time thing. We change and evolve and learn about ourselves over time. There's no definitive answer to this question. The list is constantly changing and evolving. We're not looking for final answers. We're looking for some starting points. So, don't put too much time and effort into this. Take a few hours, write down your thoughts and move on.
Finding Jobs that Match your Motivations
This wasn't a problem for me, so, most of the following is based on my hypothesis and not my experience.
Now that you have a list of areas that motivate you, we need to find jobs that match these areas, if you don't already know them. As I didn't have this problem, I can only hypothesize about the solution and I would start with the following if I wanted to solve it and would iterate from there:
- Look for social media groups and forums that are active in these areas.
- Look for and ask people in your network that are active in these areas or might know someone who is.
- Look for events and meetups that are active in these areas. Check out the material and speak to the people at these events.
- Look for companies and people that are active in the areas that you're interested in. You can find them on social media, blogs, podcasts, etc by searching via related keywords.
- Look at jobs and activities that these companies and people are doing.
- Look at career paths of people who are active in these areas.
- Look at the skills that are required for these jobs and activities.
- Look at the daily tasks that are required for these jobs and activities.
Using this material, you can assess if these jobs and activities are something that you'd like to do or not. Again, this is something that fits you and your preferences and there's no right or wrong answer. You might enjoy doing specific work in any industry, while someone else might prefer to work in a specific industry regardless of the work they're doing.