We all want to make careers out of the things we love. As kids, we idolized people who were pros in the things we loved to do, whether it was celebrity chefs, race car drivers, singers, astronauts or teachers.
Not everyone gets the opportunity to have their childhood dream career, but nevertheless, we should all strive to find a job that we are happy doing. Unfortunately, after years doing the same thing, the joy can fade, and you’re left feeling dissatisfied with your job and career.
Here are some tips on combating that – or making sure it never comes to it at all.
1. Don’t Stop Learning
If you’re feeling like you are stuck in place and you don’t have a chance to progress in your career, the chances are that you’ve stopped learning. It’s not at all uncommon, and when the busy lifestyle takes over, there’s very little time to spare for further education and improvement. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it.
You have to understand that you’re not just learning so that you can have a better job or a better salary. You’re learning because it opens new horizons and lets you explore all the things you never thought possible. You don’t even have to start learning something that relates closely to your job. Just pick up a new skill or hobby that will make you feel like you are progressing in life and building yourself up.
There is nothing wrong with wanting to improve yourself, so never stop learning.
Yes, exercise, even if your work has absolutely nothing to do with your physical abilities. It will improve your ability to meet deadlines, manage your time and overall put you in a better mood.
Exercising 3-5 times per week will be very beneficial to your physical health, especially if you work a physically demanding job and if you spend most of your days at a desk. Likewise, it will do wonders for your mental health.
A good way to get some extra activity in your workday is to either squeeze in a quick workout during your lunch break. You can also do walking meetings and short strolls throughout the day.
3. Be Your Own Boss
Nobody likes a mean manager hanging over their head and micromanaging the things they do. If you have a great boss whom you have a good relationship with – great! But if you feel like you’re under someone’s watchful eye all the time and you don’t feel comfortable in that position, then perhaps it’s time to start being your own boss.
Starting your own business isn’t easy, but you can find franchise opportunities that will give you a leg up. For example, researching a mechanic business for sale or other types of work may spark some ideas of what to do. This makes the whole process much easier and will help you establish your own business while giving you exposure through a big company name.
You can also start doing freelance work of something you love, whether it’s art, technical skills or any other service you can provide. As long as you feel like you are free to make your own decisions and you feel happy – you’re doing the right thing.
Remember, a job still needs to provide a paycheck, even if you’re paying yourself. If you’re not sure your new endeavor will go perfectly, try doing it on the side for a while to make sure it’s stable enough to quit your previous job.
Keep in mind that being your own boss can be stressful and nerve-wracking, especially in the beginning, so make sure you’re ready for the commitment.
4. Remember Why You Started
It’s easy to lose the fire after some time at the same job, no matter how exciting the position might be. When this happens, it’s important to reconnect with your roots and remember the things that got you excited for the job in the first place.
Was it a certain type of projects that you used to do? If so, can you do them again? Was it the opportunity to gain new knowledge, and can you continue learning something new? Maybe it was a previous position, one with a less fancy title, without an office or a smaller salary – but still, one you enjoyed doing more?
It’s important to find why you once loved your job because you’re going to be doing it for a long time to come. You need to find out what inspired you in the first place.
Even if you’ve never felt particularly in love with your job, there is always something you can look forward to. Perhaps it’s your colleagues, whom you share tea and lunch breaks with, and who have grown to be close friends, or perhaps it’s working with people who really need your help and feeling their gratitude.
If you can’t find anything that makes you happy at your workplace, then it’s probably time to move on to a different company or consider a career change.
It’s important to be able to tell the difference between not being happy at your current workplace and not being happy with your career choice. This will tell you what you need to change in order to move forward into a happier work life.