Pavarotti was someone who LOVED his work. I always got the sense that he was doing just exactly what he wanted to do. He knew his gift, he knew what pleasure it brought to others, and that brought him great joy. Does that describe your work life? Do you LOVE what you do? Does it bring you and others joy?
I read an article recently by Nancy Werteen that speaks to this very topic. In her article, she speaks to the subject of doing work you love, that allows you to take the big step and make your career one of joy and satisfaction. How often have you heard someone say, "I hate Mondays" or "I dread going to work every day". Most of us have something we'd love to be doing. Many of us spend a lot of time thinking about it. But just thinking. That was me for several years. But slowly, over time, I came to see that there was no choice. Taking that risk, making the move, BELIEVING in what I knew, in my core, was my true vocation, was the only choice I had.
My tagline is 'Dream It, Believe It, Achieve It'. It's at the heart of my work with clients. I believe everyone has a sense of what they'd really like to do with their lives. Often, when meeting with a client working through this challenge, I'll ask, "If money, education, all obstacles were removed, what would you do with your life?" It may be a challenge to answer that question, but I believe you can come up with an answer. And that answer can lead you to the freedom they seek. Yes, freedom. When you've found the work you want to do, that makes you leap out of bed every day eager to get to work, it doesn't feel like work. It makes you happy and being happy, contributes to your wellness. I know many people like myself, who LOVE their work and the joy and satisfaction it gives them. We all know what contributes to wellness: a healthy diet, exercise, and less stress. The latter is where being in the right job for you can really have an impact. If you're not stressed from work, you sleep better, you avoid binge eating from frustration, you might even avoid that after work alcoholic beverage. In other words, if you love your work and you're happy doing it, it can have a very beneficial impact on your wellness.
I love this idea of career wellness. So, how does one get there? Werteen's article spells out the starting touch points well, so I won't repeat them here. What I would like to share are the first steps that I think are critical to getting started.
1. Skills. What is it you do well? What is the work that would involve that skill? Spend the time simply collecting your thoughts, writing them down and taking inventory.
2. Values. If your work is not aligned with your values, you will never be happy, content, or successful. So take the time to identify your top 5-10 values. Those that are key to who you are and how you want to live your life. Your work life should match the values you hold for your personal life. They are NOT independent of one another.
3. Workstyle. What is your preferred workstyle? Alone? In a team? At home? In an office? These are all very important things to know about yourself. Do you like to work evenings, weekends or a regular 9-5?
4. Lifestyle. What? We're talking lifestyle while we're talking work? Absolutely! If it's important to you that you are home evenings with your family, or have time mid-day to work out, or anything else that is key to your happiness, you want to ensure the work you choose doesn't get in the way. So, yes, take your lifestyle into account. If you love living in the country, how can you find a way to work that allows you to do that?
So, start there. Figure out these essential elements of who you are. If you struggle with these tasks, find a career coach. We all have assessment tools we use to help you collect your thoughts, review them and we'll help you figure out your answers.
Once you have this information, it will lead you to the next step of determining what you should do with the rest of your life. For to do so, you'll have your work aligned with your life, you'll do better work, you'll be happier, and those around you will benefit.
Andrea's passion is to see you achieve your dreams. Whether you are a corporate leader seeking leadership development for your employees or an individual seeking life and career changes, she will coach you to success.