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Why You Really Ought to Want to Love Your Work

Career Exploration Steps to Find Work You Love

So often in life, people seem to fall into jobs because one was handy or available at the right moment. Maybe you started in one position with a company hoping to move into something you liked better later. Maybe you started life as a teacher and continued to teach out of inertia or because you had so many years invested in the retirement system.

No matter your current position, every once in awhile, it’s time to assess whether the career you have created is the best career for you. Recognizing that there are certain economic and social realities, think about where you’d really like to spend the time of your life. These steps will help you explore and find work you really love.

Spend Some Thinking Time to Know Yourself
Take time on your vacation or on a long weekend to devote exclusively to ask yourself some tough questions. Do you get to do what you like to do at work every day? Does your job match your values and make a difference? Do you make the money you need to achieve your goals?

Does your career provide the work-life balance you desire? Do you love your work or is there another type of work you’d prefer? Be honest with yourself and if you answer these questions negatively, it’s time to explore further.

One exercise that I have found particularly useful is to write down everything you want to do, accomplish, see, try, visit, and so on. If your current career will allow you to accomplish these goals, okay. But it’s not okay, if you don’t have a shot at getting what you want from life.

Read Career Books and Do the Exercises
Here are several excellent career exploration books. Take time to read several of the books and do the exercises recommended by the authors. Think of it as guided career exploration to discover work you will love.

From Susan M. Heathfield, Your Guide to Human Resources.

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