Finding a career you love is a lot easier said than done. As students, we’re expected to pick a major, go to school for four years and then find a job we might enjoy—all before we’re even old enough to drink. If you’re still unsure about your career after all of that, just know you’re not alone.
Landing a job in a field that pays well, offers first-rate benefits and brings happiness simultaneously is not a simple task. With pressure from friends, family and society, it’s easy to get stuck in an unsatisfying job. If you’re looking to fall in love with your career rather than despise its existence, here are some ways to find that passion in life.
DON’T MAKE MONEY AN ISSUE
Making money should never be the primary goal in your career search. While it is important to be financially secure, constantly focusing on salary will result in a job that is more about money and less about happiness. While it might be tempting to stay in your situation because of the paycheck, it’s never the right reason to stay. If you love doing something else, then it will be rewarding in more ways than one.
IF YOU’RE NOT HAPPY—LEAVE
Just because you’re good at your job doesn’t mean it’s the right job for you. If you feel unappreciated at your place of employment, it’s time to reevaluate. It’s OK to quit without a plan, because instead of daydreaming about a new line of work, you have no choice but to find a new one. It might be scary not knowing what’s next, but with all of that free time it’ll be easier to focus on what’s to come.
LEARN WHAT YOU LOVE
If the only reason to work is to pay the bills, you’re doing it wrong. It’s all comes down to curiosity and motivation. Try to think back to what motivates you—like forgotten childhood passions or old hobbies—and convert those into this new occupation. Does baking your grandma’s famous apple pie make you nostalgic? Do you consider yourself a dedicated yogi? Take those small joys in life and transform them into a livelihood. Sometimes, the perfect career is right in front of you.
CONSULT WITH A COLLEAGUE
If you have no clue what you should do next, look to the people around you. Whether that’s a work partner, your best friend, a significant other or your mom, chances are they’ve observed what makes you happy in life. Sit down and ask them what they think motivates you. Even if you might not agree, talking with loved ones might result in some new ideas you wouldn’t have come up with on your own.