Finding a Career You Can Love
You have goals and dreams, thoughts and ideas, that aren't at all related to the career you're in.
Work isn't something most people can avoid, but where you work and the kind of job you have are things that you can control, at least partially.
What do you like to do?
Before you start out on a career path, or before you change careers and try something different, it's worth taking the time to find out what you really like. This is an important element to identifying a career you can love.
The things you love, the things you hate, and what you're most passionate about should all be considered. For example, some people really just aren't team players. They may be very introverted, or they may just plain not care for interactions with other people that much. There's nothing wrong with that, but they'll be happier with a job where they can be by themselves more often.
To get that kind of a job, they may start their own business, work from home, or find a job that lets them telecommute at least part of the time. If they choose a job that's very interactive, they may feel frustrated, sad, stressed out, angry, or otherwise uncomfortable, and their job performance will suffer as a result of that.
Be honest with yourself, even if it means needing a career change
Be honest with yourself right from the very beginning. If you feel like a career change might be necessary, but you're not sure how or where to begin, start thinking about what sorts of things you really like to do.
What makes you actually happy?
Is it something people can get paid to do?
Not just the things you like and don't like, but your entire personality can play a big role in whether you have a job you love or not. Your personal life matters, too. If you want to be a parent and have children you can spend time with regularly during the week, a corporate job with a lot of travel involved probably isn't going to be the right thing for you.
Don't get caught in the trap of what you "should" do
Even if you're under pressure from friends or colleagues to put more time into your career, don't make changes based on what others want. Doing what you think you should do, trying to meet other people's expectations, is no way to live. You'll never be truly happy building a life that's based on what other people want for you.
Instead, think about who you are, deep down. You have goals and dreams, thoughts and ideas, that maybe aren't at all related to the career you're in. What are they? How can you make them happen? Understanding these things are an ideal foundation for identifying a career you can love.
It's never too late to find a career you can love
Don't let anyone tell you that it's too late, or you're too old, or any of those things. As long as you're alive, you have the opportunity to change things and do something more meaningful with your life and career. Some of the happiest people are those who have changed careers later in life and taken huge pay cuts so they could have more free time and less stress. They learned to live on less, and it made them happy.
Because they weren't chasing money and things they didn't care about. Instead, they were following their passion - and so can you.