Find what you love, and what you love will lead you to the talents you must use if you’re to be fufilled. Your dream job really is that close…
When I was preparing to leave school to go to university, I had a conversation with my father about which subject I should study. He had pursued a very practical degree – chemistry – and turned that into not just one, but two successful careers: first as an industrial chemist, and then as a teacher. I wondered if I should perhaps do something similarly vocational? How could I make sure I came out of my time at university and landed a dream job?
He gave me some great advice: “Don’t study a subject you think will land you a dream job; study something you enjoy instead.”
He’s wise, my dad. He understood something very important - namely, that skills and aptitudes can be learned and developed when you need them, but talents are inherent and must be respected and worked with from the outset. He also understood that the things we enjoy most are our best indicators of where our own talents lie. And of course, if we’re studying something we enjoy, our chances of sticking with it are greatly increased.
Now, years later, I’m very glad that I didn’t go down the path of trying to develop a set of skills just for the sake of finding a particular job. I met several people during my studies who had done exactly that, and most of them either dropped out of their university course, or saw it through only to end up in a less-than-satisfactory job afterwards. Of course, that doesn’t happen to everyone who takes a skills-based approach to the job hunt, but it certainly happens to many who don’t pay attention to or pursue what they love.
Much of my coaching work centres around helping people to find their “vital vocation” – their calling to do something that’s based on their keen interests, deepest desires, and powerful enthusiasms. When they find it (and they invariably do) it can lead to great things. Not always to a new job, though. Not everyone can or should make a living doing what they love – it’s not always possible, just ask most artists – but everyone must find and do what they love if they want to be truly fulfilled and happy.
(Incidentally, those who don’t earn a living at doing what they love need to find a “good enough job” that pays the bills and leaves them with enough time to do what they love outside of work. That still counts as finding a vital vocation in my book, and I’ve helped many clients to do this, too. A dream job can be that simple, sometimes.)
Don’t you sometimes wish you knew what your purpose was? Have you ever wished your life came with an instruction manual? Wouldn’t that make things so much simpler, because then you’d know what direction to take at any given moment? Well, think of what you love as a pointer to your gifts and talents, and think of your talents as being as close to an instruction manual for “you” as you’re ever going to get. Follow the simple directions: find what you love, and what you love will lead you to a life you love and to your dream job.
By the way, building a life around what you love isn’t as selfish as it might sound. In fact, it isn’t selfish at all. Uncovering and using your talents may well be the most important thing you can do for humanity. Who knows what you might uncover, and who knows what it might do for the world? And anyway – if you don’t bring these gems out into the world, who’s going to do it for you?
As this BlogBook develops, I’ll be taking you through a process which will enable you to find your own dream job – your vital vocation. By exploring your past, your imagination, the viewpoints of other people, and even your unconscious mind, we’ll build up a picture of you unlike any you’ve ever seen before – a picture of what nature designed you to do. Believe me, it’s a wild ride!
If you know of anyone else who would benefit from a trip into their own talents – be sure to invite them to this blog, so that they can find their vital vocation too…