Obtaining a job you are truly passionate about is gonna take some time. In the mean time, you are gonna be taking steps towards the ultimate goal and/or getting a job that pays the bills. It’s life. If it’s the latter, just because you hate your job doesn’t mean you can’t be making strides in a field you care about. Hobbies fuel creativity so keep them up and have some side projects. They’ll help keep you sane and there just may be an opportunity to turn that side gig into a full time one if you keep it up. Harvard Business Review has some sounds advice:
Start something. More specifically, start something outside of work.
It could be a new company — or at least something that could lead to starting your own company — but it also could be something artsy like writing a book, composing music or doing something for the betterment of your community (such as developing an idea for a new after-school program). Heck, it could even be something you’ve always wanted to do — like learning to play the piano or speak a new language — with absolutely no possibility of financial reward. You simply want to do it for the sheer enjoyment of it.
It doesn’t matter what it is. The key is to start, to take a small step toward what you think you want. You don’t have to make a commitment to see this fledgling notion through to the end. That would be silly — you simply don’t know if this new thing is something that you are really going to like.
The key is to get moving without much cost (either in time or in any other resource.) As with all new ventures, you want to stay within your acceptable loss.
Once you take that small, inexpensive step, see what you’ve learned. If you’re happy with the results, take another step toward your goal. Pause again to see what you’ve learned this time and, if it feels right, go take another step.
How is this going to make you happier at your job? That’s simple. Some of the enthusiasm you have for your outside venture is going to carry over into your work. Making progress on things you care about elevates your mood. You’ll come to work pleased with yourself and you’ll be less dour. Guaranteed. That could be enough to get you out of your funk — which is certainly a good thing both for you, your colleagues and your company.
And if it doesn’t cure your job fatigue, or it doesn’t for long, that’s not necessarily bad, either. By taking the step toward creating something outside of work, you have done two things, both of them good:
First, you may have started down the road that could lead to you starting your own business.
Second, because you have done it, you are in the process of proving to yourself that you know how to create something new. That will be a valuable skill to have no matter what you do next — start your own company, look for a new job or try to carve out a new sort of position in your current company.
Of course, there is an alternative, and you’ve probably met this person before. It’s the person who tells you about all the things they might do, but who never seems to take the first step toward any of their goals. You offer an idea. You offer encouragement and support. But nothing happens. Somehow this person seems more comfortable and even (ironically) pleased with dreaming about possibilities while remaining unhappy.
The remedy for this malaise is simple (although not often taken). It is to act. Every action causes a change in reality. Every action carries the potential for learning. Learning about your next step. Learning about what you like or don’t like. Every act can build momentum. Small desires grow. A small talent or expertise can be developed and honed. Before you know it, you can be on a new course. But only if you act.
So, as counter-intuitive as it seems, to be more excited about your job, go do something great outside of it.
(image via ListVerse)