5 Steps to Create the Job You Love (podcast)

create the job you love
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When I finished college I was excited to “find” the job I loved.  My friends and I interviewed around at different companies as we approached graduation in hopes of a steady paycheck and a great start to our careers.

Looking back, everyone was talking about finding a job, but no one was having the conversation about creating one.  I don’t even mean in an entrepreneurial sense (that would have really blown our minds at the time). I’m talking about creating the right fit for your passion, capabilities, and the needs of an organization.  It was so far outside of our mindset that it wasn’t even on our radar.

Note that the word “find” already showed a limiting belief that would haunt me for years.  I believed that the job I loved was out there waiting, so my efforts were highly directed towards researching, networking, and interviewing.  Skills that I got good at, but in the end were insufficient for creating the job I love.

Your Job is to Create the Job You Love

If I were to send a message to myself back in college it would say:

Dear Ben,

The job you love doesn’t exist.  Your real job is to go create the one you love.

Yours Truly,

Ben

PS:  Sometimes you’re going to think you have to quit, but you’d often be better off staying and making things better.

This would have been a pretty empowering speech if someone had read that simple message to us on graduation day.  Unfortunately (or fortunately depending on how you look at it :)), I had to learn the hard way, and I didn’t get the message until over a decade later.

The Importance of Creating the Job You Love

Creating the job you love is probably one of the most important things you can do.   Imagine a work day where you’re fully engaged and performing with maximum impact and playing “in the pocket” or “sweet spot“.

I define creating the job you love as:

“Consistently taking action to align your work activities and environment to bring out your best. “

When you embrace this challenge:

  • You are far more engaged in your work day (note that only 13% of employees are engaged at work so I believe this approach gives you a competitive edge),
  • You have greater determination and patience to persevere
  • You ultimately experience more control over your own destiny.

5 Steps to Creating the Job You Love

To create the job you love, start with these 5 steps:

  1. Start Where You Are – Avoid getting caught up in the quitting fantasy.  Focus your energy on making your current job one that’s worth investing your time, energy, and resources in. You’ll continue to develop where you are, and you’ll be even more prepared for the next opportunity.
  2. Know Thyself – Every job you have is your self-learning ground.  Utilize your current work day to understand more about your own strengths and what work activities energize you.
  3. Develop Your Job Creation Skills – “Finding” a job requires the skills of researching, networking, and interviewing. However don’t neglect the development of the skills required to create the job you love like work-life integration, negotiating, connecting, and seeing the bigger picture.
  4. Identify other Creators – Identify those in your organization who are creating their jobs.  They can be excellent collaborators and allies in your own career journey.  Make a conscious choice to spend time with them by volunteering on a project or just simply striking up a conversation.  Speaking from experience it can be tough to go it alone.  If you’re not having luck within your own organization, build your support group else where.
  5. Give Yourself Permission – By giving yourself permission to create the job you love, you’ll be open to the possibilities as they emerge in your career. There can be pressure just to jump to the next thing every time a recruiter calls.  The end state for creating the job you love could be at a different organization; but it also could be reinvention of your current role or just some minor tweaks.

So have you created or tried to create the job you’d love?  I’d love to hear your story!

Ben

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