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By Kim S. — Published May 21, 2018
Deriving meaning as well as happiness from work is critical to living a productive life. Loving what you do involves both being happy as well as finding meaning in your work. Two-thirds of U.S. employees hate their jobs and are disengaged, as per the Gallup study of 2017.
A recent survey by the Energy Project interviewed more than twelve thousand workers across various industries and companies to see how many loved their jobs. The researchers found that at least 50% of participants did not find their work meaningful. Lack of engagement at work can be harmful to both the employee as well as the company, impacting morale, productivity, customer satisfaction and much more.
When people love their work, it boosts their productivity. A study at the University of Warwick found that people who love their jobs are 12% more productive, while also being more creative, collaborative and effective.
If you are stuck in a job that is not meaningful, here are some ways to find a job you love.
Brush up your qualification: Review your education and qualifications and compare them to the current market requirements. With the onset of technology and data disruption, there is a demand for new skills and competencies relevant to your field of work. Upgrading your knowledge and skills with professional certifications in programming, learning new languages, leadership or communication skills can help move you up the ladder. It could also be a hobby that you had previously pursued and have a certification in such as yoga, diving, dancing. Any of these can become your second career choice if you are passionate about them.
Look at your experiences: Think about the life experiences you have had including voluntary work you had done, organizations you are part of or your social roles of being a pet owner or parent. If you love animals, joining an NGO that supports animal welfare or opening a pet shelter could be your real calling. Similarly, if you love children, opening a day care center or teaching at the local school could be other options.
Leverage special skills: If you have a unique skill, whether it is cooking, baking, listening skills or writing, it is important to note them down to see if any of these can be the stepping stones for your second career.
Find your passion: Think about what makes your creative juices flow or boosts your excitement levels. It could be the thought of baking a cake, gardening, taking care of a pet, opening your own food stall or teaching. Review professional or personal activities that instilled a sense of fulfillment and meaning and see if there were any common factors with all of these. Ask yourself if you are the happiest when working with others or when you work independently.
Assess the industry options: Based on your notes on the above, use a validated assessment tool such as Kolbe’s personality assessment tool to find out which jobs will suit you the best. The Kolbe test involves administering a trilogy of tests. The A Index is about how a candidate would tackle problems at work and adapt while B index captures the expectations and interests of the candidate. A comparison of both these indices denotes what will be the ideal job and what job roles are not suitable for. The third index captures the energy and enthusiasm for a particular job role
Review the qualifications or skills required to get the job that matches your preferences. Consult a professional career counselor to understand what options exist in the industry or job role that you are interested in. Joining relevant professional or social organizations can be a great way to learn more about your career options.