If your answer is no, welcome to the miserable majority. Career columnist Susan Adams at Forbes.com found out that, as of summer 2014, 52.3% of Americans were unhappy with their jobs.
That’s a lot of cranky-pants employees.
Yet how many of us know at least one person who gushes every time they mention a webinar they’re attending for work, or the latest white paper that’s come out about their company, or the new product they’re developing?
Believe it or not, there are people who have actually uttered the words, “I love my job!” and meant it.
So, how’d they do it? How did they land their dream job? How did they even know that’s what they wanted to do in life?
It’s like this magical, elusive crevice in your life’s road map where, if only you could figure out how to find it, your dream job would just appear.
You might spend years working in jobs you hate, performing tasks that eat you up inside. With bosses you fantasize about spontaneously combusting. Coworkers you want to punch in the nose.
And maybe, after some serious soul-searching, you realize, Hey, I’ve had enough of this, and it’s high time I find a new gig.
Following current logic, then, if you can figure out what really lights your passion (fixing up old motor homes, zentangle, homeopathic pet remedies?), all you need to do is get really, really good at it, and then happen upon the right person at the right time at the right place who’ll hire you do to do that thing you’re passionate about. Right?
Wendy Spies at Great Bridge Group created a great slide show prompting us to ask ourselves hard questions as we try to harness our passions and turn them into opportunities so that we can find that intersecting sweet spot which will land us the dream job.
The Harvard Business Review has a great article on the crucial role passion plays in worker productivity.
And you can read travel blogger Sabrina’s post at justonewayticket.com, where she reveals her secret to finding her ultimate gig. “I loved traveling to the point of madness,” she writes, “and I was able to channel that into a job.”
So, maybe you’re madly passionate about scrapbooking. And maybe you go to a scrapbooking event one Saturday afternoon at the local Marriott Hotel, and you chat up the lady running the show. She takes a liking to you, and suddenly you’ve been invited to work a trade show booth for her at an upcoming craft convention.
You did it! You’ve stumbled into a golden opportunity to do something you love, professionally!
But the big day comes, and you come to find out that standing around at a trade show booth is A) a volunteer gig, and B) kind of sucky.
To top it off, you bring your favorite scrapbook – say, the one you put together of your family’s summer vacation last year in Deep Creek, MD. You show it off proudly to some other scrapbook fanatics you meet there, and then they show you some of their best stuff.
And as you’re reviewing their beautifully adorned pages, suddenly it hits you like a wrecking ball to the gut: your scrapping skills are pretty lame. You just don’t have the talent for it.
But you tried. You took your passion and jumped on a great opportunity. It just turned out to be…not that awesome. You learned a tough lesson. Now what?
To help sort through this, I’ve decided to get some answers to the looming question:
How do people find their career sweet spot?
It’ll be the new framework for my Conversations With… interview series going forward, and I’m very excited about it.
I’ll find out whether opportunity+passion+talent really is the secret recipe to career success. Because I’m not fully convinced that it is. I like to think of it as one part luck, one part clever, and one part crazy. With a whole lot of hard work thrown in.
Because some people really do just happen to be in the right place at the right time.
And other people know how to work that angle to their advantage.
And then there are still others who are just wild risk-takers, brave enough to jump off a cliff and see if they land with no broken bones.
But the theme I see repeated over and over again is hard work, hard work, hard work.
So I’ll be chatting with some VIPs (Very Incredible People) who will share with us how they found, or are trying to find, their sweet spot to get them that dream job.
And I’ll ask them for advice on how you can go about finding it for yourselves.
I'll be sending out a BIG announcement coming very soon to reveal the next VIP interviewee!
Sign up for my RSS Feed at the right or follow me on Twitter to get notified when the latest Conversations With… interview is published!
Thanks, as always, for reading!