What if You Don’t Love What You Do?

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Have you ever had that realization that you hate your profession?

I’m not talking about dissatisfaction with your job, just that unfulfilled feeling you may get when you think about what it is you actually do.

Whether you’re a lawyer, writer, accountant, teacher, entrepreneur, or whatever else, you’ve probably felt this before. And it’s terrifying, isn’t it?

As human beings, we want to make sure that every move we make is going to shape into something desirable as our lives march on. Most of us are well aware that the decisions we make in our 20s will influence the rest of our lives.

After all, most of our “big” decisions happen in our 20s. Who will I marry? What career do I choose? When will I have kids? Will I take out a mortgage?

See what I mean?

No matter where you fall in your lifetime, however, you’re likely to have doubts about what you do. In college, most people switch their majors 2 or 3 times before landing on the one they want. We typically pick the first job that is offered to us without really acknowledging the trajectory of that career.

If you’re at the point where you don’t love what you do, then what can you do?

Should you pack up and leave? Go back to school? Is a shot at more happiness worth sacrificing stability?

I can’t answer all of those questions in a blog post, but what I can do is challenge you to do several things. 

First, if you are having strong doubts, figure out where they are coming from. There’s a difference between being tired of your job and feeling unfulfilled from your career. Boredom is a relatively easy fix if you are willing to shift roles in the career you already have (working to get promoted, looking for a new job in the same profession, etc.)

If you’re feeling unfulfilled, then you really don’t have as many “easy” options. For some, switching careers would be the best bet, but may require extra education. At that point, you have to ask yourself what your happiness is worth. If you have a lot of responsibilities, such as children and a spouse, then they are likely to come before your ambitions, depending on the circumstances.

In some cases, the solution can be a lot easier than you think. Sometimes, taking what you’re good at and using it in a different sector of work, such as the nonprofit sector, is a way to gain fulfillment from your job without becoming unemployed.

As someone who actually has shifted from corporate to nonprofit, I can say that the difference between doing PR for each is drastically different. And this was a shift instead of repentance.

I don’t know what’s right for you, and I clearly don’t have the experience to speak on anyone’s behalf. All I can say is that honest questions and communication between yourself and your loved ones is the only real way you can decisively structure or restructure your life’s path.

Good luck to you all!

Like what you read? Connect with me further via twitter @JonNegroni. I’ll follow back if you seem like a real person. You can also subscribe to this blog by clicking the “follow” button in the top-left corner.

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2 thoughts on “What if You Don’t Love What You Do?

  1. I’m reading So Good that They Can’t Ignore You which seems to offer good advice. The author’s thesis is that ideal jobs are rare and therefore valuable. To obtain one, you need to have rare and valuable skills to be able to work your way into a rare and valuable job. Therefore, figure out which skills you can develop until you are “So Good That They Can’t Ignore You” and parlay that into your ideal job. Instead of following your passion, build you skills and use those to make your job into an ideal one.

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