Is your career about duty or pleasure?

Why do you work? To make money? Or because you’re doing something that you love?

Not all of us get to do work that we love. If we’re lucky, we don’t do work that we hate.

Here’s my idea of what you should do to move your career forward.

Take a job that pays enough and stimulates you.

Do everything you can to succeed in that job.

As you work, monitor yourself closely. Which parts of the job excite you? Which are you good at?

Learn more about those parts of the job. If necessary, change positions or change jobs to do more of those things.

Repeat until you are closer and closer to doing what you love.

Because if you are doing what you love, you will do it well, it will take less energy, and make you feel more fulfilled.

No matter what you are doing, there is an option to take these steps. You can always make it better.

Where does duty come in? It is your duty to do the best you can in the job you have. But unless you are aware of the parts of the job that stimulate you, it won’t get any better. Company loyalty only goes so far. Companies won’t take care of you, you must take care of yourself.

Here’s a video that explains that better than I ever could.

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One Comment

  1. A Job is just a means to an end, a vocation in life however is not simply something we do because we love it (even if we do), it’s purpose is to find a place in society and create an identity for ourself and a life worth living. Our vocation in life maybe to create a family, care for others, create art and entertainment for others to enjoy or to ponder the bigger questions about society and why we do what we do as a community.

    I enjoy your without bull shit articles and I’m a big fan of Alain DeBotton but it’s worth being aware his philosophy is only an introduction to concepts that seek to make people reflect on the deeper questions. In this presentation his message to unleash our unique individual characteristics in our work rather than blindly follow a path of duty is a popular message and one that will resonate with positivist sentimentality but should also be viewed in context with his social analysis because it then clearly suggesting a very different pathway than the popular – do what you love dribble.