Do you love your job? I hope you do! Unfortunately, studies have shown that a majority of people do not find their job to be rewarding. This is a troubling fact when you think about the amount of time people spend working. Working and commuting account for nearly 50% of your waking hours during a normal week. If 50% of your time is engaged in an activity that you don't find rewarding it is difficult to have an overall positive life. You simply don't have enough time to compensate in your personal time for the negatives you experience at work.
The first step to correcting the problem is to ask yourself a few key questions and make decisions based on them:
What things do you do that make you happy?
What things don't make you happy?
Is there any way that the things that make you happy can generate revenue?
What is your propensity for risk?
The answers to these questions will tell you a lot about yourself and a lot about the type of job that you should have. Many people think that in order to do what makes them happy they need take on a large amount of risk. Sometimes this is true, but there are also ways to find a job that you can truly be passionate about without taking on a lot of risk.
For many of you reading this, the answer to "what makes you happy" will likely involve spending time with animals. Working with pets and their owners allows you to make a direct impact on people's lives and is unbelievably rewarding. I can tell you first hand that not only can you feel rewarded and make a major impact on the lives of many humans and animals, but you can also make a living! There are a huge variety of jobs working with animals; veterinarian, vet tech, animal shelter/humane society staff member, dog walker, trainer, and pet sitter are just a few that come to mind. Of course each of these jobs requires a different background and overall amount of effort to achieve. This ties directly into your propensity for risk. Some of the jobs you could start off doing with very little risk, others however require taking a much bigger plunge into the unknown. Keep in mind that very often your tolerance for risk will directly impact the amount of income you can end up generating for yourself. For example, a practicing veterinarian will likely make much more money than the average pet sitter. However, going to vet school requires a large investment of both time and money and therefore increases your risk.
When trying to find a job that they can be passionate about people often stumble on one of two steps. The first one is simply getting started. Inertia doesn't work in your favor here! It is far easier to keep doing what you have been doing than it is to look for something new. As mentioned above the problem with this is that you may not be happy and may be missing your dream career! The easiest way to over come this hurdle is to go slow and not go out and quit your job tomorrow. Instead, take a few moments each day after work to come up with a plan for what you are interested in doing. The second stumbling block is overcoming the fear related to the risk of change.
For this I recommend finding a way to start on your new career path slowly. If you want to be a dog sitter, open up a few hours each week to online sitting from Rover. If you want to be a vet, take a part time job in a vet's office to ensure that you like it before committing to a vet school. By reducing the total amount of risk it will make you far more likely to see things through.
Regardless of whether or not your dreams include working with animals, know that you should follow them and do a job that you truly love. In my opinion this is the way to truly live an engaging and positive life.