09 Mar 2017
In this blog, I'm going to curate for you a YouTube video from The School of Life called, "How to Find Fulfilling Work".
The School of Life is both a YouTube channel and a real-life school with campuses around the world. They describe what they are about as being, "wisdom, emotional intelligence and self-understanding".
In this video, The School of Life provide some valuable answers to one of the key questions for a satisfying life: how do I find a job and career that will make me happy?
The video starts by making the point that the need to find fulfilling work is a relatively recent concept. In the industrial age, work was done purely as a means of making a living. In fact, the word, "fulfillment", didn't even exist in the past. Look for it in Dr Samuel Johnson's dictionary of 1755, and you won't find it.
What's more, during the industrial age, there were, at most, only around 2000 trades that you could choose from. Today, in the information age, that figure is estimated at around half a million!
So, from all the choices available, how do we decide on a job and career that will fulfill us and make us happy?
To help with this conundrum, School of Life offer 6 starting points.
The first piece of advice they give is not to worry too much about getting things right either at your first attempt or even later on. In today's changing world, many people find it hard to find their ideal job even into mid-life.
So, don't worrry about being confused about the job you were meant to do. It's totally normal!
It was Greek philosopher, Plato, who said that people make themselves look ridiculous when they try to know about obscure things before they know about themselves.
So, before wondering about what jobs are available, make it your aim to find out what your natural strengths and inclinations are.
Ask yourself three questions. What would give me the greatest joy? What would I do for nothing? What would I do if money were no problem?
Brainstorm your answers. The clues to your ideal job and career will be hidden in what you've written down.
When you jump at the first job you're offered and it's not your true calling, you could be condemning yourself to a lifetime of misery and entrapment.
That's why you need to spend a lot of time mulling things over.
In the video, School of Life suggest you take a year or more to think about things. Not just intermittently. You should put it on every weekend to-do list and give it some hard thought.
Thinking is good. But not too much, as this runs the risk of "paralysis by analysis".
Instead, jump in and test the water. Whether it's paid work or something like shadowing and volunteering.
This will provide you with invaluable data on which you can make your next job or career choices.
In his book, "The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success", Deepak Chopra says that he taught his children to not think about what they would do in life. But how they could serve. This is what they did. And as a result, they were never without a job they loved.
So, work out where people's needs and your inclinations collide.
That's where the fruitful ground is.
The final piece of advice from School of Life is to not limit yourself by thinking you're not good enough to do what you really want to do.
As they say on the video,
"It's an internalized feudalism which imagines that only certain people, but not oneself, have the right to get certain things. It isn't true."
So, don't think that the good jobs are reserved for the lucky or the well-connected. They're not. You can do it!
Many people feel ashamed or belittled if they don't know what their true calling in life is. But this mere knowing can be the starting point for taking steps to find out where their true path lies. This video from School of Life is an excellent guide to help you on your journey.
Now take a look at the video.
As The School of Life say in "How to Find Fulfilling Work", getting your ideal job requires confidence. For more on confidence, see the Assertiveness range of Slide Topics slides here.
Top picture attribution: https://www.flickr.com/photos/slightlyeverything/8214124711/