How you can find a career you love

It’s no secret that most people end up heading to jobs they don’t love (or actively hate) day after day, week after week, year after year

The seconds, minutes and hours tick down until they are finally ‘freed’ from their jobs and can head home to get ready to do it all again.

Now, for some people this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. They are happy to put in the hours to earn money for their hobbies, travel and the leisure activities that they really love. Their hours spent at work are just a means to an end.

If you want a job that’s just a job, power to you. That said, for some of us – we want more during our working hours. We want a career that fills us with passion, joy and excitement. But is it that simple?

Here are 5 things that you need to know about following a meaningful career path in your 20s.

You don’t need to know exactly what you want to do

First, you need to know exactly what you want to do, right? Wrong! If you are still putting out feelers to decide exactly what it is you want to do, you can use this transition time to your advantage. In fact, it is those people who are too rigid about their end goals who are at a disadvantage. Use your curiosity to seek alternative paths, build new networks, and try out a lot of skills. You’ll end up with a diversified skill set, and ideally you’ll land on what you want to do for a living.

The most successful people don’t use the ‘front door’

Most of us have been taught from a young age that we should always follow protocol and do things in the ‘right way.’ You have to apply for jobs against hundreds of other candidates and hope that your CV catches someone’s eye – or do you? Many ‘outside the box’ career experts advise that doing something a little (or a lot) different from the competition can help set you apart and get noticed. Consider presenting a creative project alongside your CV – a video, website or PR stunt will make a splash and help you get the job you’re after.

A good mentorship is worth its weight in gold

One job has a great starting wage, while the other position pays less but will have you working alongside an industry leader who you admire. Which one should you take? If you have the choice between a great mentor or a higher paying job, take the mentorship every time.

You need to put in your dues

Ok, In point number 2 we said that you should do things outside the box in order to get noticed. But that doesn’t mean that you should be impatient. Success doesn’t come instantly, you need to work hard, ask the right questions, and put in your time.

Don’t try to take shortcuts that can cause you to make silly mistakes – success comes with hard work and doing things in innovative yet sensible ways. Which brings us to our last point…

Passion will often follow hard work

…and not the other way around. You might be compelled to embark on a career in something that you love to do such as photography, writing or design. It is only then that you realise you’re bored, burnt out and frustrated.

What is going on here? Getting truly ‘good’ at something is hard work, and it takes a long time and a lot of effort. Even if you have a natural talent for something, it might take you decades to truly excel in your field. And that is ok! When you begin to see the fruits of your labour, that is when the passion can really kick in.

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