Why is it so hard to get up in the morning? Is it a lack of sleep? Is it because it’s warm and cozy? Perhaps you just don’t want to face the day ahead. For millions of people, it’s the last one. So many people are not satisfied with their current careers or jobs. Maybe you went to college to be what your parents wanted you to be. Maybe you decided college wasn’t for you and you took a job that you only planned to do for a little while, waking up one day to realize that you’ve been there for years. For whatever reason, a good chunk of Americans (and many in other nations as well) can hardly pull themselves out of bed for dread of what they have coming that day.
College usually comes at a turning point in a person’s life. We go through high school where we are trying to survive the shark tank of peer pressure, pressure to constantly accomplish new things, and pressure to date and have an active social life. Once we leave that life, we are hurled into “adulthood” and told to find ourselves quickly, declare our majors, and plan to study what we will want to do for the rest of our lives. People change so much between the ages of 18 and 22, which are usually the years spent in college. Many people, I believe the statistic is around 70% to 80%, do not use their degree in the job/work area they choose. Some say they declared a major based on something they enjoyed in high school and then didn’t want to change majors halfway through their Bachelor’s degree when they realized that they didn’t love it like they thought they would. Others say that it was so important to their parents or grandparents for them to become a doctor or a lawyer, so they spend miserable years in school, trying to be who they were told to be in order to live up to an external expectation.
Am I saying don’t go to college until you’re twenty-five and have found yourself? No, not necessarily; though, some people choose that route and end up fine – the more life experience a student has, the more the student will better know which direction he or she would be most happy in pursuing. But, what I am saying is this, if you go to college directly following high school, do a tremendous amount of self-exploration. Take career tests (Career Direct is phenomenal) and meet with your college’s career counselor or counseling team. Before spending semester after semester in a major of which you are uncertain about long-term compatibility for you, job shadow someone in the career you want for one to three days. Make sure the occupation is what you think it is before dedicating so much study to it.
“This is great advice and all, but what does this have to do with my relationship with my boyfriend or girlfriend?” Well, right now, it might not have much to do with them at all. However, a job and field of occupation has a large, long-term impact on your future marriage. How much energy will you want to have left at the end of the day for your future spouse? Will you want to come home to a grouchy, frustrated, depressed spouse due to job dissatisfaction? What we do for a living usually takes up our best hours of the day. If you spend half, or a little more, of your waking hours at a job you hate, or a job that leaves you feeling completely unfulfilled, you will bring those tensions and emotions home with you. One key to a satisfying marriage is a satisfying job. When you love what you do, you will never have to force yourself out of bed to do it. There will be days when you are tired and you’d love to hit snooze a few more times, but the dread of getting up to face the day will be gone!
This may seem like a trivial issue now, but it will be a life-altering issue later. Talk to people about their jobs. Interview them and ask them how loving (or hating) their work has affected their lives. Talk to their spouses if you can and ask them how they were affected by having a spouse that came home satisfied (or dissatisfied) with their work. Take the time now to find your passions and pursue them. You, and your future spouse, will be glad you did! Two great resources to help with this are 48 Days to the Work You Love by Dan Miller – and for entrepreneurs, No More Mondays by Dan Miller.
About what are you passionate? How do you plan to make a difference in the world, one person/client at a time?