That's Why They Call It Work: 3 Keys To A Happy, Successful Career
I can remember my son coming home after his first day at his first job and telling me, "Work is not that fun!" Of course not. That's why they call it work. If it was fun they'd call it play. While there is some truth in that statement, it's not universal. Many people find great satisfaction in what they do. While work may not always be "fun," it doesn't have to be a drudgery either. Following are 3 things you can do to ensure you have a successful career. Undoubtedly there are others, but here are three that are true for everyone. If you can think of others that are universal, leave them in the comments below. Do Something You Like. Now that's not as simple as it sounds. Here is where many people get tripped up. They say, "I like hunting. How do you make a living hunting?" The fact is, you don't. You could get a job in the hunting industry, for example you could sell guns or manufacture your own line of camo clothing, but you're not hunting. You're making it better for someone else to go hunting. There's nothing wrong with that, for sure. Being around hunters all day and talking hunting and working in an industry where you can improve the hunting experience for yourself and others keeps you close to what you love and that's always a benefit. But it's still not hunting. So what we're really saying when we say, "Do something you like," is find something that interests you. Find something you can believe in. Find something that you can dedicate your life to (or at least this portion of your life.) Here at Intermountain Bison, we're unlikely to hire a vegetarian. Not that we hate vegetarians. We don't ever discriminate against anyone. We just don't. But we want to hire people who love red meat, and dream is getting back to a simpler life when buffalo roamed the plains, etc. Most vegetarians would have a hard time getting excited about what excites us. We hire people who are excited about the things we're excited about. The key to doing what you like is joining yourself with people who get excited about the same things you do. You're going to spend a huge part of your life at work. In fact, you'll spend more time at work than you do with your family. Ponder that. That is a huge investment of your life's energy. It's worth doing something you like. Do Something You're Good At. Successful people are almost always found doing something they're good at. I think of Michael Jordan. He is the greatest basketball player who ever lived. Everyone knows his name. To say he was amazingly successful is a huge understatement. But what you might not remember is that somewhere toward the end of his career, he got a wild hare that he wanted to play baseball. The fact is he wasn't a phenom at baseball. He would have never played professional baseball if his name hadn't been Michael Jordan. Imagine what would have happened if Michael Jordan had said, "Look. I know I'm good at basketball, but baseball is what I'm going to do." He would have never been famous (which isn't necessarily a bad thing,) he would have never been a household name (which also isn't necessarily a bad thing,) and he would have never reached his full potential (which is a huge thing.) Being famous is nothing compared to reaching your full potential. Is it possible to be successful doing something you're not naturally talented at? Of course. Look at all the politicians in Washington. But by and large, successful people gravitate to what they do best. Who wants to spend the rest of their life beating themselves up(and having others beat them up) because they aren't good at what they're doing? Nobody wants that. Do something you're willing to sacrifice for. What would you trade a third of your life for? What would you have to receive to give a third of your life in trade? Well, in your career, that's what you're doing. If you work eight hours per day, you're trading 1/3 of your life for whatever they give you. Of course they don't pay you all at once. You get paid every two weeks, but in effect, you are giving your employer 1/3 of your life for whatever he gives you each pay period. The point is, if you're going to give up 1/3 of your life, it should be for something you believe in; something you're passionate about; something you're willing to sacrifice things that are most important to you for. Because that's exactly what will happen at various times. Unsuccessful people trade 1/3 of their lives for money (some of them trade it for a lot of money.) But is that really good enough? This is your life. You only get one go. There are no do-over's. Would you really trade that for money? Even a lot of money? You're trading your 1/3 of your life for something. You should be absolutely certain it's worth what you're giving up for it. Conclusion: Start by asking yourself what sorts of things you'd sacrifice 1/3 of your life for. Take that list and think about what sorts of careers might be found in those things. Then narrow it down by eliminating things that aren't of interest to you, or things you aren't really very good at. What's left is a handful of things you could do that would lead you to success. The next step is pursuing one (or more) of those careers. If you're truthful with yourself about what's there, you are certain to find something that's worth doing each day. People who find those things are happy and fulfilled in their jobs. Yes, they still call it work, but it's all the good and satisfying and ennobling things about work and none of the drudgery and misery of work. At Intermountain Bison we look for happy, friendly, outgoing people who share our love of the outdoors and our love for the majestic American Bison. People in other industries do the same. When someone says, "I guess I'm not a fit here," what they're really saying is what excites and enthuses these people really doesn't work for me. Find what you love, what you're good at, and what you're willing to trade 1/3 of your life for and you'll have an incredible, fulfilling, exciting and successful career. It's about as simple as that. Let us know what you think in the comments section below.