Do you ever dream of opening your own bakery while you’re processing insurance claims at work? Do you feel you should be doing something more fulfilling in your life than taking orders for cheeseburgers and fries?
Maybe it’s time you figured out what you are passionate about and find a way to make your house/car/electricity payments while doing it.
But what if you don’t know what you’re passionate about? What if you can’t even figure out which cereal to buy? What if you don’t know what type of career will make you happy, and the only thing you know is that you are unhappy with your work?
Well, you’re not alone.
Just 45 percent of U.S. workers are satisfied with their jobs, according to a study in January 2012 by the Corporate Executive Board. That’s a lot of unhappy workers.
But who exactly are the people who are happy with their jobs?
You might be surprised: Janitors, the study found, are happiest at work because they can control their workday, and they can see immediately how they are helping people. Lawyers, by contrast, are the most universally unhappy because they have little control over their hours, and they are generally dealing with people who hate that they have to hire a lawyer.
With that said, happiness comes from the simplest lives, rather than the lives with big, complicated, impressive careers.
When you say you want to do something you’re passionate about, what you really mean is that you want to do something that is right for you. Something that is fulfilling and feels like the thing you should be doing with your life.
You were most likely raised to go for the biggest paycheck so you could have the biggest life. Not the happiest.
Searching through books and online for a career that will push your passion button could take a while, but there is a test that will tell you right now, today, instantly what type of career will make you happy — The Myers Briggs test.
When you come home from your crummy job tonight, take the test. You will be one of sixteen personality types. Only two or three types of personalities are made for the Mother Teresa-type of work. Most of us need stability and order and predictability in our lives. Some of us need to control other people. Some of us need to be alone all the time. This test will tell you what type of person you are.
You will find, after discovering your personality type, that you are well suited for a particular type of work. It might not be what your dad wanted, or what your wife wants, or what fits your idea of who you wish you were. But if you do the work that meets the core needs of your personality type, you will feel passion because you will be engaged in your work. If you refuse to pay heed to your core personality, you will always feel that you’re searching for something elusive in your career.
This test isn’t astrology or voodoo — it’s psychology, and it’s spot on.
Are you an ISTP? You need to use your hands to make things. Are you an ENTJ? You need to lead people. Are you an INTJ? You’ll go nuts if you don’t get something done every day. Are you an INFP? You’ll go nuts if you have to get something done every day. Wondering what these acronyms mean? Visit meyerbriggs.org.
Figure out what you need in your life to be fulfilled. Find that work. Then, as long as you have control over your hours and you can see how you help people, you will feel good about your work. And you know what happens when you feel good in your work? People stop asking you questions about what you are passionate about.