There is a lot of anxiety on how to make a job the job of your dreams. Entry-level workers want to find the career of their dreams. Experienced professionals want to transition to the career of their dreams. Everyone’s asking: how do I fuel my passion AND get paid for it.
While that is truly the ideal – to earn a living while enriching your life — I think people put too much pressure on themselves to find this ultimate job. People seem to think that every job should, not only sustain their financial and physical needs, but also simultaneously sustain their spiritual, mental, and emotional needs as well.
If you find yourself in a job that doesn’t fuel your passion, that is definitely a sign to consider alternatives. But, don’t beat yourself over the head if you’re just working hard, earning your keep, but still not finding nirvana. Earning a living and actually living can be separate pursuits and should be separate depending on the circumstances. In this chaotic labor market, it is difficult to maintain a current job, much less initiate a career transition. If you have a creative dream (e.g., acting), it might not always be possible to rely on earnings from your art to get the bills paid.
This isn’t to say that you don’t pursue your passions. You just don’t have to do that in the context of every paying job or at least your job right now. This ultimate job is your long-term, not necessarily immediate goal. First, try living outside of how you earn a living. Take a class in something interesting but unrelated to your career. Make seeing your friends a priority. Spend time with yourself – to catch a game, to visit a museum. Once you get going on this small scale, you will be renewed, and it will have an impact on your life and career. These small actions might encourage you to make bigger changes, even a career change. Or, you might realize that the way you earn a living is just fine, and you can just continue living outside of your job.