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How to find the job you love

You’re probably familiar with the “do what you love vs make money” paradigm when talking about career. But you are still looking for ways that you can avoid having to choose between the two paths. Seeing so many people around you – family members, friends, coworkers – who have a well-paid job and yet no personal satisfaction whatsoever can be a bit discouraging, too.


While in the past, most people were used to a 9-to-5 kind of job and saw weekends as a way to escape work and do other things as well, nowadays, things look much different. The so-called information era brought about change in youth’s mentality so that they are more focused on giving meaning to their lives, than on making money and leaning towards the materialistic aspect of life.


The era we’re living in promotes the idea that the thing you’re good at should also be the thing you get paid for. If we created our lives around this idea, we’d certainly be much happier, healthier, and wealthier.


Here’s a model that you can apply in order to find the job you love.


The philosophy of Ikigai


Ikigai is a Japanese concept that means “a reason for being”. This refers to setting a meaningful purpose in life while taking pleasure in doing it and achieving a sense of fulfillment.


This concept has a practical side as well, often called the Ikigai model. It consists of 4 circles in a Venn diagram, which emphasize the point of intersection between your: passion, profession, vocation, and mission. When all of these are in balance, you get Ikigai.


The 4 areas every person is encouraged to explore are:

1. What do I love?

2. What am I good at?

3. What can I get paid for?

4. What does the world need?


Find your Ikigai


Let’s consider the following scenario – you’ve just graduated from university and it’s time for you to decide what you want to do with your life.


Apply the Ikigai model to your own life. Draw the 4 circles and write the questions listed below. Then fill in the 4 columns without trying to make much sense out of them.


Step 1: Think about the things that you liked doing in the past and about those that you love doing now – What did you enjoy doing when you were a child? What activities do you do in your spare time that make you happy?

Step 2: Make a list of the unique talents that you have – What comes naturally to you? What do people give you compliments about?

Step 3: Make a list of job opportunities existing in the world today – What is trending? What are the skills in top demand?

Step 4: Think about what the world needs – Is it innovation in technology? Is it a circular economy? Is it equity?

Step 5: Try to build bridges between as many of the words you wrote as possible.

Is there any way that you could combine what you love doing with getting paid? That’s the question you should ask yourself.


For example, you could combine your passion for cooking and reading with your skill of illustrating and thus, start a cooking vlog. What about doing it while founding an organization that offers free food to homeless people?


The Bottom Line


So, what’s the key to turning your passion into your dream job?! Discovering your reason for being! Take time to figure out what you love doing, what you are good at, what jobs pay well, and what the world needs. Once you know the direction you want to take in life, it will be much easier for you to make things happen.

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