The choice of work during a lifetime lies somewhere along a scale from "passionate world-changing work" to "waiting for your pension". Every job fits somewhere on that scale. You have heard of of people who are world-changers, and others who are working towards their pension.
Are you worried about making the right choice now? There's no need to beat yourself up. Few people choose the 'perfect' job the first time, and yet every job has something to teach you. You will probably make different job choices at different times in your life.
You can make a choice of job now, and make another one in a year's time, paying attention to what you are learning from the challenges that come to you. Whilst at that job, learn about the people, ther work and about yourself. Even if you cannot yet see your complete journey to the 'perfect' job, take this next step and take on any job that you can learn more from.
How did the passionate world-changers make their choices?
First of all, few world-changers started at the job they have today. Most changed jobs, many times. They stopped changing jobs when they found the job they couldn't NOT do.
When you want to find the world-changing work that you were born to do, you can work with these three areas:
Action Area 1) Become an expert in yourself
You have to do this yourself, because nobody else will do this for you. Not even school - which is strange, but that's another story.
There are three components to this:
A) Find your strengths - what are the things you love to do?
What are you good at? Hint. It's the things that you think are easy, and they might NOT be things that are rewarded in school.
Want some guidance?
These descriptions of strengths are from Strengths Finder.
Command® You have presence. You can take control of a situation and make decisions.
Communication® You generally find it easy to put your thoughts into words. You are a good conversationalist and presenter.
Competition® You measure your progress against the performance of others. You strive to win first place and revel in contests.
Connectedness® You have faith in the links between all things. You believe there are few coincidences and that almost every event has a reason.
B) Know your Values - what's important to you? What's your decision-making heirarchy?
What's important to you? What are your top ten values for your working life?
Want some guidance?
It's helpful to have some words that describe values, so that you can choose the ones that are meaningful to you. Some values are:
C) Learn from your experiences.
Get the learning from each day. Spend time on reflecting on what went right, what went wrong. Want to repeat, have more of in your life.
Want some guidance?
You have to do this yourself, and a handy guide is to ask yourself these three questions:
* What went well today? Why?
* What could have gone better today? How can I make sure it goes better next time?
* What am I most thankful for today?
The other two things that passionate world-changers did to discover their life work includes setting some ambitious goals and asking for support from the people around them.
Action Area 2) Do the Impossible
Find out your limits. The easiest place to start is your physical limits. What's impossible for you? Push the limits - learn what's on the other side of 'impossible'. We are all different. What's impossible for you is easy for someone else.
How to do the impossible? find a person who has crossed your limit already. Ask them to work with you to cross your limit. Ask for help! That's such a powerful skill. And you can start small, like you did when you learned to walk or ride a bike. No need to walk across a continent on the first day.
Action Area 3) Surround yourself with passionate people
People affect each other - we are made that way. Over time, we tend to become 'the same' as the people around us, if we allow them to affect us strongly. Look at the people around you. Are they passionate about who they are and what they do? Or, do they bring you down? If so, find some respectful ways to put some distance between you and them.
Seek people who inspire you. We all work much better when we are in daily company of people who inspire us. Who inspires you? What is it about them that inspires you? You might find inspiration in music, videos or books.
Download some good stuff from the internet and spend some time getting inspired by it every day. That's time well-spent.
And finally. Just as it's true that if you don't know what you are looking for, you are never going to find it, it is also true that when you do know what you are looking for, you do find it.