How do you figure out what work you are meant to do?

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In my running survey "How satisfying is your work life ?" the concern most people have about their work situation is "I want to discover what work I am meant to do."  The answer to this question will not magically appear to you without some focused effort.

Consider this approach from Jim Collins, former professor of Entrepreneurship at Stanford University and author of Good to Great and Built to Last:

The work that will make you happy is the point of intersection of three circles:

  • Circle One:  What are you deeply passionate about?
  • Circle Two:  What will people pay you to do?
  • Circle Three:  What are you genetically encoded to do that you can do better than anyone on earth?

Get a notebook and begin to jot notes down in response to these questions.  Just bringing them to the forefront of your mind is going to open up some surprising doors.  It  may take you years to get a crystal-clear picture of work you are passionate about, you are meant to do and that people will pay you handsomely for, but you will discover all kinds of juicy things about yourself along the way.

2 Responses to “How do you figure out what work you are meant to do?”

  1. Janine says:

    People tell me things. I don’t see this as coaching, but more of a verbal exploration of information that leads to insight! How linear is that?! But all my life I have been astounded at what people will tell me when I am genuine in my curiousity and the intention to use that informatiom for their betterment. I don’t know yet how this will take shape as menaingful work, but I do know it is a consistent facet of my life that I have not expored – yet.

  2. Desiree says:

    The sweet spot always works! It is so simple in concept but so powerful. I find it hard sometime to evaluate honestly what it is that I do well. I know what other people tell me I do well– but I do not always see that.

    Any ideas on how I can see myself and abilities clearly?