How to find your calling – advice from psychologists
The average person spends 80,000 hours of their life at work. But work is often not only 10-20% of life. This is what a person devotes his free time to. What he thinks about and what he aspires to. But finding a job is not as difficult as finding your calling.
That is why it is so important to understand exactly what you want to do in life. And don’t just go with the flow.
80 thousand hours
To do this, it is better to take advice from the book 80,000 Hours: How to Build a Successful Career for the Benefit of the World, created by Ben Todd and a team of researchers from Oxford. This is a non-commercial project, and there is no hidden advertising of states, companies or individuals in it. The book itself is "based on evidence and common sense, not hackneyed advice," according to psychology professor and author Steven Pinker.
First of all, you need to destroy the myths that exist about building a career.
How not to do?
You don’t have to choose a job by following your dream. Sometimes you can get what you want just by doing what makes you happy. But this is an exception to the rule. Because we are always shown only success stories. Media choose exclusive. And failures remain out of history. You can take risks, but it’s more like playing the lottery.
Instead of mindlessly spending money on an extremely low chance of earning, it is better to invest the same crumbs and time in your development. Moreover, such a favorite thing can always remain a hobby.
Choosing a simple profession that brings good money is also not the best option. Satisfaction of people with their own lives is not only made up of financial well-being. You can pretty quickly get to the level where the financial condition pleases. But at the same time, the work itself is annoying.
Scientists have proven that there is a certain level of salary, after which its growth does not affect the feeling of happiness. In the US, for example, this value is approximately $70,000 per year. And this is with an average salary in the country of about 50,000.
What is the "right job"?
The best way to find your calling is to use the following 6 factors, which are based on real research.
- Do something that benefits people. A person needs to feel important. Therefore, it is so important to pay attention to those professions that involve not formal, but real work.
- Fascination. It is important not to confuse this with “following your dream." You may love to sing. But this does not mean that you need to become a singer. At the same time, you can enjoy your computer work. And this is a sign that you need to try yourself in the IT field. Fascination is influenced by how free you are to decide what to do; Do you have specific tasks to complete? whether the tasks are diverse; and are you getting feedback.
- Competence. You must be good at what you do. Or understand that they are ready to develop in order to become a professional. This makes you valuable and increases your sense of self-satisfaction.
- Colleagues. In the modern world, the concept of interaction with other people is blurred. But if we are talking about joint work, then colleagues should be sympathetic. Simply put, at least "do not annoy."
- Minimum negative. You don’t have to travel 2 hours to get to work. And you don’t have to work overtime, get less than what you want, or feel unstable.
- A job that fits in with the rest of your life. Life should not be subordinated to professional activity, it should be supplemented by it.
Surely there are people who will claim that they enjoy their work without these factors. There will be those who believe that the only important condition is income. But if you want to live, not live, and ask yourself such difficult questions, perhaps the answers to them will be more difficult than most people around.
How to choose the right job?
Now you know how to find your calling in life, or, to be more precise, what to build on when considering different options. But how to choose it? There are several ways, and although some of them are rather abstract, they all follow the same principle – the profession must meet the above criteria and do something good for the world. What could it be?
- Any job in which you will use part of your salary (for example, 10%) to charity.
- A profession that directly affects society: politics, journalism, charitable organizations, a career that will create opportunities in the future (investment, entrepreneurship, and so on).
- Research that would affect important world problems: hunger, disease, ecology, artificial intelligence (yes, this is also considered a pressing problem for humanity today), the food industry, and so on.
- Finally, you can directly help others by volunteering, becoming a doctor, or starting your own non-profit organization.
How to start working?
It is quite difficult to choose the right place of work or guess what you will like the first time. Therefore, before you start searching for a destination, you need to adjust your thinking. Don’t treat your career choice as something you leave with you for the rest of your life.
You may be lucky enough to choose the right calling right out of university and build your life around it. But if that doesn’t work out, that’s not your problem. You need to think a lot and consciously about such things.
The first thing to do is to make a list of options that you like. But here it is worth understanding that if you want to work as a programmer at Google, but studied psychology, this does not mean that you should not try to get a job until you get to the level of specialists from this company. For example, get a job as a tester, which is considered the easiest entry point into the IT world, or try freelancing.
It is not always worth choosing the profession in which you would like to end up. Sometimes it can be something related to her and will give you more experience. If, for example, you want to start your own non-profit foundation, then perhaps you should first try yourself in the corporate sector, learn how to work with people and make acquaintances.
The ideal job is not "a hobby that makes money." It is something that you are good at, that benefits others or solves a problem that you personally consider urgent, and also has other favorable conditions.
It’s nice to think of work as a vocation that comes with the next burst of inspiration, but it’s much more correct to look for the answer to the question of how to find your vocation by approaching it logically and making a balanced choice that you will not regret after a couple of years.