We all want a job that stimulates us, inspires us and goes beyond the pay cheque, right? There are lots of different theories – and even several books – on how to find a job you love. One of the best we’ve come across, ‘How to Find Fulfilling Work’ from Roman Krznaric at the School of Life, has several interesting, easily actionable ideas for connecting with work you’d love. Here are three of them:
What motivates you?
Krzanric says the five main aspects of what can make a job meaningful are: earning money, achieving status, making a difference, following our passions, and using our talents. The extent to which we’re motivated by each of these factors is different for each person, and may also vary according to life stage. So identifying your motivation is a crucial first step in finding fulfilling work. There are useful resources online to help with your career planning.
Your personal job ad
Write a half-page job advertisement that tells the world who you are and what you care about in life. Include your personal qualities, talents, passions, core values, causes you believe in, and anything else that’s important to you (e.g. minimum salary or fact you want to work abroad). Don’t include any particular job you are keen on or your educational qualifications.
Make a list of ten people who know from different walks of life and have a range of careers – and email them your ad, asking them to recommend two or three careers that might fit with what you’ve written. Ask them to be specific, for example ‘you should do charity work with street kids in Rio’. What new ideas does it give you for future careers?
Act now, reflect later
‘Job dating’ or trying different roles allows us to gain first hand insight into what it’s actually like doing that role, in that type of organisation. Internships are the most extended ‘job date’ but other, less time-intensive options include work experience, job shadowing and volunteering.
Creating ‘branching projects’ (combining your studies with trying out new roles or ideas on a part-time basis, for example) are also an excellent place to start, as is ‘conversational research’ – talking to people who are doing the types of work you might imagine doing. The LSE Alumni office offers a mentoring programme for current students where they match you with alumni who are in your desired industry so it’s worth looking into that too.
What can you do next
LSE Careers and LSE LIFE have teamed up to run an exciting series of events that will allow you to explore the concept of meaningful work. The Work it out series of workshops, round tables and seminars will help you gain a clearer idea of what your priorities and values are for your future career choices. We will also be joined by a team of inspiring and experienced speakers and panellists! Visit CareerHub to check out the event listings.
Don’t forget you can also book a careers appointment to discuss your ideas with a careers consultant!