In the U.S., most people work 40 to 50 years before retiring. That’s 40 hours per week, 50 weeks per year, for roughly four to five decades — which means working adults spend, on average, between 80,000 and 100,000 hours at the workplace during their lifetimes.
It’s been said that if you choose a job you love, you’ll never have to work a day in your life. On the other hand, if you find that your current career path isn’t all you hoped it would be, you could be in for a long, arduous, unfulfilling ride. The good news is that if you don’t love what you do, it’s never too late to make a change.
Reasons to Love What You Do
If you cringe when your alarm goes off and start the countdown to the weekend as soon as you clock in on Monday morning, you’re not doing yourself any favors. People who dislike their jobs tend to have higher levels of stress, anxiety, and depression. In contrast, people who love what they do tend to be happier, more successful, and more fulfilled. And the benefits associated with loving your job don’t stop there.
- You’ll be more productive. If you’re passionate about your job, you’ll be engaged in your work. This can help drive you to succeed, learn new things, and take on new challenges.
- Working in a field you love can improve your mental and physical health. If your work consistently leaves you feeling tired and mentally drained, you’re not thriving. Shifting to a career that you love can increase your overall happiness, which can lead to improvements in your personal relationships and reduce your risk of stress-related conditions, such as insomnia.
- People who love their jobs often have more advancement opportunities. When you love your job, you’ll strive to reach your full potential. Whether you’re interested in starting your own business or want to advance into managerial roles, your drive can help you achieve your vision.
How to Switch to an Alternate Career Path
If you’re leaning toward a career change, you’ll need to develop an action plan. Changing careers won’t happen overnight, but these steps can help guide you toward your next path.
- Take a personality inventory: A personality test can help you understand where your strengths and interests lie and can help you identify roles and professions that might be a better fit.
- Examine your work/life priorities: Working 50 hours a week may have been fine before you took on other commitments, such as getting married or caring for a relative. If you’re seeking a healthier work/life balance, research careers that will allow you the flexibility you need.
- Brainstorm possible career paths: Numerous professions likely align with your passions and interests. Make a list and identify the pros and cons of each.
- Explore your work love language: Understanding your preferred love language doesn’t just benefit your personal life; it can help you identify careers that are likely to fulfill you. Read more about how to use your love language to guide you toward your next profession.
- Develop an action plan: You’ll need more than just drive and motivation to change careers. You may need to expand your professional network, search for volunteer or internship opportunities, or gain new knowledge and skills. Identify the steps you’ll need to take to get you from here to there.
- Rebrand yourself: Your personal brand is your marketing plan. Update your resume and LinkedIn profile. Be sure to highlight hard and soft skills that are transferable to your desired profession.
Using Personality Tests to Choose a Career That Inspires You
Personality tests aren’t just for gaining insight into your attitudes, beliefs, and interests. They can also help guide you toward a career that suits your strengths. A group analysis by Gallup found that people who use their strengths daily, whether in personal or professional activities, often report a high quality of life. If you want to take a personality inventory, several online options are available, such as CliftonStrengths, 16Personalities, and the DiSC personality test.
- CliftonStrengths: This 30-minute online personality assessment helps test-takers identify their strengths and weaknesses and gauge their abilities. The CliftonStrengths test is offered free to all Maryville University undergraduate students.
- 16Personalies: This personality test helps people identify various traits, such as judging vs. perceiving, thinking vs. feeling, and introversion vs. extroversion.
- DiSC Personality Test: The DiSC test takes about 10 minutes to complete, and it measures individuals’ tendencies toward dominance, influence, steadiness, and compliance (DiSC). Companies and organizations around the globe use the test.
Create the Professional Future You Want
People spend nine to more than 11 years of their lives at work — and if you’re not in a career that makes you happy, countless benefits are associated with making a switch. If you don’t love what you do, be active in forging an alternate path. Are you ready to take the first brave step in creating the future you want? Discover how Maryville University’s online degree programs can provide you with the knowledge and skills to thrive.
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123test, DiSC Personality Test
Business News Daily, “Life’s Too Short: 4 Reasons to Do What You Love for a Living”
Cordant People, “4 Reasons Why You Should Love Your Job”
E-Frontiers, “5 Reasons to Love Your Job”
Forbes, “How Many Years Do You Have to Work Before You Retire?”
Gallup, “Employees Who Use Their Strengths Outperform Those Who Don’t”
Greatist, “5 Steps to Find a Career You Actually Love (Like I Did)”
Indeed “Nine Steps to Change Your Career Path at Any Age”
PsyCom, “Hate Your Job? Here Are Some Proven Ways to Be Happier at Work”