This article was last updated on September 5, 2016
My first job out of college seemed like it would be the perfect fit. I loved teaching. I loved writing. I loved English Literature. The experiences that I had while student-teaching were amazing.
Something strange happened.
The job that was so perfect on paper was making me miserable.
I was waking up around 5 am, teaching, helping other coaches teach pitching, then writing lesson plans and grading papers into the wee hours of the night.
I was exhausted and probably making about $5 an hour for all of my efforts.
I knew that I couldn’t sustain this type of schedule, and I suddenly found that I had an opportunity to play softball professionally in Italy for about the same amount of money that I was making teaching.
I didn’t do it.
I know, I was an idiot.
You see, sometimes people think that by telling you to do the “safe” thing, which generally means a job with health insurance and a retirement package, they are doing the best thing for you.
The safe thing is not the same as happiness, and your life’s work should make you happy.
Though I didn’t end up playing professionally that year, seeing the opportunities that softball afforded convinced me to pursue teaching it full time. When I decided to quit teaching English, very few people believed in me. Most people told me I was crazy to leave a “good job.” These were typically people who were equally miserable in their “good jobs.” By pursuing my dreams, I became the president and owner of www.flawlessfastpitch.com. Now, I am always excited to go to work. I am always excited to learn more about how to be the very best at what I do. I am always looking at how I can best serve my clients. This has led me to look forward to my continuing education and my writing projects. I see every day as a new opportunity. So how can you make it so that you are happy with your work? You can be excited, satisfied, and even loving it by taking a few things into consideration:
10 Techniques To Make You Love Your Work
Evaluate what you don’t like about your current situation
It’s very possible that there are some amazing things about what you currently do and some things that you hate. How could you resolve the things you dislike? Are they inherent to your position or are they malleable? If the things you truly hate cannot be fixed, begin thinking about situations where they might be better. If they can be fixed, get on it! Don’t just settle for being unhappy.
Determine where your passion lies
At this point in time, there are so many ways to make what you love saleable. If you can find a niche, you can find a market to appeal to. The catch is this: you have to really know what you are passionate about and what you want to pursue more than anything else. This has to be something that you want to throw your life into. You don’t necessarily have to start your own business (though you certainly can), but you do want to work for someone who is just as passionate as you are.
Learn how to market yourself
It doesn’t matter if you have your own business or work for someone else. EVERYONE who succeeds is in the business of networking and marketing. For years and years, my business was successful strictly by word of mouth. When I began my first course on marketing, I immediately wished I had done it sooner. Trust me, there is so much that you don’t yet know about making yourself a valuable commodity. Read marketing books, do some online courses, or find someone who is willing to coach you (even if you have to lay out some money). These are skills that will make you better at anything you do.
Find ways to highlight your best skills while working on the ones you would like to build
As I mentioned earlier, I have always loved teaching. I have worked hard at being a good teacher, and so I was able to teach pitching well from the start. But I knew very little about biomechanics, anatomy, and physiology when I first began. So I became a personal trainer and stalked good physical therapists and trainers who were willing to let me shadow them. This opened up a whole new world for me.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help
I was able to take my business so far by asking a close friend every question I could think of regarding running a business. I still pester her from time to time. After reaching a certain level of success, however, I knew I needed help from someone who has done things on a more national scale. So I hired a coach to help me. Having a coach makes you accountable for your actions. Every time I make an appointment with my coach, I know he will expect me to have certain things done. I would be letting him down if I didn’t do these things. In a traditional work environment, you can usually find a mentor. I mentor many of my young-adult athletes since I believe in them and know they can go on to help others.
I don’t know about you, but there is no way I could settle for work that didn’t challenge me both physically and mentally. I love figuring out the ways that each individual will achieve her best athletic motion. It is like putting together the pieces of a beautiful puzzle.
Part of what is so intensely satisfying about my work is that I am helping others on a daily basis. I love my clients and want to do everything I can to help them. My writing, which used to be mostly fictional, has evolved so that I can help people with what I write. At speaking engagements, I am able to help large groups of people. With hypnosis and Havening, I can really change lives for the better. There is nothing more satisfying than having someone tell you how you have changed their life.
Get rid of dead weight
If I have a client who is not following my instructions or is making unreasonable demands, I drop them. I have so many clients that it is simply not worth it to agonize over one. In my experience, these are people who are generally not very happy anyway. They will not refer other clients to you or go out of their way to say nice things about you. Think about it: you dread working with them. Do yourself a favor and drop them. Do it with love and understanding, but drop them.
Always work towards the person you want to be
When I first began my business, I made a list of everything I wanted to be. When I looked back on that list several years ago, I found that I had met all of those goals. I did so because I made those goals prominent and focused on them every day. Now, of course, I have new goals. They are written down next to my bed so I have to look at them every day when I go to sleep and when I wake up.
Do some positive work for your mind
As someone who is a certified Havening Practitioner and a Certified Hypnotist, I can tell you firsthand how the mind can hold you back. If you keep running into the same problems again and again in your work life, ask yourself, “why?” This is where a coach or social worker can really help you out. Sometimes, people have hang ups with money and success. Do you? Does your family? Are you afraid of achieving your goals? These are important questions that you might need to explore on the road to happiness and success.