Well, I'm about to add one more to your twitter stream.
Let's take a step backward briefly. The last year has been one that has had a lot of ups and downs for me, both personally and professionally that required a lot of hard work, fearlessness, gut-checks, and a constant "go out and take it" mentality. From deciding to write and self-publish my first book to spread the Niche Movement's message to leaving my full time job at Rutgers in October so I could launch my digital storytelling business to relocating to DC were all opportunities in disguise that brought a lot of self-doubt and "what-if's." Looking back though, I wouldn't have changed anything.
This time of year allows us to celebrate last year and look to a fresh start, put the past behind us, and focus on something new we should be adding (or removing) from our lives. Don't get me wrong, taking time to re-energize, reflect, and find some inspiration for the new year is needed - but don't wait until December 31st each year. You need to be doing this more than once a year. And most importantly, we should be focusing on one single question, "Am I happy with what I am doing with my life?"
Yes, I will be the first to admit, this is a cliched, loaded question. From our relationships to our careers this question can be analyzed and broken down by you, the reader, in so many ways. So let's make it easy for the purpose of this post and for the root that The Niche Movement was started on.
Ask yourself this "Do I love what I do for a living?" Since this is a time for reflection, don't just look at the last week, month, or year but really spend some time to answer this. If the answer is yes, then why do you love it?
If you say no (or thinking that you like parts of your job or love 50% of what you do) then please continue reading.
Over the last 6 months after deciding to write this book, I have had the pleasure of meeting so many people that have their passion and love what they do and they are from all walks of life. Below Camille, Kali, and I share eight real-world pieces of advice that can help get you to a place (time TBD by you) where you can say you are completely fulfilled with what you do for a living, that you have found your calling, and know your "why."
The advice is presented in three parts to help you 1) in your outward journey and think big 2) in your current setting to build a network and reputation that starts to build where you want to go 3) internally recognize where you stand.
Advice from Kevin O'Connell
1. Go out and take it!
First things first, there is no longer an excuse to complain and hate your job. By the time you read or share this it's going to be 2015. More than ever, faster than ever, we are living in a world of limitless connection and discovery. There are free and affordable resources at our fingertips to build something you love. And more importantly people around you that want to help you. So our first advice is Go out and take it! This piece was given to me from three people: my father, someone I constantly turn to for advice; Gary Vayernchuck, entrepreneur and author, and then again, reiterated by Chloe Alpert, a 23 year old entrepreneur who will be featured in our upcoming book.
2. Be patient
We live in an instantaneous culture where we can have pretty much anything on-demand. Find a job you love, building a business, establishing your reputation takes so much time. Think of finding your happiness as a sculpture: chip away every day at something that will get you closer to your goals. This could be learning a new skill each month, reaching out to someone new once a day to grow your network, or working on a side project you are passionate about it.
3. Trust the process
When you decide to take the leap of faith to either leave your full time job to start something new or to take a new job trust that everything will work out and remain positive. You need to grow a network, that is certain, but I can't tell you how crucial the network I built over the last 6-8 years of my life has helped me as a new entrepreneur. As long as you have identified a skill set that others need (or a problem you can solve), are willing to put your full self out into the world and are willing to work hard at it, good things will come.
Advice from Camille Sennett
4. Become a Linchpin in your organization
Take notice of and respect deadlines and time-sensitive material. The ability to get things done on time will have a positive effect on your career and lifestyle. In the workplace, you'll become a reliable, trustworthy and dependable team member. This is something your boss and coworkers will notice and appreciate. In your personal life, you'll become more responsible about bills, family deadlines such as birthdays which will lead to less stress and confrontation. Becoming a linchpin and building a solid reputation will help when you decide to start something new, go after a new job, or start your own business.
Advice from Kali Hawlk
5. Listen to yourself
Don't let someone else's idea -- or even your own idea -- of what you "should" do get in your way. You need to do what is right and best for you and your work.
6. Check yourself at the door
When you think about what you want to accomplish, make sure your actions fulfill you and your goals -- not your ego.
7. Take time to find out what you want
There's more than one way to career success and happiness. Self-employment isn't for everyone. A high-powered position in a big company isn't for everyone, either. It's about what makes you feel satisfied.
8. Put in the work
Understand that achieving your goals isn't easy. The right path is hard work. The wrong path is so much easier. So don't be fooled into thinking your dream job and ideal career will be "easy" to create or achieve. Prepare to work!
If you take anything away from the advice we shared, remember that we all were put on this earth to do great work and lead great lives. Don't let a 9-5 job you aren't fulfilled by get in the way of that.
If this post resonated or if someone you know can benefit from this, then please share, it would mean the world to us.