The best way to be happy and fulfilled in your job is by providing a clear answer to the question: What do I want to be good at doing? Ultimately, your calling is yours. It’s a path only you can walk, and you owe it to yourself to pursue it.
To help you formulate a plan to pursue your true calling with the switch to work from home, let’s look at six key points. I’ve outlined three things to do and three things to avoid for a balanced approach. What to avoid is sometimes as easy as what to do. I call these the “Six Ps.”
DON’T worry about the (1) Position title, (2) Pay, or working for a (3) Popular company.
DO find something that you will have (4) Pride in mastering the related skills, that those skills are (5) Progressive and in demand, and that you have a (6) Persistent interest in the industry.
Avoid Focusing on These Three Things
1. Position Title. Titles are superficial. Don’t focus on choosing a role just because the title sounds elevated or authoritative, or even too menial. Look at what the duties are and the relevant skills. Question if you will be able to grow in the role and whether there is opportunity to progress within the role and in the company. And, of course, ask yourself if this is what you’d like for yourself.
2. Popular Companies to Build Your Resume. It’s tempting to pursue name recognition in our careers. Big name companies are aggrandized as a mark of prestige by some and working for them might be a big ego boost to some individuals. But is it for you?
There are many people who work at popular companies just to pad their resume or because it makes sense but are not enjoying themselves. I know, because I did the same thing. I was so excited when I got a job at an international office furniture manufacturer, which on paper looked incredible for my career as an accountant, but I had no passion. I struggled to stay engaged. It was just a job.
It wasn’t until I discovered and followed my interest in accounting and technology to create Accounting Seed that I really found my calling. Enhancing my accounting solution to help customers manage their finances is what I love to do—it doesn’t feel like work at all! If you work for a company just because it has a recognized name, you will just find a job, not a calling. And there’s a good chance that like me, you won’t feel fulfilled.
3. Pay. Money cannot buy happiness or help you find your calling. Yes, we need money to survive, but especially online, you have options for pay and passion. It’s very easy to fall into the trap of just seeing dollar signs in a job instead of whether you think the opportunity will help you evolve as a person. I had a similar experience as an internal auditor. While the role paid well, I was yet again unfulfilled and unhappy in the position. The reality is that I worked for a good paycheck, but this didn’t bring me passion. Once again, finding out that my calling merged accounting and cloud tech, and pursued it, there was money there, but also enjoyment. I found purpose, and this purpose brought more wealth than just money.
Do Prioritize These Three Things
4. Pride in Skill Mastery. Every calling requires different skill sets, proficiency, and passion for it to work. If you feel like your job is a drain on your life, you don’t enjoy it, or feel unchallenged, maybe you’re not using the skills you want or value. Remember, fulfillment comes from being proud of what you’re doing. You want to master what you love to do—this makes you a true asset! This begins by looking at what you want to pursue and do on a constant basis. Here are some things to consider:
- Do you want to take pride in mastering the skill?
- Is it easy to get pride confused with position?
- Do you have a genuine interest in the job?
- What is interesting to you?
- What sounds cool?
The digital workplace offers you unlimited options for exploration, education, and opportunities. Investigate career paths that you are drawn to.
5. Persistent Interest in the Industry. Find your calling by questioning what you like to do and what interests you as an individual. If you have genuine, persistent interest in a subject, you’ll want to do more and learn more. Persistent interest can also reveal where your passion lies, and passion is the key to not only to sustainable happiness, but success. You want to do something that you enjoy because you’ll be interested in being good at it and invest time and effort to enhance your performance. Here are some things to questions to help you pinpoint your interest:
- Do you have a genuine interest in the industry?
- Would you be excited to write a history paper on the industry?
- Would you enjoy talking about your industry at a cocktail party?
6. Progressive Skills and Growth Opportunities. As you pursue your calling, look for skills that are in high demand. This has two purposes, the first being that you still need to make a living. You also want your efforts and work to be relevant, so pay attention to where your interested industry is headed. This also ensures that you will be able to do the maximum amount of impact in your new career path. If you want to feel fulfilled, you’ll want to be active in a role that is shaping the world.
If a particular area of knowledge is growing or shrinking, you may find opportunities to revitalize them or apply your skills in a different area where you can be more successful. Following my calling to work in an industry that bridged accounting and software really peaked my interest, helped me find my calling, and brought me income. You can do the same if you look for how your interests align with growing needs.
Finding your calling is not always easy, but the hybrid workplace is making the opportunity easier than ever to design and execute on your dream career. Try applying the simple iconoclast formula of Challenge > Design > Execute in planning how you can find your own calling. In the virtual work world, you have more power and control to follow your path than ever. Go get it!
About the Author
Tony Zorc is the author of Iconoclasm: A Survival Guide in the Post-Pandemic Economy. He is a tech entrepreneur and founder of Accounting Seed. Zorc designed a flexible technology as an accounting software solution and his vision became the platform for his international company, which has sold over 15,000 licenses to customers in numerous industries. In 2018, Accounting Seed was named among CFO Tech Outlook’s Top 10 Accounting Solutions Providers. A graduate of Hope College, Zorc was the Illinois High School Gymnastics Coaches Association senior gymnast of the year in 1992 and a state champion.