If you’ve read the About section of this website, you know how much I #lovemyjob. I’m lucky that my passion is my profession and I get to do what I love every day.
You may also know that I’m a big fan of Brené Brown’s work. In The Gifts of Imperfection, she talks about how important meaningful work is to our happiness. We’re not talking about changing the world or saving lives here. We’re not necessarily even talking about employment. Meaningful work is about doing something—anything— we’re truly proud of.
Almost everyone has a passion, but some struggle to find somewhere to put it. It’s important to remember that we each get to define our own “meaningful”—different strokes for different folks. If you’re employed, are there at some aspects of your work you find fulfilling? Someone with a passion for event planning may enjoy organizing big meetings at their office job, or a people person may enjoy a retail job. If you don’t have a traditional job, or one that makes you happy at least some of the time, are you getting that fulfillment somewhere else?
Regardless of what pays yours bills, you are more than your career. Sometimes we get so caught up with labels and roles and don’t allow ourselves to live the lives we want to live. We convince ourselves that if we don’t earn a living from the thing that brings us joy, it doesn’t count. But someone who loves to paint and only gets the chance to create in their downtime is still an artist. A stay-at-home parent who runs a business on the side is still an entrepreneur.
When we feel stuck in our careers, dissatisfied with our work or let our job titles define us, we aren’t living authentically. We don’t all get our dream jobs—otherwise, the lottery wouldn’t be the billion dollar industry it is— but everyone deserves to do something worthwhile to them. It’s important to find what you’re passionate about, but more important to do it.