How to choose a fulfilling career

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Think about the words work, career and mission. Does each word feel different to you? To most people, the word “work” implies something hard, something you have to do. If you work all day long, you probably don’t enjoy it very much. Career implies a bigger meaning. You’ll devote more energy because you are building toward a greater purpose.

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Somebody who has a mission does it because it’s what they’re made for. For them, it’s not work at all. It serves a higher purpose. They’ve discovered how to choose a fulfilling career.

What’s the secret to breaking through in this area and how can you learn how to find fulfilling work? Choose something bigger than yourself that you are willing to work for. Remember – motive does matter!

How to choose a fulfilling career

Today, most people spend more time at work than they do with their family. Between commuting, lunch breaks and working overtime, the average workday could be longer than 10 hours. If you’re going to be spending that much time at work, don’t you want to learn how to choose a fulfilling career?

1. Know your values

Our values and beliefs are instilled in us from a very young age. They come from our parents and caregivers, our experiences with the world and our own psychology – and they create our world. Your values are your “rules” for living and the essence of who you are. You will always be unhappy at work if you choose a career that does not support the ideals that are most meaningful to you.

To determine your values, look within. When are you at your happiest? Perhaps when you’re volunteering, having a deep conversation or reading a good book. These are hints to your values: these actions correspond to values of contribution, connection and growth – three of the Six Human Needs. And they reveal how to find fulfilling work.

2. Don’t let your beliefs limit you

Business and marketing guru Jay Abraham has also done years of research on how to choose a fulfilling career, especially in sales and marketing. Jay’s belief is that there is only one thing limiting the growth of a person’s career path: the limits they place on themselves. Just as Tony knows that limiting beliefs lead to unhappiness and lack of success, Jay states that your level of achievement is based on what you think you can achieve and what you think your life will amount to.

Tony Robbins refers to these thoughts as limiting beliefs, and it’s the most essential piece of finding fulfillment in your career. Your life to this point has been determined by these beliefs, which you developed years or even decades ago. Realize that, and you can break free of them and replace them with empowering beliefs: That you deserve a satisfying career. That you can raise your standards. That you can be and have everything you want.

3. Concentrate on your strengths

Too many people spend their lives working on overcoming their weaknesses instead of focusing on their strengths. When you choose a career that is in line with your natural talents, you’ll enjoy it more and be much better at it. Stop comparing yourself to others and wondering what you “should” do. Instead, commit to discovering your natural gifts and you’ll see that choosing a more fulfilling career is actually straightforward.

Most people fit into one of three business identities: artist, manager or entrepreneur. Your identity goes back to your values, but also has to do with your skills. Artists are creators – whether they are making paintings or software, they have a specific craft they want to turn into a career. Managers love people and problem-solving. Entrepreneurs are risk-takers and visionaries. Reveal your business identity and you’ll be able to reflect on how to choose a fulfilling career.

4. Put passion over money

Though money can “buy” happiness up to a point, it’s not the key to finding a more fulfilling career. If you’re wondering how to choose a fulfilling career, stop looking at the dollar signs and start looking within. When you have passion for a group of people, a cause or an industry, you increase your chances of being happy in that career.

Think you have to choose either passion or profitability? The opposite is actually true. When you choose a career that gets you energized, you’re more likely to make it a success. It’s no mistake that the greatest leaders have confidence, focus and above all, passion. They have a vision for the world and for themselves that allows them to become unstoppable.

5. Focus on giving back

People often confuse status and respect. They think that being happy at work means being at the top of their profession. But figuring out how to find fulfilling work isn’t about the title or the corner office – it’s about the appreciation and admiration of those you work with, your community and your peers. When you realize that the secret to living is giving, you can earn meaningful respect in your chosen profession even without the big title.

Contribution is one of the most powerful Six Human Needs and is often what is missing in the search for a more fulfilling career. If you’ve reached your career goals and you find yourself looking around and expecting something more, it’s likely a sense of contribution that’s missing from your job.

How one man found a more fulfilling career

According to Jay Abraham, when you recognize the infinite potential within you, you can bring value to others and discover the reason for your existence is to make the world you live in a better place. How you do this is dependent on your own unique interests and abilities alongside what you personally consider to be a worthwhile career.

Jay gives a good example of a copywriting and marketing expert who, after passing away, left a legacy as a fine art expert. With his wife, this man found a true passion for art and used that as his motive for creating a mega-successful marketing business. He did not just focus on how to choose a fulfilling career – he used his overwhelming passion as a reason to become successful.

He viewed sales and marketing as a way not only to fuel his passion for art, but also as a way to better understand human psychology. Because of this, sales was not a manipulation tool to get consumers to buy products and services – it was a way to identify the customer’s hopes, dreams and problems and use certain products and services to help them make their lives better. His purpose was not how to find fulfilling work – it was to make the world a better place by creating happiness and unlocking an extraordinary life.

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