How to Find Work You'll Love

  • Article by: KEVIN DONLIN , Star Tribune Sales and Marketing
  • Updated: September 3, 2003 - 11:00 PM

Stuck in a job you can't stand? Feeling burned out and bored?

With unemployment at persistently high levels, many people today are doing work they hate, simply to make ends meet.

That's a short-term choice that could cost you dearly in the long run, according to Henry Neils, President of Edina, Minn.-based, a career advisory firm (

"Michael Jordan doesn't go to work in the morning, and neither do any really successful people. Instead, they get paid for work they love," says Neils.

Want to get paid to do what you love?

Here are three ways to do just that ...

1. Discover what you are designed to do
Did you know that Babe Ruth started out as a pitcher? But he chose to stop pitching so he could focus on hitting. He took a lot of heat for this, because he was a good pitcher. Yet Babe stuck with his decision because he knew he was a GREAT hitter. Success followed.

What about you?

"If you want to go from 'good' to 'great,' know what your talents and motivations are, then use them as a foundation for growth," advises Neils.

To find out what motivates you, answer this question: if you won a million dollars in the lottery tomorrow and could quit working, what 3 things would you still do every day?

Would it be writing? Public speaking? Gardening? Teaching or healing others? Travel? Restoring classic cars?

"These are your strengths and they're yours for life. You can build on them, and they won't let you down," says Neils.

2. Do it
Once you discover what you love to do, make adjustments that let you do more of it. Some changes will be minor ... and some radical.

"The idea is to spend more of your time using your strengths. That is where your performance and satisfaction both peak," advises Neils.

At this point, it's time to tell your boss. Include examples or stories to illustrate your true talents.

"Every piece of equipment in any company comes with an owner's manual, except the most important assets of all -- employees. So, by letting your boss know what makes you tick, he can put you in a position to get the best results for both the company and you. It's a win-win situation," says Neils.

3. Minimize everything else
You are designed to do something, but not everything. So don't try to do it all.

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