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How to Find Work You'll Love
copyright (c) 2003 by Kevin Donlin

Kevin Donlin, Managing Editor of 1 Day Resumes.

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 (special link -

"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.

"A spoon is designed to help us eat and will last a lifetime in that role. But if you use a spoon to drive nails, it will wear out in about an hour," says Neils.

That means, to avoid burnout on the job, you should delegate or automate tasks you don't enjoy or do well.

But what if you're forced to do work that doesn't challenge or interest you?

"First, try to create a system to streamline what you're doing. For instance, a man with low talent for time management found that it helped to use a Palm Pilot. Or, simply partner with someone who has high talent in
the area you dislike," advises Neils.

Now. This does not give you the right to shrug off any workplace task that doesn't thrill you. We all have to do things we don't enjoy -- the trash won't walk itself to the curb, for example.

But you don't have to spend your best years in a job that chokes off your passion and stifles your creativity. You certainly can align your work with your talents.

The most successful people throughout human history have one thing in common: they saw work as play. That's how they were able to put in the long hours of practice and toil that took them to the top. From Michelangelo to Michael Jordan, from Caesar to Clinton, these workplace wonders did what they loved to do, what they were born to do.

You can, too.

If you know what you do well, do more of it, and minimize the rest, you could find yourself in that most enviable position of all, getting paid to do what you love.


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Kevin Donlin owns and operates Guaranteed Resumes. Since 1995, he has provided resumes, cover letters and online job-search assistance to clients on five continents.

Kevin has been interviewed by WCCO and WLTE radio, and KMSP TV, among others. His articles have appeared in the National Business Employment Weekly, Minneapolis Star Tribune, Twin Cities Employment Weekly and others.

For more information, click here.

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