“My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.”

~ Maya Angelou

Some people are lucky and know they want to be a firefighter from the day they get their first toy fire truck.

The rest of us on the other hand might be struggling to find that one thing. The thing that drives us and fills us with passion. The thing that gives us purpose and makes us feel good about ourselves.

Along with finding the right partner in life, finding what you want to do with your life is the second most important and yet toughest search you are going to experience in life.

It’s easy to get frustrated as you watch those around you find their answers so early in life. There is no real reason why some find their passion quicker than others, but there are ways in which we can enhance our options and bring us closer to finding our answers:

Here are 5 reasons why you may not have found your dream job yet, and how to over come them:

1. We stay in our comfort zone.

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Finding clarity on this subject does not happen inside of our comfort zone. If we don’t know what we want to do with our lives, chances are it is because we have not come across it yet.

We can wait for chance to hopefully grace us one day, or we can go out there and create new experiences for ourselves that might teach us about our true passion.

How are you supposed to know you love something if you have never experienced it before?

Don’t be afraid to go out of your comfort zone and try different jobs, hobbies, or volunteer work. It’s scary taking a big leap into a new career, especially if we aren’t 100% sure it is the right one for us. Test the waters and see what you like or don’t like.

Talk to your friends and strangers about their jobs and what they do. Ask if you can join them at work one day or volunteer there. Don’t be afraid to get your working hands dirty.

2. Friends and family aren’t always the best support.

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Often times our friends and family may not be the best support system for us when choosing our career. This isn’t because they mean us any harm, on the other hand, they are doing it to protect us.

They don’t want to see us crash and burn so they try to shelter us from reaching for the impossible.

This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t share with them your dreams and ideas, but take their advice with a grain of salt. Know that they are skeptical not because they do not believe in you, but because they want to protect you.

Do not let the skepticism of those around you hinder your search for your true passion.

3. We think but don’t act.

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While trying to figure out our passion needs to also come from some intensive soul searching,the quest can not stop there. It is important that we reflect on ourselves, what makes us happy, and what drives us in order to get an idea of what we want to do with our lives.

It’s essential to follow that thought with action however. You never know if you are going to like something unless you actually give it a try. This doesn’t mean jumping in head first into the unknown.
It means taking a small step towards your new goal and seeing if you actually find passion in it.

If you have been yearning to quit your 9 – 5 desk job to become a writer, start a blog first. Write for some current blogs and maybe take some writing classes. Test the waters of your new passion.

Sometimes what we think we want, and what it actually entails are not going to be the same thing. Be mindful of your expectations when searching for your dream career. Know that you are going to have to make some sacrifices.

4. Your dream job might not be conventional.

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Sometimes we stop and look around at our friends who are doctors and lawyers and we think, “how did they know this was what they wanted to be?”. Some people are blessed enough to know what they want to do from a very young age. Others might be pushed into careers because of their particular skills.

The advantage these people posses is that these jobs have been around for a while and they have had time to develop a passion or skill for it.

This day and age however, it is a blessing and curse that we are able to create our own jobs! We no longer have to adhere to the standard confines of “conventional” jobs that have been around for hundreds of years like doctors, lawyers, teachers, etc. The downfall of this new endeavor is the limitless number of possibilities out there for us. It can be overwhelming.

If I can do truly anything as a job, what am I gonna do?

Don’t be deterred by this wave on possibilities. Embrace it and see it as an opportunity to construct the perfect job for yourself. Don’t be afraid if what you are doing isn’t going to be conventional. Often the most passion filled jobs are far from conventional.

5. We succumb to the pressure to work any job.

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Often times when older people are asked what is their one regret in life they say it is not having the courage to pursue their true passion. While we can all roll our eyes and say “that won’t be me”, it’s not as easy as we think it is.

Most of us all know the stresses of paying bills, the rent, food for us and our families. It is easy to take the option of a job that may not make us happy, but provides for our basic needs, sometimes even beyond. We tend to stay where the money is. In the end however, it is a decision that can’t be judged.

Even if we don’t feel the financial burden yet as young people in our 20’s, we look around and feel this constant need and competition to do something, anything. Working a job while you look for your true passion is not the mistake. The mistake lies in closing yourself off from experiences where you might find that passion because you are too busy with a job that doesn’t bring you fulfillment. And lastly, the mistake lies in staying in that job once you finally found it.

If you haven’t found what you want to do yet, don’t panic. Most people don’t know either. Don’t let society push you into something that makes you un happy. And most importantly, don’t stop searching. Open yourself up to new ideas and possibilities and watch as life pushes you in the right direction.

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