How to Find Work That You Love — A Logical Guide

“So… uhh… how do I find a job that I love?”

Talk about money long enough, and the question inevitably comes up. And it should.

Most of us spend 60-80% of our waking hours doing something work-related. If you don’t enjoy that work, then it means you’re unhappy 60-80% of the time. Logical, right?

It would also make sense that the quickest way to improve your happiness would be to improve your enjoyment of the thing you spend the most time doing. Since that’s work, you wonder if you couldn’t find something better.

But the question is, “How?”

Here’s what I think: the answer is in the title of this post.

Let’s break it down, starting at the end of the title and working our way back to the beginning.

Step One: Define Love

The word “love” describes a huge variety of emotions. What does it mean to you?

  • Meaningful
  • Fun
  • Abundant
  • Relaxing
  • Fulfilling

Most people just think they’ll “know it when they find it,” but I think that’s wrong. You’ll find it when you know it, not the other way around.

Take some time and figure out exactly what you mean when you say “love.” Envision it. That way, you’ll at least know what you’re looking for.

Step Two: Define You

It’s funny what happens when you try to define a word like love. You start thinking about yourself.

  • Who are you right now?
  • Who do you want to be?
  • What do you really want?
  • Can you really have it?
  • Do you really deserve it?

Finding happiness is more about self-discovery than career advice, and self-discovery usually starts with hard questions. If you want a meaningful career, find the courage to ask them.

Step Three: Define Work

Once you know who you are and what you want, you can start tackling concepts like work. For most people, “work” and “happiness” don’t really go together. Work means:

  • Being ticked off at your boss
  • Doing stuff you don’t enjoy
  • A never-ending competition
  • Dealing with bureaucracy
  • Fighting to be noticed

If you want work that you love, then you’ll have to change your conception of work. You might even want to remove the word from your vocabulary entirely.

Personally, I divide actions into two categories: those moving me toward my objectives and those NOT moving me toward my objectives. I try to always do the former and never do the latter.

Ever since, I’ve never had a problem finding the motivation to “work.” Isn’t that interesting?

Step Four: Define Find

The act of “finding” normally involves the act of “searching.” So, if you want to find a job you love, you have to commit yourself to searching for it. That means:

  • Reading about other jobs and professions
  • Asking people what their work is like
  • Keeping an eye out for interesting opportunities
  • Updating your résumé
  • Applying for jobs and going on interviews

Think of yourself like a detective, methodically searching for a missing person. You don’t just wait for them to appear out of nowhere. You have to go looking for them.

Step Five: Define How

Here’s the big question: once you find a job that looks like one you’d love, how do you go about getting it? You might need to:

  • Pay for some specialized training
  • Build your reputation as an expert
  • Network with influencers in industry
  • Get some relevant work experience
  • Actually apply for the job

Whatever it requires, do it. If you get turned down, just keep asking until you either find out why and fix the problem or they hire you because of your persistence. Remember, you’re either moving closer, or you’re not.

How to Find Work That You Love

Didn’t I tell you the answer was in the title? If you look carefully, we’ve worked through every content word in the sentence, starting with “love” and ending with “how.”

You can approach most problems this way. Just break them down, figure out what all of the words mean, and you’ll automatically start to understand what to do.

The one thing I’ll add is, you might need to go through this process several times. You’ll start your dream job, find out you don’t like it as much as you thought, and then move onto the next one.

I’m going through that process for the fourth time in nine years. Every time, I get a little closer, enjoying my work a little more.

And know what? It’s worth it.

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  1. I think one of the best ways to find work that we love is to look at our hobbies and interests first. Most people never consider their hobbies as a potential moneymakers. Don’t look at “work” jobs to figure out what you *could* do. Look at “fun” stuff that you already do and take that a step further.

    Take me, for example. Horses were my hobby. When I moved away from my corporate job, I didn’t look for a job – I looked at how I could turn my interest into a moneymaker.

    I managed a stable, gave lessons, trained green horses, worked as a groom, a stable hand, a trail guide, and a camp leader. And I was never happier.

    Now I write – that’s another interest turned moneymaker.

  2. Great list. Your post seems really logical. Personally, I think being logical may cost your more in the reality.

    We sometime work on something we don’t like, but We have no choice. Unless we financially capable to work on the stuff we really like, we will have to work on something to make living.

  3. Jon says:

    For me, “financially capable” is a vague term. Most people are capable of surviving on very little, but they’re not willing to give up their lifestyle, and that keeps them from doing work that they enjoy.

    Hmm. I should write a post about that. 🙂

  4. Now, that’s very true. The more you earn, the more you pay. The less you earn, the less you pay is also true, and some levels of salary, when compared to what’s left over when it’s all said and done almost come out equal.

    I also know people (including myself) who’ve had drastic income changes. They often shortly realize how much better they actually are overall, as far as quality of life over quantity of money is concerned.

  5. Tad Chef says:

    I only can add one thing: Do not focus solely on wage slavery. Most jobs where you are only obeying orders are not fulfilling by definition.

  6. I love this statement:

    “Personally, I divide actions into two categories: those moving me toward my objectives and those NOT moving me toward my objectives. I try to always do the former and never do the latter.”

    Great practical advice. Thanks for that.

  7. Tinfoil says:

    Money Making & Wealth Creation

    The best way to “Make Money” is to join the tribe who controls the Federal Reserveless Bank.

    The only way to “Create Wealth” is to dig it up from oil wells or cultivate it in the form of food. There is no other way.

    The major socio political economic problem today is “Money Making/Printing” and “Wealth Creation” has no co-relation.

    The people who control the Fed Bank and print the money/currency are stealing the wealth that everyone else creates!

    When the real wealth creators understand the money making/printing scam expect GENOCIDE

  8. Jon,
    I like the toward objective and away as a measure too. What you are suggesting is self actualization. That does require some up front inner searching that not everyone is willing to do, even though in the long run, “work” becomes “play” . If you could play and get paid for it, wouldn’t that be something? What play would you choose? I think it is the measuring success part that bogs people down, and the expectations from outside sources that impede a lot of folks. I read somewhere that we all look for the” great good battle” in our work to give life richness and meaning. I hope what you are saying is that that choice can go hand in hand with creating monetary wealth as well.
    all best, Jan

  9. Andrew Long says:

    Great post. I’d just like to add something…

    I noticed in the post that you use the word job and encourage readers to look for a fulfilling job. My path was a bit different…I went through a similar process and ended up creating a multinational corporate team building company. Work for me was not in finding a job, but in creating a company and that may also be the path for others.

  10. […] Happiness and Success – PsyBlog offers 9 ways happiness leads to success and for those of you thinking you might be in the career, Jon Morrow explains how to find work that you love. […]

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  13. […] How to Find Work That You Love — A Logical Guide (tags: work careers careerdevelopment) […]

  14. […] On Moneymaking has created a “logical guide” that explains how to find work that you love: You might need to go through this process several times. You’ll start your dream job, find out […]

  15. Jo says:


    I really like this post and have linked to it, as I think you’ve seen.

    I have a follow up question. How do we get people to do it? To have a go?


  16. […] How to Find Work That You Love — A Logical Guide | On Moneymaking (tags: money omsk) […]

  17. […] Read up. Credit to […]

  18. Sara says:

    I think this is a good article, encouraging those who are unhappy to figure out what they want, and how to get there. I have been really struggling with this idea. I wanted to get promoted, to help others, but in order to do so, I have to play the corporate games, and promote myself above those who I am supposed to be working with as part of a team at my current level. There’s a balance in there, that I’m supposed to find, but honestly, I can’t justify. Stepping on others to get where I think I might want to go? If that’s what I have to do to get where I think I wanted to go – I’m not sure I want to go there anymore. I’ve made that decision, and told the powers that be, and now I’m a little more at peace with the path ahead. Whether or not this wad career suicide is still TBD. 🙂

  19. […] down each individual term, you’ll likely be more satisfied with the path you end up taking. How to Find Work that You Love: A Logical Guide [On […]

  20. […] In today’s job market, it appears to me that everyone is trying to find a job that they love.  In fact, for members of Gen-Y, job hopping and searching to find a job they love appears to be a hobby.  Jon Morrow – a twentysomething entreprenuer and interesting blogger who has good natural perspective – writes a great post on How To Find Work That You Love.  […]

  21. […] See if this helps you: How to Find Work That You Love — A Logical Guide […]

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  23. […] How to Find Work that You Love: A Logical Guide [On Moneymaking], found via Lifehacker […]

  24. […] by Sarah on February 5, 2008 This “logical guide” might be able to help you find what kind of work will make you […]

  25. […] How to Find Work that You Love — A Logical Guide (Not to say anything about my work, but ya know, wouldn’t hurt to read it!) […]

  26. great post. I have found what I love doing in blogging, now I just have to turn it into a fulltime income 😀

  27. Ronald Baro says:

    I have no website as of yet. I’m what one would call an old newbie at this. I do work in a field that I love? but there is much hardship in it because of the many (cut-throats) or competitive people that are in it usurping a place or position that belongs to someone else or monopolizing as in the Latin Radio Scene. I love working in my music?, it’s a billion dollar industry or more? but there are people that don’t belong in it not allowing me and other of my brother musicians to live correctly or comfortably or pass on not in Poverty. Something has to be done. I definitely want to work at what I love, without having to do something else that gives me the threat of some anal supervisor or boss or type A personality that bullies other people at a job etc…

  28. Eric says:

    Please send information on how I can find my own business.

  29. Good article. I think so many people do not really understand what they even mean when they say they want to “do something I love.” Defining what you mean is an important step to determining what you should be doing.

  30. Pam Bertrand says:

    Excellent post Jon!

    I can personally attest to many of the points made in your post, as well as to James’ comments. I have had drastic differences in income throughout my life and made (and continue to make) the difficult decisions between what we have been ingrained with what “work” should be (according to our society or our upbringing) and what we “do with our moments each and every day” according to our hearts. Lemme tell ya that the heart will always win and will always defy the absolute “logic” that we are bombarded with as to why we should do this or that “for money”.

    To take it a step further, in my experience on this path and in conjunction with my seemingly never-ending thirst for learning new things/topics, what I have found is that if you let them, (read those last few words again) all of the different things that you are interested in can/should/will dovetail nicely together and build on top of each other.

    Even topics/areas that appear completely unrelated could give you the inspiration for the next step. It eventually becomes like a well-oiled machine in your mind, all smoothly rolling over itself and “feeding” different parts (ideas) to get you to the next level. The fun involved in that, then becomes so natural that the word “work” does actually morph into something else altogether.

    For me, this is the crescendo of “moving closer” that you speak of… the fine tuning of the instrument or the focusing of the lens. It IS a process and an ongoing, wonderful dance. 🙂

    As always, keep up the good work! Looking forward to the “re-launch”!

    Pam 🙂

  31. […] Find What Works For You a Logical Guide […]

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  33. Niki says:

    I love this article,
    however, also replying to Tad Chef’s comment above,
    the only ‘irking’ question I kept having is: if ALL of us don’t want to work in jobs of “obeying orders” (ie: perhaps like a staff, or secretary jobs in office/corporations, or a laborers, or assembly-workers in factory, assembling cars for US to buy & use! etc), then WHO would do it??
    how would the economy run, if ALL those “menial, boring YET also important jobs” such as secretary, clerk, etc all choose to want to become a singer, or musician, or blogging?..
    how would the cars get produced if ALL hundreds, and even thousands of those “menial, boring, or perhaps ‘meaningless” assembly-workers, after reading this blog, suddenly choose to abandon their jobs, and choose to just blog at home, or become a dancer, or philosopher, etc?..

    Everything would become a total disorder, isn’t it?

    And let’s not to forget about the multitudes of people in the Third-world countries too, which is probably two-third of this world!, who often don’t have the ‘luxury’ of CHOICES or OPTIONS to “be themselves and do what they really want/love”.
    Yes, it’s really a Harsh Reality.
    But I, for one, believe in the humanity is always constantly evolving.
    So, we can actually choose (& hopefully get inspired & motivated) to HELP those Third-world countries,
    so they can grow, develop, and hence, its people would have the ‘luxury’ to CHOOSE to be/do what they want (or dream) of, because of plenty of opportunities for them, instead of NO opportunity/chance at all !


  34. a dude says:

    being conscious of one happiness in one’s free time , and stoping everytime one isn’t happy.
    being bored , thinking and daydreaming of life.
    going far enough , wondering minds will find wonderfull things..

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