Do you love your job? If you're like at least four out of five people in the United States, the answer to that question is no. And if it is no, that's something that you should try to change.
One great place to start making a change is with the TED Talks playlist of "Talks to help you yind the right job." These talks will help inspire you to find a career you love, and they'll help give you the courage to make the sometimes scary changes necessary to get there.
1. Find the work you can't not do.
Scott Dinsmore was working a frustrating job at a Fortune 500 company but following the advice he'd been given to stick with it and build up his résumé, he recalls at the start of his engaging talk. Then he heard Warren Buffett's comment that doing a job you don't like because you think it will look good on your résumé is a little like "saving up sex for your old age."
He immediately left his job and began interviewing people about their work and their careers, especially people who had built careers they loved doing work that they would do whether they were paid or not. Pretty soon, people began asking if they could talk to him about their own careers--and 80 percent of them wound up quitting their jobs and going in search of something they couldn't not do.
In Dinsmore's case, the job he couldn't not do turned out to be helping people follow their dreams with a foundation called Live Your Legend. Dinsmore died in 2015 while traveling around the world, but the foundation and his ideas for finding happiness live on.
2. Stop beating yourself up.
Career crises are becoming more and more common in our modern world, argues philosopher Alain de Botton. In fact, in individualistic societies like ours that tell us anyone can have any career, the rates of suicide are higher than elsewhere, and rising. "People take what happens to them extremely personally," he explains. "They own their success, but they also own their failure."
But even brilliantly successful people will have some areas of their lives where they are failures--you can't really have it all, he says. And too often, our ideas about success and failure come from other people in our lives and not our own selves. So, he says, "We should focus in on our ideas, and make sure that we own them--that we are truly the authors of our own ambitions." Because the only thing worse than not getting what you want is getting to the end of your life and realizing that what you thought you wanted wasn't really right all along.
3. Know why you do what you do.
"I'm not here to motivate you," the incomparable Tony Robbins tells the audience during his fast-paced talk (which includes high-fiving Al Gore). "I want to know why you do what you do."
We all live our lives fulfilling six human needs, he continues, many of which are contradictory. We need certainty and safety, but also uncertainty and variety. We need to feel significant, which means being unique and different, but we also need to feel connected and loved. The last two needs are spiritual needs--to grow and to give beyond ourselves. Fulfilling that last need most often makes us truly happy.
Which of these needs drives you the most? The answer will determine what you do and what success means to you.
4. The knowledge nobody tells you you need.
What's behind the persistent gender gap at top executive levels? Bias is certainly one answer. But another answer is some knowledge that many women--and some men--seeking leadership roles don't know they need. Susan Colantuono explains in a thought-provoking talk that many people don't realize that they need to understand not only their job but their industry, the financial targets their companies need to hit, those companies' overall strategies, and their own roles in moving their companies forward. Take this as a warning: If you're hoping for success in business, whether as an entrepreneur or by climbing the corporate ladder, make sure you truly understand your company's goals and its industry. Or you may find you're missing some of the tools you need.
5. You can create opportunities.
Do you mostly talk about yourself? Or do you have what journalist, author, and consultant Kare Anderson calls "a mutuality mindset"? Instead of just talking about themselves, people with a mutuality mindset create a sense of "us," and they tend to create opportunities for both themselves and everyone around them. In Anderson's case, she connected an actress, an ex-con, and an architect who all had an interest in public art, and as a result, new legislation was passed in Los Angeles.
What kinds of opportunities can you create?