When you find your dream career you’ll know it. At least in the beginning. This sparkling new career will be everything you dreamed of until tons of obstacles crop up. This career may be more challenging than you thought and begin to feel like you might have chosen incorrectly. To reassure you, here are some strange signs you have truly found the career you love.
There Isn’t Enough Time To Do Everything
You are bombarded by a ton of unfinished work, but this doesn’t cause you to freeze. Every new assignment is handled with efficiency and so your workday is filled with new work. Because getting into the zone is so easy you are breezing through every assignment. When the day ends, rather than having nothing to do the next morning, you have a huge list that you want to tackle, but, you know, work-life-balance needs to be maintained. So, you may go to bed thinking of all the items you’re going to check off that list.
You Can Always Find The “Bigger Picture”
Every job, no matter how much of a fantasy-come-true it is, has mundane tasks. While you may not love these little, yet time-consuming, tasks you can also see the bigger picture. If you were at a job you didn’t feel too much for, these little projects could ruin your entire day. But in your dream career, these are just a needed stepping stone to your bigger plans. Because you are in a career you are passionate about you can see the bigger picture through small pieces you have to move around.
You Feel Frustration When Something Is Less Than Its Best
You are sometimes filled with extreme frustration, but it isn’t because of the task, it is due to some activity not being completed to your standards. Whether this activity is your colleagues or your own, you will feel frustrated. Because you care about your work it is important to maintain high-quality output. Not only will you feel peeved at the less-than-perfect work, you will spend extra time and effort to bring it up to your standards. While this extra effort may, sometimes, feel like a mule hauling Goliath up a mountain, you do it anyway because you have no choice. Finally, when you finish this task the satisfaction is almost more than you can bear. Like your love for your children or significant other, love for your career will bring out the most protective of your instincts.
You Talk About Work All The Time
Even though you may, at times, become aware you’re dominating the conversation with work-related topics, you can’t help it. Your passion has a mouth of its own and that gaping hole rarely closes. Even when your work is frustrating you talk about it to whoever’s sitting closest. Though you may complain at times, you still discuss every phase your work goes through. At your dream career, walking out of work doesn’t mean leaving. Your work comes with you because it’s attached to your heart.
Time Speeds Up, You’re Sure Of It
You walk into work, blink, and it’s lunchtime. Four hours have passed and you’re sure you’ve only answered three emails, took one phone call, and stapled two sheets of paper together. This unconscious lack of awareness of time is called the flow state. When you are in flow, the feeling of time passing ceases. Your mind is so focused and relaxed, hours can go by and you won’t notice. Flow is reached when you’re doing a task that is neither too challenging or easy. Due to its complexity perfectly fitting with your abilities you and the task meld together into one.
Your Colleagues Inspire You
Whether you’re looking at some extremely clean code, an amazingly detailed fractal, or a speech that would make Alexander Hamilton gasp, you have great admiration for your colleagues’ work. You fully realize how competent and tenacious they are. This realization of their greatness often propels you to support them so they can continue being marvelous. Their dedication and competence mirror your own, so you get great pleasure working on a team with your colleagues. Together, you and your colleagues will bounce ideas off of each other and create outstanding results. The better your feel about your career, the better you’ll feel about everyone. Admiring your colleagues’ work stems from admiring your own work. At a career you love, you know that your own work is at least as good as theirs. And their work is damn good, if you, ahem, do say so yourself.
Sunday Night Doesn’t Give You Heart Palpitations
When the weekend comes you may find yourself relating non-work tasks to work. While pushing your child on the swing you may be brainstorming new ideas or solving problems. Gently bringing your work home with you is a great sign you love your career, but two other signs include excitement for Sunday nights and weekdays that have no mood swings. You know those temperamental weekdays can get pretty overwhelming. Monday is depressed; Wednesday is resigned to its fate; and Friday went full-blown manic. You are pretty happy every day and Sunday night is met with enthusiasm because you have more “work” to do in the morning.
Loving your career doesn’t have to be a fantasy your entire life. Keep looking until you find that spark and don’t settle until you have claimed it as your own. Try new jobs until you begin your career and when you’ve found it, work hard to show your employer you are serious. Keep learning and making connections with others. Relationships are invaluable.