How to do what you love as a long-term career choice

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 6 June 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Employees make a living by spending a significant proportion of their time completing a range of tasks for the businesses they work for. This is typically a necessity, but working in a job you have an interest in makes the time more enjoyable. Understanding how to do what you love in the workplace can lead to a rewarding career. In this article, we discuss how to do what you love, explain why it's important and explore the key benefits of doing what you love as a career.

How to do what you love

If your current role isn't fulfilling, you may want to know how to do what you love. To achieve this in your career, it can help to first find a job opportunity in which you have a personal interest. This means that you can complete tasks you enjoy doing and retain a personal investment in succeeding in your work. Follow these steps to work towards doing what you love and building a career you care about:

1. Work out what it is that you love

Before you start searching for a career, establish what it is that you love. This means looking at your hobbies and personal interests and considering which things you would enjoy doing for 40 hours a week for most of the year. Take all of your interests into consideration, as there are many different industries to work in, and focus on the one you enjoy the most to have a happy career.

Consider your area of interest carefully. Working in an industry is a significant commitment, and you want your job to hold your attention so that you can continue enjoying your hobby even when it becomes work. Think about all of your hobbies and look into a role in an area you enjoy. If you like every individual aspect of a hobby or pastime, it's an ideal candidate for a career that maintains your interest over an extended period.

Related: How to find your passion in life and use it successfully

2. Look for careers in your preferred industry

When you have a better idea of the industry you would like to work in, find a specific career that interests you. Knowing the industry you're looking for work in is a good start, but it helps to narrow it down to a specific job that appeals to you. Consider all of the roles in the industry and look for one that's suitable for you. This includes having the right skill sets, qualifications and tasks that hold your interest as you work.

Deciding on a particular role gives you a specific end goal for your career trajectory. It also gives you a distinct set of qualifications and skills to build as your career progresses and guides your next steps. When you have a better idea of the qualifications and skills necessary for the role, you can set out a timeline for achieving your goals.

3. Get your qualifications

The vast majority of job roles require specific qualifications. For example, if you want to work as a lorry driver and see the sights of Europe, it's essential to have a particular type of driving licence. Similarly, working as a football coach requires a coaching licence and safeguarding certifications, and working as a chef requires food safety qualifications. Getting these qualifications early on is a good way of building towards a career in an industry you love and getting started as soon as possible.

Many of these qualifications come at a cost, but this investment is a valuable part of building towards a job that you love. Look into reputable training partners that offer the qualifications you require. This helps you to build the best possible foundation for your career and equips you with the right skills and knowledge.

Related: Different types and examples of job qualifications

4. Build a network

Once you have the necessary qualifications for your ideal job role, build a network within your chosen industry. Building a network provides more opportunities to talk to people in the industry and deepen your knowledge. There are several different ways of doing this, including using professional social media sites to talk to people from the industry about their work. Another alternative is to visit industry conferences. These provide opportunities to speak to experts and gain further insight that you may not previously have had access to.

Talking to company owners and entrepreneurs at business networking events may also give you an opportunity to find job vacancies that may not be available publicly. Furthermore, interviewing for a job with somebody you met at a conference is ideal because they know you have a firm interest in building a career in that field. The personal connections you form at a conference are just as valuable as all of the knowledge you gain at those events.

5. Apply for roles

Once you have all of the necessary qualifications and some professional connections in the industry, applying for roles is the next step in the process. This means searching the job market for the perfect role for you or other options closely related to what you want to do. Although the specific role you want may not be available at the time, applying for a position where you have the opportunity to transition to your dream job is a great alternative.

If there are no roles that suit, consider applying for work experience or an internship in the industry you have an interest in. These opportunities are not permanent jobs but can provide a route to more full-time employment in that industry. Working as an intern or on a work experience placement gives you practical knowledge of the industry, developing your understanding and benefiting you in your future applications for permanent roles. Understanding the industry is key to working in it in the long term, and work experience opportunities and internships provide better insight.

Related: 14 of the best networking strategies and where to use them

The benefits of doing what you love

There's a wide range of benefits to doing what you love as a career. These benefits relate both to a professional setting and how you feel personally. The advantages of doing what you love as a career include:

Better performance

From a purely professional perspective, doing what you love typically means you care about your performance more. If you work in an industry you have an interest in, you're likely to invest yourself in the business's success to a greater extent. This helps you to work more effectively, producing the best possible outcomes and helping the company to reach its goals.

Greater enjoyment

Another key benefit of doing what you love is the greater enjoyment you receive from your work. Completing tasks that you enjoy working on daily means you enjoy your time in the job far more than in an alternative role. You spend a significant proportion of your time at work, so choosing a career you enjoy is important for being as satisfied as you can and increasing your general happiness.

Better career mobility

People with a greater interest in their careers have more potential for career mobility. If moving into a new role in a company requires studying and further qualifications, people with an interest in the field appreciate the opportunity to progress. Progressing in a business you enjoy working for is typically a pleasant process and something that staff members actively seek out.

Greater insight

People working in a field they love have better insights into decision-making in the industry. This is because these employees typically spend a lot of time observing the industry and get the opportunity to learn from more experiences in the workplace. They can call upon this knowledge when making decisions, which can improve company performance and may help them achieve promotion.

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