Finding Fulfilling Work


In Launch School’s Slack, we’ve hit on the point of how to find one’s purpose in life. The way I’m seeing Purpose is ‘What should I focus on, from a high level, that will lead to a fulfilling/happy life?’ So Good They Can’t Ignore You, has changed my perspective on this topic to see that a fulfilling careers is more about what I can offer to others, then what my career can offer to me. An article from Effective Altruism also supports this claim and sums up a fulfilling career with the following summary:

What makes a dream job?

  1. Work that’s engaging
  2. Work that helps others
  3. Work you’re good at
  4. Work with supportive colleagues
  5. Work that meets your basic needs
  6. Work that fits with the rest of your life

I’m thinking this would be a better path to finding fulfilling work than ‘Follow Your Passion’ because it highlights what matters more in the end, doing work other people value.

But, apart from this, you can take this advice and go in so many directions:

How to pick the ‘Right Answer’

I don’t think there’s really a wrong answer. A school mate Michael encourages people to do ‘mini validations’ where they try out a bit of something they want to do before committing a college degree to it. For example, write blogs if you think you want to be a writer, or volunteer at a hospital to get a sense of what a doctor does. Personally, looking at the list above, going in the right direction is more about knowing who you are then submitting to one field.

Everything is an experiment

So, live your life and be aware of how you’re taking it. We only know some things about ourselves when we try them out, and pay attention. The more information you have on yourself, the better decisions you can make. So, take some time to do some minivalidations, some retrospections, some data mining, and embrace what’s around the corner/or change direction. But, also consider how this can help other people.