We all know what it’s like to work a miserable job. Whether it was waitressing in high school or babysitting for some extra cash throughout college, we’ve all paid our dues doing some less-than-pleasant work.
We might have done it for so long that we forgot what it was like to actually enjoy what we do.
Here are 10 things I’ve found that have changed for me since landing my dream job of becoming a travel writer.
10. It takes work, but it doesn’t feel like it.
You know you have found your dream job when the time flies by and you don’t even realize how long you have been working.
Whether it’s designing airplanes or reading an assigned law case, you know it’s worth the work and time you've dedicated.
9. You care less about how much you are making.
In order to do something you love, you might have to make some sacrifices in regards to your paycheck. Even though you might not be making the big bucks, you’re enjoying the adventure of loving what you do each morning, rather than feeling miserable at your desk job.
Money is not the deciding factor for whether you continue working at your job; it's about whether you truly can stand the thought of leaving it.
8. Your relationships with friends and family improve.
When you love what you do, you are a happier person. When work doesn’t seem like work anymore, putting effort toward the things that matter — your relationships with the people you love — seems worthwhile. You know what your parents have done for you over the years and how hard they have worked.
As your friends struggle with their own careers, you'll realize how fortunate you are to be doing something you love.
7. Romantic relationships improve.
Knowing what it’s like to feel good at your job also makes you realize how good it can feel to be in a loving, caring relationship with someone.
It might not always be easy, but you might have come to realize that the good things in life take time and a little bit of effort, which isn’t to say it shouldn’t be fun, too.
You also learn what you truly deserve from someone else when you are fulfilled in another area of your life. You want that feeling not only in your professional life, but also when you are with someone.
6. You feel challenged.
Working a boring, dull job can make the days seem like they will never end and it’s easy to check into zombie mode when you aren’t enjoying what you are doing.
When you are doing something you love, you recognize that there is no other way to live. The perfect job will always keep you slightly on your toes.
5. You don’t care what others think.
When you return for your five-year high school reunion and people ask what you have been up to, you could care less what label they put on your line of work.
Whether they say, “That sounds like a cool job” or “Well, it pays the bills,” you shrug it off.
All you need to know is that it brings you joy; whether it’s publishing books with one of the Big Six or using your own private, personal press, it fills you with a sense of purpose.
4. You are able to focus on other aspects of your life.
Even though your job might be amazing and you can’t believe how lucky you are to have landed it, one of the perks is that it gives you time to have some freedom, as well. You might have some ample vacation time to travel or hours that work with your busy schedule.
A good life includes a balance between your work life and your personal life. Having a career that allows you to make those other parts a priority helps.
3. You feel like you have responsibilities (and you like it).
While working other jobs (including that stint you did cleaning up horse sh*t in the local parade), you might have had very little responsibility, or if you did have it, you couldn't care less about it. When you have a job you love, the responsibility feels good; in fact, you crave it.
You want to show the world that you can handle yourself and do a quality job with whatever is thrown your way.
2. There’s room for improvement.
Not only will the right job keep you occupied and challenged, but you’ll also find that you can always be better at what you do. You’re still trying to hone your photography skills or to think of the perfect way to top that wedding cake you were asked to bake.
You might be the best at what you do, but you can always continue to push yourself to produce higher quality work and be proud of what you have done.
1. You have no regrets.
When you think back on the past few months or years, you really cannot see yourself doing anything else than what you are doing right now, at this moment.
You don’t secretly wonder what it would have been like to get your pilot’s license and fly across the world or to shelve book titles as a librarian.
You are happy doing just what you are doing and you hope to do it for as long as it makes you happy.
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