Finding a job you love

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The sole point of work can't be bringing home a paycheck. Adequate compensation will always be a consideration, but keeping the momentum and enthusiasm about your career is hard if you don't find the work meaningful and rewarding. With a little thought, you might discover how to fit your passions into a new career.

Follow the clues.

Improbable opportunities happen every day. Think about the things that you love to do, and pay attention to projects and topics that excite your imagination. The things about which you are naturally enthusiastic will provide the clues to careers you may not have considered.

Fight feelings of intimidation.

If you're older, the idea may be daunting. You've invested time and effort into your current career, and you may worry about the possible sacrifice of compensation and benefits. But consider this: Your years in the workforce have given you marketable skills that can help you transition into a different field. Also consider other skills that you have acquired from hobbies, volunteer work, and other life experiences. You might have more to offer than you realize.

Thinking about a career change in today's economy might feel risky. Doing research on other possibilities is a low-risk starting point, and can only benefit you in the long run. You may discover a career opportunity in a field you'll love with a more stable long-term outlook than your current position provides. Keep in mind that you don't have to quit your current job until you feel confident that the new career path is right for you and will meet your financial needs.

Research & network.

It's all about self-discovery: translating your interests into work you'll love. Online tools -- questions and quizzes -- can't provide you with a new career, but they can help identify what's important to you in a job, what you enjoy doing, and areas where your skills make you excel. Based on the results, you can browse sample careers that match up well.

Once you identify the career that is the best fit, ask for information from people already employed in that field. You'll get a clearer picture of the work you would actually be doing and a better sense of whether the job lives up to your expectations. You'll also be building contacts in your chosen field who may help you land that new job.

Work at what you love, and you'll find fulfillment in what feels like play. If you're interested and engaged, excellence, satisfaction and success are sure to follow.

More tips for success

10 Reasons to love your job
The best way to shorten your workday
Loving your job vs. bringing home the bacon: Finding the balance

Vicki Clinebell majored in journalism at the University of Colorado, and headed an advertising agency before beginning a long career in broadcasting, spanning production and copywriting to sales and management for an ABC affiliate station. Deciding to switch gears and write fulfilled a lifelong ambition. She started as a blogger for a diverse group of businesses, and now writes for a number of websites for companies in her hometown in the Rocky Mountains, and provides advertising copy and media buying for national and regional clients. She finds the research as interesting as the writing, learning about subjects as diverse as construction scaffolding, child safety seats, and newest trends in beauty and fashion. As a long-time devotee of SheKnows, she’s thrilled to see her own work on the pages.