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Look for the job that you would take if you didn’t need a job.

The Unmistakable Sign of Having the Right Career

Do you want to know whether you are in the right career?

Do you want to know whether you are at a place where you can be your best?

I have been following many successful people over the years. These are people who have overcome great challenges to thrive in their fields. These are people who have made an impact on the world.

They come from different backgrounds, but somehow they give similar advice when it comes to career. It’s as if there is a key to success that these people have found.

In essence, this is what they say is the unmistakable sign of having the right career:

You are having fun doing it.

Yes, you are having fun doing it. And the fun doesn’t come from the money or the reputation you get but from the work itself.

This is the way Warren Buffett puts it:

“I had fun when I was in my twenties, my thirties, and now I am 86 and I am having fun.”

That’s a great way to live, isn’t it? That’s how our career should be!

Now, how can we find such a career? Here is Buffett’s advice:

“I advise students, as much as possible, look for the job that you would take if you didn’t need a job.”

Let’s pause and think about that for a moment: what job would you take if you didn’t need a job?

When you look at the way Warren Buffett works, it’s obvious that he is having fun. How else can you explain reading 500 pages a day for years? Remember, he is his own boss. Nobody forces him to do it. I can’t think of any other explanation of his intensity except that he enjoys doing it.

There is a good reason why having fun is essential for career success: it makes you go further at it than other people. What may feel like a chore to someone else is a joy to you, so you will do more of it.

Here is how Stephen King puts it:

If there’s no joy in it, it’s just no good. It’s best to go on to some other area, where… the fun quotient higher.

Again, similar advice, and there is a useful term here: fun quotient. I think that’s a good way to measure how good a career is for you: how high is the fun quotient?

Mark Cuban puts it this way:

It’s really easy to know if you are in the right job. If it matters how much you get paid, you are not in a job you really love.

I can give you more examples, but you get the point.

There is something you should be careful about, though. You could start what you do for the fun of it, but over time you could lose the fun and it would just become a job.

I know this because it happens to me. I started this website because of the fun of doing it, but over the years there were times when I worked on it simply because it’s my business. It’s no longer the fun that motivated me, but what I would get out of it. Needless to say, this isn’t good. Realizing this pushes me to get the fun factor back.

So here are two questions you should ask yourself:

  1. Do you do your job because of the fun of it or because of an external reward (like money)?
  2. If you used to have fun at what you do but not anymore, how can you get the fun back?

Take time to answer these questions. They can help you have a great career.

27th September 2023
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