You don’t need to spend time trying to find your “dream career.” Instead, focus on finding a career home. Simply put, that’s a career that feels like home. But you’ll need to know what a career home looks and feels like.

What is a Career Home?

1 | It feels like you. You don’t have to put on an act, opinion, or even clothes that don’t feel like you. You get to be the same person at work that you are at home. There’s minimal divide between work and life; because they’re more integrated, you spend your day feeling more like you.

2 | It speaks to your sense of purpose. You feel driven to do the work that you do, and it’s that drive that makes getting up and going work in the morning a pleasure. You might even wake up at 2:30 am because you’re so excited about your work that you can’t sleep. You don’t have to countdown the hours until 5 pm; the time seems to fly by. You get to spend time in a heightened flow state.

3 | It’s energizing. You work, sure. You get worn out sometimes, sure. But most of the time you have energy left over at the end of the day to enjoy your life. You’re lit from within, and that fire fuels you around the clock, not just when you’re at your job.

4 | It makes a contribution. You love it, but it’s not just about you. It’s about how you get to change a corner of the world that you’re in a unique position to champion. This feels incredible.

5 | It’s a choice. Your career home is not a pre-destined fate. You don’t have to find your One True Purpose or your calling or anything else mystical. Don’t worry that if you don’t find it now you’ll have missed your chance at happiness forever. You choose it; it doesn’t materialize out of the ether and ordain you as its earthly guardian.

6 | It can change. You probably don’t want to hear this part, but there’s no “find it once” guarantee. You change. What matters to you changes. You must let your career home evolve as you do. This is not a problem; it’s a new career paradigm. For the Baby Boomers, finding one job and sticking with it until retirement was par for the course. It’s not like that anymore. You’re not flawed or broken if you change jobs, or even entire careers, as you pursue new career homes.

7 | It’s not dependent on your passions. You don’t have to “find your passion” to do something love. You can love what you do without using what you love as the way in. Get behind this idea and it will change your career forever.

8 | It’s not relegated to any one sector. There are not certain fields or job titles that qualify as “home worthy” and others that do not. Any kind of career can be home to the right person. It’s not about the content of the career, it’s about your relationship to it.

9 | It demands that you become a better person. Your career home has high standards, and you’ll have to be your highest self to meet the demand. That means you’re not who you need to be now in order to do your Homecoming Career. Grow yourself; the career will follow.

Laura Simms is an expert in meaningful work who challenges conventional wisdom by asking people to ditch their passions and start with purpose.

If you have too many passions, zero passions, or can't seem to combine your passions, try her purpose-first approach to find a career you love.  


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