The folks over at 80,000 Hours reviewed two decades of research into the causes of a satisfying life and career, drawing on over 60 studies, identifying six key ingredients of a dream job. They don’t include income, and they aren’t as simple as “following your passion”.
In fact, following your passion can lead you astray. Steve Jobs was passionate about Zen Buddhism before entering technology. Condoleezza Rice was a talented classical musician before she started studying politics. Rather, you can develop passion by doing work that you find enjoyable and meaningful. The key is to get good at something that helps other people.
It is actually pretty simple. To find a dream job, look for:
- Work you’re good at,
- Work that helps others,
- Supportive conditions: engaging work that lets you enter a state of flow; supportive colleagues; lack of major negatives like unfair pay; and work that fits your personal life.
The usual way people try to work out their dream job is to imagine different jobs and think about how satisfying they seem. Or they think about times they’ve felt fulfilled in the past and self-reflect about what matters most to them.
Read more over at 80,000 Hours!