What were you made to do? Could you define it to your best friend or spouse? Is it something you are striving for?
Those are tough questions, right? In reality, the answer is probably not found in a job title. But this doesn't stop us from trying to find the perfect title with the perfect job description. All to often we look for the best scenario to settle into. We give our jobs too much credit in regards to being healthy. Maybe a better phrase is whole, we hope a job will call out the best of our gifts and we will find fulfillment in our work.
So are you experiencing fulfilling work?
I'm asking a trick question because any work we do will have season of fulfillment. You'll start a job and it will stimulate all your gifts for a window of time. I landed my dream job at 22, or at least it was my dream job when I was 19. 14 years later in the same job I still love what I do but it doesn't mean it's stimulating every gift I have all the time like it did when I was 24. Five years ago I also started coaching high school football and it brought more joy in my life, getting to use coaching and strategizing gifts in new ways. It's not that I don't use these gifts in my job but it happens in short competitions where as my job uses these gifts over a longer period of time and my work is less measurable than wins and loses. The evidence of work comes quicker in coaching football than it does in my job. But this doesn't mean I quit my job to coach high school football.
My question for you is this: What are you building to do what you were made for?
I have a friend who is a successful eye doctor. He is very good at what he does but he has this incredible passion for mission work as well. Because of his success he's able to go to third world countries and perform hundreds of eye surgeries on people who otherwise would lose their sight. How awesome is that? I'm sure owning his own company was a dream of his but it doesn't completely fulfill him, mission work is a vital part of experiencing fulfilling work.
These thoughts will fool you when it comes to trying to find fulfillment through a job:
"The location is perfect."
"This job feels like a good fit."
"I'd really like to work with this group of people."
"I'll be happy working here."
Are any of these things bad? Of course not. These are all great things when it comes to finding a job. Will any of these things ever lead to long term fulfillment? Nope. However, identifying what you feel like you were made to do and then building a life that includes this will lead to fulfillment. It doesn't mean you will be paid for it but that shouldn't keep you from doing it.