Steve Jobs (founder of Apple) did a commencement address to Stamford University graduates in 2005 and it really made me think about what I wanted out of my work life and tried to follow it since I heard it.
It ensured I used work as a means to an end to find the job I love. That being said, I have come to the point in my career where leadership responsibilities are making me question that love of work. What made me come into the profession.
As I did, use your current work (or temporary new job) as a stepping stone to what job you want to love doing. Do a course to get the right qualifications or volunteer work in the right sector while you have this stepping stone job. I did that, it got me on post graduate university training and I moved forward.
Here is the part of the commencement address:
[…] Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don’t lose faith. I’m convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did. You’ve got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don’t settle. […]
and this also rings true
[…] When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like: “If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you’ll most certainly be right.” It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” And whenever the answer has been “No” for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something. […]
Full 15 minute speech on Youtube
Steve Jobs' 2005 Stanford Commencement Address - YouTube