Paul Graham writing in his January 2015 essay:
Few people know so early or so certainly what they want to work on. But talking to my father reminded me of a heuristic the rest of us can use. If something that seems like work to other people doesn’t seem like work to you, that’s something you’re well suited for.
The stranger your tastes seem to other people, the stronger evidence they probably are of what you should do. When I was in college I used to write papers for my friends. It was quite interesting to write a paper for a class I wasn’t taking. Plus they were always so relieved.
What seems like work to other people that doesn’t seem like work to you?
Paul, as usual, hits the nail on the head in this essay.
I love the way that he tells the story of his father. His father was a mathematician and loved every minute of it.
Math certainly isn’t my strong suit, but you get his point.
What seems like work to other people that doesn’t seem like work to you? — I would even take this a step further. What seems like work to other people that you would even do for free?
Granted, you should never short sell yourself or your skills, but if you would do it for free, it’s an amazing feeling to be compensated for your work.
I brush shoulders with over 36,000 students every single day on campus. There is a crisis, an education crisis. I don’t know exact numbers, but I would be willing to bet that a large number of these individuals have no clue what they want to do for a living.
I’m not saying you have to have your entire life figured out at 18, but you should have an idea.
If you or someone you know is struggling with a career choice, encourage them to ask this simple question — What seems like work to other people that doesn’t seem like work to you?
That for me is writing. Like Paul, I love writing papers. I would do it for free. Of course, I’m not going to write papers for the rest of my life.
Public relations and corporate communications give me a medium to write copy and interface with clients in a professional manner. That’s what I love.
There are way too many people in the world today that hate their careers. Pick something you love, put all you’ve got into it and you will be rewarded.
Gary Vaynerchuk explains this idea in a way that only he can. Just a warning, Gary can be a little vulgar when he gets worked up.