Over the years, I’ve met too many people that want to do glamorous work. They want to be the saviors basking in the glory of effortless work, yet that’s the problem. Before doing the work that requires precision, you must first do the boring grunt work. By sweeping the floors, listening to irate customers, and handling the work no one else wants to do, you can eventually do the work no one else can do.
It starts off small.
The best approach is to gradually ease yourself into the pool of work, maybe dipping one toe in at a time with some small duty anyone can do well. Each task you complete is a step forward. If you keep doing that consistently without the desire for glory, eventually, you can start doing work that might make you feel fulfilled.
You might not see immediate results.
The more difficult factor is that others may never acknowledge your efforts, even if they’ve directly benefited from your work. Don’t be concerned with the opinions of others. You’re not working hard so that you can get a pat on the back or an extra penny per hour. You’re working hard to figure out your unique talents.
Forge your talents in the fire of any work.
Once you know the sort of work that drives your internal motivational alarm clock, it’s easier to endure the temporary sort of work that’s always available. You don’t have to worry about the opinions of others, or the work that others ask you to do, because you’ve found one of the central tenants of your self-confidence:
You don’t always need to be doing glamorous work.
“I get paid a lot of money to break down boxes.” For me as a writer, it’s almost a disadvantage to hole up and write. I need the external friction of life and reality as writing fodder. I’ve worked in a handful of warehouses over the years, yet working in another one recently was all the more reminder of the good and bad.
There is always work available.
It’s just that work probably won’t be glamorous nor give you riches.
Maybe your work won’t guide you through the depths of reality toward realizations about the human condition. Maybe you just want to do comfortable work that lets you retire early. Maybe you already know exactly what kind of work you want to do. The problem is that we can’t just point anywhere and say “there’s where I will work.”
Maybe sometimes we can conveniently arrive at success.
If we compare ourselves to those successful others, we may feel inadequate. What if your glamorous work, the work that compels you through any hardship, isn’t the most profitable? Who cares? Will the money make you happy? How about the stability of a steady paycheck? The security of years of estimated paychecks?
If you had worked hard for others, it will have been wasted time.
If you had worked hard for yourself, your experience will protect you.