If you follow me on Twitter, then you know that every day I like to post an update helping my fellow unemployed. I call these my funemployment tips and every day I try to help people who are looking for more than “just another job.”
A few days ago, I tweeted this:
Apparently, a lot of people agreed with that because when all the dust settled, it had been retweeted more than 75 times.
It’s a truth we all know, but few willingly accept. The people we see who have the most enviable jobs were never handed the work. You can’t find these jobs in the classifieds and no resume or cover letter will ever get you any closer to them.
No. The best jobs in the world belong to people who have learned to do these four incredibly important things:
- Solve real problems for real people.
- Get paid to do things they would do for free.
- Disconnect their work from a physical location.
- Build a business of their own rather than someone else’s.
Four steps. That really is the gist of it. Simple, but not necessarily easy. Quite a lot of hard work for most, in fact. You can go a long way doing just one or two of them, but eventually you’ll want to hit all four. Let’s look at what it takes:
1) Solve real problems for real people.
There are infinite ways to do this. The trick is to do it without burning yourself out. If you solve a problem that people don’t know they have, then you’re going to have a hell of an uphill battle to get them to let you solve it for them. If you solve a problem that everyone knows they have but don’t care about, you’re equally out of luck.
Better to focus on a problem that people know they have and really want a solution for. If you do that, you can screw up pretty much everything else and you’ll still be okay.
Remember that your solution has to serve real people. You need an audience big enough to support you, but if you try to be everything to everyone, you’re not serving real people; you’re serving generalizations and real people don’t like to be generalized. Be specific.
2) Get paid to do something you would do for free.
The best job in the world can be anything so long as you love it. Unfortunately, it’s not as easy as setting up shop and offering to watch movies for money.
That’s not to say you couldn’t make a living doing something that involved watching movies, but it’ll probably take a little more than that. Remember, we’re solving problems for people. I’ve never met anyone that needed help watching movies.
Almost every great job starts with a hobby, though. What if, instead of watching movies, you created subtitles for them in obscure languages and sold them in neighborhoods that spoke that language? That’s just an example off the top of my head, but you get the picture.
How can you turn your hobby into a service for others instead of just yourself?
3) Disconnect your work from a physical location.
One thing most people in traditional jobs complain about is the fact that they feel so tied down. Most corporate jobs start with two weeks of vacation, but you’re so busy that you’re lucky if you use one of them.
Finding more vacation time is a great way to improve your work, but the people with the best jobs in the world concern themselves more with figuring out how to take their work wherever they go. Once you’ve freed yourself from a specific location, vacation is anywhere.
If you’re thinking to yourself that working on vacation sounds like the worst idea ever, remember the last point about getting paid to do something you’d do for free. When you love what you do, work and vacation become more like synonyms than antonyms.
4) Build your own business instead of someone else’s.
The last critical step in creating the best job in the world is making sure it’s one that belongs to you no matter the circumstances.
There are a few great jobs that exist in the corporate world for the right people, but even if you have one of them, it doesn’t really belong to you. It belongs to the business. It belongs to your boss. As soon as you’re not the best fit anymore, bye bye great job.
The best jobs can never be given or taken away because they’re created by the people that do them. They belong to people working for themselves. The role of the “boss” still exists, but it’s not one person anymore. It’s many people and they’re called clients and customers.
When you make your own job, it’s always the best job in the world because you’re always in charge of how, when, where and, most importantly, why you do it. No one else gets to decide for you.
Understanding that concept is one thing, but putting it in action is another. A lot of people want to work for themselves, but they’re not sure which things they should be doing or how to do them.
I want to help.
That’s why tomorrow, when Riskology.co has it’s official world debut, I’ll be giving away a copy of Chris Guillebeau’s excellent Unconventional Guide to Working for Yourself.
It’s an awesome resource that will help anyone that wants their own best job in the world take the action steps needed to start creating it. It’s the same guide that I bought six months ago when I decided it was time to take my career into my own hands.
Bonus: Even though Chris’ guide is an excellent start, building your own perfect job is hard work. That’s why tomorrow’s winner is going to get a bonus that will rock their world. I’m not saying what it is just yet, so you’ll have to stick around till tomorrow to find out.
Update: The giveaway is over. Thanks to everyone that participated.
Till then my friends,
Image by: Birdfreak.com