Its Valentine’s Day time. Well almost. Its the time of the year we talk about the love we have, love we’ve lost, or the love we are hoping to attain. How does this topic relate to remote jobs, remote freelancing gigs, hybrid and remote employment?
Unenjoyable Jobs can Negatively Impact Mental Health
Finding joy, personal fulfillment and job satisfaction in your work is no small task. Gettysburg College estimates that 1/3 of our lives (90,000 hours) are spent working. In fact, psychologists posit that an unenjoyable job can negatively impact our mental well-being. Workers who are unhappy about their job can experience higher levels of stress and anxiety. This is mainly due to the misalignement of the job requirements to worker strengths and interests as well as the mismatch of corporate values from one’s own. .
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Involvement in Passionate Activity Lowers Stress
Maybe we’re all looking for the perfect nexus between work and life that can add to our overall quality of life. Even if you don’t have that special someone, we all know that participating in the entertainment, sports and leisure activities that we love and enjoy brings us happiness. Did you know too that research (Society of Behavioral Medicine) shows in real time, how people involved in fun activities in the move experience lower negative moods and conversely higher positive moods? What about less stress and lower heart rates? You got it, that too!
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Passion and Implications for Work
Ummm, but you might say. This presumption does not sit well with Forbes. A 2018 article suggesst that ‘following one’s passion is dead.” Along this same vein, NPR wrote, “its ok to not be passionate about one’s job.” So where does that leave us? Well, the Erin A. Cech, the sociologist and author of the book, The Trouble With Passion: How Searching for Fulfillment at Work Fosters Inequality, posits that the passion principle is actually a sign of privilege. What?
When citing the backgrund for her book, she referenced the commencement address given by Steve Jobs in 2005. At the time he was recorded giving this advice, “the only way to do great work is to love what you do,” he said. “If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle.”
In reflecting upon these two diametrically opposed viewpoints, ity seems like worker sentiments have shifted due to Covid-19. Recent research (University of Michigan) on the effects of the pandemic on worker attitudes and behaviors demonstrate that those who experience financial difficulties, layoffs and furloughs were “more likely to prioritize finding passion in work than people whose jobs were stable over the pandemic.”
Passion #1 Priority when Making Job Decisions
College-educated workers who experienced financial instablility during the pandemic (lost their jobs, were furloughed, laid off for at least 8 months):
- 46% rated passion #1 priority when making job-related decisions,
- 20% rated salary as most important,
- 13% rated job security as their #1 concern.
Change of jobs due to Lack of Inspiration
Americans aren’t the only people in the global working-age population looking for more. Seek published research based upon participants from Australia showing:
- 27% hope to change jobs due to holding a job that is uninspiring
- 26% look to a change in jobs in seek of new challenges, and
- 23% want a fresh start.
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Passion Gets Remote Workers into a State of Flow
When people are doing jobs that they love, jobs that give them energy they are probably happier and more successful.
There is research to show this statement is true.
For instance the University of Southern California, in its Applied Psychology Newsletter, touted research by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, a highly reknown Hungarian psychologist, who advocated that “being able to enjoy your work is the main factor in getting into a state of flow.” In Csikszentmihalyi’s book, Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience, he writes in the Chapter: Enjoyment and the Quality of Life (page 43):
“There are two main strategies we can adopt to improve the quality of life. The first is to try making external conditions match our goals. The seond is to change how we experience external conditions to make them fit our goals better.”
While individuals who work from home, work virtually from anywhere or choose hybrid and co-working arrangement have the advantage of experiencing external conditions most to our liking (working in the leisure of our homes instead of a crowded institutionalized and de-humanized cubicle); the actual job, tasks, role, and responsibilities can add to our quality of life or diminish it.
Tips for Finding a Remote Job Niche that Fuels your Passion
So, when working from home we don’t escape the risk of working in an unchallenging job. As such, it’s important to choose a remote job niche that suits your passions. Working in any niche can be frustration when you don’t like what you’re doing. But when you love what you’re doing, you wake up in the mornings with the energy and the enthusiasm to get to work. You wanna go conquer the world!
If you are trying to start a remote freelancing business, an online entrepreneurial pursuit or tele-work as an independent contractor; take a few minutes to consider which niches might ignite your passion. If you’re not sure what your passions are, imagine you have a whole day to yourself. What do you spend it doing, even if and particularly when you’re not getting paid to do so?
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Would you spend it perfecting new recipes? Exploring your city? Writing movie reviews? Researching data sets? Debating differences of opinion? Photography? If you’re still having trouble, look at your existing hobbies. What do you enjoy doing in your spare time? What do you spend your money on?
Taking a moment to consider what you love doing will help you decide which niche is the best fit for you. Or maybe you recently discovered a niche you’re passionate about. What do you do then?
Begin reading and researching. Fully immerse yourself in your chosen niche. Sign up for every email list that you can. It pays off in big ways to know the current issues and events in your niche.
Spend time browsing websites – both experts and amateurs alike. Blogs are a great way to learn about what’s happening in the niche industry you plan to use for your business. Search blog directories for your category by going to a search engine and typing in “blog directories.” Then choose a blog directory and browse it by category.
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By now, you probably have a list of potential niches just waiting for you to tap into. If so, it’s time to trim that list. Par it down to your top three. These three should be your main choices – the niches you have the most interest in.
Don’t just go by income level (although you should consider that, too). Just remember when your niche interests you, it shows to your customers and when you’re only in it for the profit you can make, that shows too. Choose a niche that you can earn an income and gain personal satisfaction from.
Once you know which niche is right for you, take a minute and ask yourself, “What’s not being covered? Which audiences are being ignored? Who are the rising stars on the horizon and how will they change the niche?” Since you already have an interest in these niches, you’ll be better at gaining consumers that other entrepreneurs are missing.