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Part 1: How to Do What You Love & Love What You Do

In this article, career coach Suzanne Currier guides you through a simple, impactful exercise that will help you gain clarity on what fulfills you. With the insights you gain, you can make moves toward doing work that you love.


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Do what you love and love what you do—life is too short (and too long)—not to!
If we’re going to spend so much of our lives “at work”—something like 90,000 hours—it seems like a better choice to enjoy what we do rather than loathe our work day in and day out.


But is it really possible? I believe it is because it’s a journey I’ve been on. 

It’s been a journey of small steps leading to big change. I pivoted myself from a career in financial services marketing at Capital One to a career working for myself as an executive coach. 
My pivot started when I became a people manager. I realized I love helping other people be successful. I leaned into this insight and contrasted it with what I didn’t like doing. I began to pursue graduate education and offered my skills to help others be successful. I engaged in projects that I was passionate about like leadership, management and employee engagement. All of this was happening because of my own interest and initiative (and while I was still in the brand marketing department at Capital One!).
Once I had an idea of what I enjoyed, I began sharing what I wanted to do with others. It opened doors for me to do more of what I’m passionate about. I made a series of decisions that led me to pick up more organizational leadership work and let go of marketing work. Over time, I began doing more of what energized and fulfilled me.


From my experience, the journey to doing what you love occurs in 3 phases:

1. Gain clarity. Gain clarity about you. Take time to uncover your values, what lights you up at work, strengths, personality, etc.

2. Pick up. Add more of the things that DO align with who you are and who you want to be.

3. Let go. Let go of the things that DON’T bring you joy and align with your values.

Like any good thing in life, doing what you love is a process, and it takes WORK. Introspective work, reflecting work, deciding work, declaring work, discomfort work, starting work, and stopping work. Sorry, no magic wands here.


In this article, I want to focus on phase 1 – Getting Clarity.

Getting clarity is the foundation of this journey, and though it can be challenging, uncomfortable, and difficult, it’s worth it. 
This process takes time. You need to invest at least 30 minutes (though I suggest spending much more time) to uncover your values, what’s important to you, and what fulfills you.


Start with this simple exercise:

1. Schedule a meeting with yourself.

Make sure it’s in a place where you do your best thinking and at a time when you feel your best. This could be in the quiet of an early morning with your coffee, in a coffee shop, surrounded by people and energy, or outside in nature with your notebook.


2. Take a deep breath and reflect on your last week.

Think back to last week and all that it was both personally and professionally. If you need a memory jogger, take a look at your calendar or your photo reel.


3. Jot down 3 joyful moments.

What were 3 joyful moments that you recall from last week? Write them down. Withhold judgment or analysis. What was happening in those moments? What were you doing? What environment were you in? Who were you with? 


4. Jot down 3 anticipatory moments.

Think about your work week ahead – all the things you have planned,  your meetings, tasks, conversations, and goals. What are 3 things you’re looking forward to? Why are you looking forward to them? Who are you with? What are you going to be doing?


5. Analyze your 6 captured moments.

Look at the information you collected. What are you doing in these moments? Are there any insights about what you value here? Do you see any themes? Consistent elements? The patterns that you find will help you reflect and learn more about yourself. 


Now that you have some data and hopefully some new clarity about yourself—explore it with someone. A friend, mentor, or a certified coach. They can help you validate it, strengthen it and even provide more clarity on the things that you can’t see on your own.


If you’re stuck, or you want to go even further, reach out to me. I have a variety of other exercises to help you find the clarity you’re looking for.