The Simple Formula for Meaningful Work, with Chris Guillebeau

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Everyone has distinct interests, skills, and passions. But when it comes to work, most people are looking for the same general thing: engaging, well-paying, and meaningful work. Most of us want a balanced life full of work that brings happiness and prosperity.

On this bonus episode of Find Your Dream Job, Chris Guillebeau, author of Born for This and The $100 Startup, explains the three things that contribute to this sense of balance. To find the job you were born to do, you need to focus on:

  • Joy: A job that makes you happy
  • Money: A career that is is financially viable
  • Flow: A livelihood that maximizes your unique skills

Check out Chris’s book “Side Hustle: From Idea to Income in 27 Days” 

You can find more useful job search insight in our book, Land Your Dream Job Anywhere, now available on Amazon.


Mac Prichard:

This is Find Your Dream Job, the podcast that helps you get hired, have the career you want, and make a difference in life. I’m Mac Prichard, the founder and publisher of Mac’s List. On today’s bonus episode, we’re sharing exclusive content from Land Your Dream Job Anywhere.

For fifteen years at Mac’s List, we’ve helped people find meaningful, well-paying work in Portland, OR, one of the country’s most competitive job markets. Now we’ve put all our best job-hunting advice in one new book that can help you no matter where you live.

Land Your Dream Job Anywhere also includes advice from many of the national career experts who have appeared on our podcast. Today, we’re sharing one of those features, exclusively with you, our podcast listeners. Here’s Chris Guillebeau, author of Born For This and The $100 Startup, reading his contribution, ‘The Simple Formula for the Work You Were Born to Do: Joy, Money, Flow.’

Chris Guillebeau:

Hey there, this is Chris Guillebeau and I’m here to read an excerpt from my book, Born For This, called ‘The Simple Formula for the Work You Were Born to Do: Joy, Money, Flow.’

One tenet of traditional career advice is that everyone is different and we all want different things. It’s true that every individual has a unique set of skills and interests, and that our backgrounds and contexts are naturally different. But do we all truly want different things? Maybe it’s not so complicated. For the most part, we all want to find a career that meets the same few specific needs.

Despite our differences, most of us want a balanced life full of work that brings happiness and prosperity. As much as possible, we want to do something we enjoy. We want to put our skills to good use. And ideally, we don’t want to face a false choice between love and money—we’d like to do what we love and be well compensated for it.

Put simply, here’s what we are looking for:

  • Something that makes us happy. That’s joy.
  • Something that’s financially viable. That’s money.
  • Something that maximizes our unique skills. That’s flow.

There’s more than one path to this ideal world, but without all of these characteristics being met, you won’t have a perfect match. It’s entirely possible to do something you love that doesn’t pay well. It’s also possible to get paid well for something you dislike, or something you just tolerate— there are plenty of people who essentially forge a compromise over putting up with a bad situation in exchange for a good paycheck. Finally, it’s also possible to enjoy what you do or get paid well for it (or both), but to still lack the sense of all-encompassing flow, where the hours pass like minutes because you’re so completely in the zone of doing something you’re really good at.

None of those situations is what you want; To find the work you were born to do, you need the right combination of joy, money, and flow.