How do we find something that we want to work on?
Or somebody to work for?
After spending my university years frantically avoiding the question from a pile of narcotics, reality finally caught up.
It was a simple choice: continue down the path I was on and go to prison or die painfully young, or become a law-abiding citizen and get a job.
It was a tough decision.
But it was time to figure out what the fuck to do with my life.
Writing was always my strength, so a career in marketing of some sort seemed a good bet. There was always room for a creative, and maybe I would learn something about selling too.
I thought that the perfect job meant a large salary and working for a big brand name.
That’s what everyone else seemed to want.
A recognizable logo and free beer and snacks in the office.
What more could you want?
I tried out a few roles, always aiming for a bigger brand, a fatter paycheck, and a more important-sounding title.
But over time, I realized that the definition of the “perfect” job is much more complex than a fat paycheck and free food from a recognizable brand.
Don’t get me wrong; those things certainly make life easier. And you have to get them to realize you don’t want them.
Each job would start the same: keen to please, eager to learn, impatient to impress and progress.
And each job would end the same: frustrated, unfulfilled, bored,
We can be successful at many things, but often we won’t be happy with that success if we are not building something we can be proud of.
Finding work with Beauty, Benefit, and Good is key to long-term career growth and satisfaction.
The concept of beauty, benefit, and good originated from Buddhist philosophy and is a fundamental principle of the Kaizen philosophy, which emphasizes continuous improvement in all areas of life, including work.
It’s easier enough to find a job that will fill our wallets.
But demand more.
Seek a job that provides Beauty, Benefit, and Good, too.
What is a Beautiful job?
Beauty refers to finding a job that one enjoys and that aligns with their passions and interests. A job that provides a sense of fulfillment and purpose beyond just our paycheck.
People who have beautiful jobs don’t need to take time off because their job fills them with energy, not drains the life out of them.
Bald Ol’ Bezos calls this “work-life harmony.”
They force themselves away from work because they know it is necessary, not because taking time off is why they work.
Work that fills the soul is not hard work; it’s a calling.
It is purpose.
And heaven help the person who stands between you and your purpose.
What is a Beneficial job?
Anyone who says that money doesn’t make you happy is an idiot.
Obviously, money doesn’t make you happy.
Money can buy hedonistic and superficial, fleeting happiness, sure.
It makes it easier to get things; things that make you feel good for a short time.
But Freedom is the true benefit of having money.
It’s the Freedom to walk away, knowing you will eat tomorrow.
It’s the Freedom to go, do and build what you want, when you want.
And the Freedom to take risks.
And if you have enough money — it also brings you power (a double-edged sword).
Finding work with Benefit means earning enough to support your daily life, family, hobbies, and interests outside of work.
Luckily, we live in a time where you can make enough money doing just about anything you like, from taking pictures of your feet to collecting Pez dispensers.
Choose wisely, but don’t deliberate too long.
You can always choose again.
What is a Good job?
Good is one of the most useless words in the English language.
It’s right up there alongside, “Sure” and “Whatever.”
But in this case, it works.
Good means finding a job that contributes to society.
It’s our impact on the world. Our mission.
What we believe is Good for the world is as individual as our passions and talents.
As long as we believe we are working towards creating a Better world, that work is Good Enough.
Finding Work That’s Beautiful, Beneficial, and Good.
Your job, your purpose, will be different from mine.
That’s part of the game.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
But the concept of Beauty, Benefit, and Good can guide us in the right direction.
By seeking jobs that provide these three elements, we can improve our mental and physical well-being, find our purpose, identity, and ultimately, build the life we want.
It isn’t easy, by any means.
It’s a three-box checklist that will take you a lifetime to create.
These principles of beauty, benefit, and good are at the heart of the kaizen philosophy, which emphasizes continuous improvement and growth.
Striving for a job that embodies these principles, we can continually improve our skills, expand our knowledge, and develop a sense of purpose and fulfillment.
Ultimately, finding the perfect job is a journey, not a destination. It takes time, effort, and a willingness to take risks and try new things.
But by following the principles of Beauty, Benefit, and Good, you can build a career that brings you joy, supports your daily life, and makes a positive impact on the world.
It won’t happen overnight.
But the only thing you should be getting overnight is a good night’s sleep.