Finding A Fulfilling Job
One of the most extraordinary and yet quietly routine assumptions of our age is that we should be able to find work that we can not only tolerate for the money, but profoundly appreciate - work with a high degree of purpose, camaraderie and creativity. We see nothing strange in the remarkable notion that we should try to find a job we love.
This one-day workshop insists that, in order to stand any chance of honouring our desire for meaningful employment, we will need to lavish concentrated brain power, time and imagination on its underlying complexities.
In this day of study we will break down the challenge of finding a fulfilling job into its component parts:
What do I find pleasurable? We look at why it is so easy to be vague and confused about what we actually enjoy. We try out a number of exercises to get back in touch with our authentic interests, looking back at childhood as a source of clues. Using The School of Life’s Pleasure Menu Exercise as a prompt, we can draw up a list of our priorities.
How love can hold me back from doing what I love: We look at some of the most common blocks that impede people from acting on their desires. We consider how families subtly signal what a ‘good job’ is for someone like us, and thereby either close off or push us down certain avenues - without this necessarily being clear to us (or them). We look at our sense of duty, and the helpful and unhelpful ways in which it operates. We look at the fear that we don’t have enough time, and assess how true this might be - or not.
I know what I like, but am practically blocked: Many of us blame a variety of practical obstacles for our inability to progress in our chosen area. We unpick what these might be, and whether we are right to respect them as we do. We consider the phenomenon of ‘fixation’ on certain careers - the belief that it must be X or nothing.
How realistic are our expectations? We examine how our expectations about a ‘good job’ were formed. We probe whether these are grounded in reality, and consider a helpful alternate notion of ‘good enough’ work to guide our ambitions. We finish up by considering some of the downsides of all jobs, even those we consider the most fulfilling.
Our culture has set us a devilish problem: promising us that fulfilling jobs exist while, at the same time, leaving us woefully unprepared for how to discover our own aptitudes and appetites. The purpose of this day is to help to correct an epochal problem which quietly gnaws at our lives and tramples upon our legitimate hopes. We come away better able to understand our talents and to move forward using the opportunities that are open to us.
This one day workshop brings together the best of The School of Life’s Work curriculum into a single high intensity session. You can explore our full curriculum here. Please be aware, Finding a Fulfilling Job contains material from the following individual classes: How to Identify Your Career Potential, How to Fail, and How to Be Confident
9.40am Tea & welcome
10.00am Morning Session
1.00pm Lunch Break (times vary)
2.00pm Afternoon Session
5.00pm Workshop Ends
'I like work: It fascinates me. I can sit and look at it for hours.'
– Jerome K. Jerome
About One Day Workshops
Our intensive workshops provide an opportunity to work with leading members of our faculty over the course of a highly structured session.
Sessions are limited to 23 participants and will be based at The School of Life. Light refreshments and the corresponding workshop curriculum is included in the ticket price.
The School of Life Curriculum has been written, designed and quality assured by The School of Life HQ in London, led by Alain de Botton. Presented as an EQ learning journey, these 12 classes and 4 full-day workshops bring together over 10 years of teaching and continuous improvement of our emotional intelligence curriculum around the world.