A clue to finding your work

Paul Graham:

“If something that seems like work to other people doesn’t seem like work to you, that’s something you’re well suited for.”

What do you not mind doing, or even enjoy, that others think is a chore or tedious?

I often ask this interview question (crafted by a former student –Thanks, Sarah!): What is something you love doing that most others find trite or tedious or boring at best?

The answer may not hold the key to career nirvana, but this line of questioning can uncover clues to lead you there.

More from Graham’s essay:

“The stranger your tastes seem to other people, the stronger evidence they probably are of what you should do. When I was in college I used to write papers for my friends. It was quite interesting to write a paper for a class I wasn’t taking. Plus they were always so relieved.

It seemed curious that the same task could be painful to one person and pleasant to another, but I didn’t realize at the time what this imbalance implied, because I wasn’t looking for it. I didn’t realize how hard it can be to decide what you should work on, and that you sometimes have to figure it out from subtle clues, like a detective solving a case in a mystery novel. So I bet it would help a lot of people to ask themselves about this explicitly. What seems like work to other people that doesn’t seem like work to you?”