One silly, yet pungent question for finding your joy job

Dream jobs don’t stay dream jobs for long.” ~Paris

In a previous post I argued that you should definitely stop looking to land a dream job. Instead, you should look for a joy job. Then I laid out four actions you could take toward finding your joy job or create joy in your current work.

One question stood out above the rest: and it is a silly one. That is what I’d like to share today. The question is:

What’s your stinky tofu?


Those living in China will probably know what I’m talking about. However those not in china may need to be brought up to speed.

What the heck is stinky tofu?

Stinky Tofu is a fermented tofu snack typically sold at night markets or on the street in China. This delicious snack has a pungent odor you will recognize from blocks away, assuming you are standing upwind.If you can get past the stinky part you will find a delightful snack to enjoy.

What does it have to do with finding a joy job?

All work stinks in some shape or form. Some work is worth it. Some is worth running away from. This is an individual choice. For example, PR professionals work long hours, dealing with random changes from clients, and high pressure deadlines. And the pros that I speak with love it.Not everyone can do it. Not everyone should do it.

What are you willing to go through in order to have joy in your work?

What kind of work would be worth embracing what stinks around?

My example

I love running a professional coaching practice and facilitating 1-1 or in small groups

The stink: admin, accounting work, keeping up with sales/marketing, no steady paycheck at the moment, occasional surge of fear, anxiety and doubt.

The good taste: Working with a person 1-on-1 to breakthrough their stress and anxiety is work that matters to me. Being with a group of people and facilitating them through learning and change feels right.

With an open acknowledgement and appreciative mind you will be able ask yourself, “Is what I am doing worth all getting past the stink?”

  • If yes, you’ve found your stinky tofu.
  • If no, then it might be time to find another job.

Your Turn

Do you have any other silly questions you ask yourself to discover passions, purpose or joy in your work?

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References: – picture credit

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