How to Find a Job You Actually Love

How to Find a Job You Actually Love

Sick of dragging yourself out of bed on Monday morning because all you have to look forward to is another dreaded week of work? It’s a horrible feeling, especially when you consider you spend on average 90,000 hours of your lifetime on the job.

If you’re currently in a role that makes you feel this way, finding a new job is mighty enticing. But what’s more important than that is finding a job you love.

Here are some tips to help you work out what your ideal role looks like, so you can stop the dread … and start the love!

The Reflective Process

Respected broadcaster and StoryCorps founder, Dave Isay, wrote a very popular book a few years ago filled with stories of people who found their purpose and passion in a job. After countless interviews, he came up with a recipe for finding a job you love.

He believes it’s a mix of three things:

  1. It should align with your natural skills
  2. It should make you feel appreciated
  3. It should have meaning

Sounds like a hefty task, right?

Well, to be totally upfront, it is. But when you consider that ’90,000 hours at work’ figure, it’s well worth devoting a few more to figuring out what doing a job you love means to you. This involves creating your ‘job wish list’ and you can start by engaging in a philosophical process.

Here are some steps you can follow.

1. Reflect on Your Past and Current Roles

The first step is reviewing the work you’ve done in the past and the work you’re doing now (or if you’ve taken the step of resigning, recently did).

Ask yourself these questions:

  1. Which areas did I really enjoy and not enjoy?
  2. Which areas did I excel in and struggle with?
  3. What would I change (e.g. more challenge, independence or new learning opportunities)?
  4. Do my interests and/or passions outside work align with my current role? 
  5. Can I see any overlaps between my personal and professional life (i.e. do family and friends come to me for support in certain areas that are similar to work tasks)?

The answers to these questions will not only help you find your natural skillset but identify if there are commonalities between your professional and personal life. For instance, you might be the go-to person both at home and work for quick-fixes. In identifying patterns, you can then start to build your job wish list.

2. Consider Your Personality and Interests

If you haven’t already, you might like to take a personality test as it can be a little difficult to objectively review your own character.

After completing it, consider whether your previous roles align with your natural tendencies. You might find a glaring disconnect that will steer you towards a job and career you’ll love. As an example, those who score highly on openness are well suited to creative jobs with scope for variety. A job with plenty of structure and quantitative analysis, hmmm, not so much.

When reflecting on your previous and current roles, you’ll have touched upon your interests outside of work. Consider them in greater detail now, writing them down on that jobs want list.

3. Think About Culture Fit

There’s no doubt about the power of great company culture. The right match boosts your chances of job satisfaction, long-term employment and even productivity.

Take some time to reflect on what matters most to you in company culture. As it’s a multifaceted topic, you can drill down into the following areas:

  • Leadership – do you want a role that gives you autonomy and a manager that lets you get the job done on your terms? Or do you prefer to collaborate and have some guidance as you work towards your goals?
  • Recognition – what forms of recognition do you like? Are they monetary, verbal or a little of both?
  • Working conditions – how important is work flexibility? You might want a hybrid option, or some movement around your start or finish times so you can squeeze in a gym session, beat the morning commute or pick up the kids. Are you willing to be paid less for such flexibility?
  • Professional development – where do you rank growth on your ‘job wants’ list? What would you like to achieve right now and in the near future? Consider the full range of professional development opportunities that may get you there, from on-the-job learning to upskilling through external courses, as well as promotion prospects.

4. Phone a Friend

The next stage of the reflective process is getting a little outside input. Reach out to someone who knows you well, whether that’s a trusted friend, family member or colleague. Let them know you’re going through the process of working out a new career direction and ask them if they could help by sharing their insights about your personality and interests.

Ask some or all of the following questions:

  1. What do you see as my strengths?
  2. What do you see as my areas for improvement?
  3. What tasks do you feel I enjoy the most? And the least?
  4. Do you have any suggestions about jobs that may suit me?

You might be surprised with their feedback, especially as they may offer ideas you hadn’t even thought to consider.

5. Decide on Must-Haves vs Nice-To-Haves

You’ve made it – the final stage in the reflection process!

By now, you should have a good set of ‘job wants’ on your list. It’s time to work out which ones are requirements for a job you love (must-haves), and which ones are desirable but not essential to total happiness (nice-to-haves).

In critically evaluating this list, you can begin to firm up what types of roles to look for.

Professional Support

So there you have it, five key tips for finding a job you love. Sure, it’s a time-consuming process, but it’s well worth the effort to help you secure that next-level job. If you want to speed things up a bit, you might like to consider using the support of a professional team, like us here at Job Hunter.

We have more than 25 years worth of experience in recruitment in Sydney and broader Australia. Countless candidates have reached out to us when it comes to getting help finding a new job and we’re on a mission to help many more.

If you’d like support with curating your jobs wants list, critically evaluating past and present roles, working out your best culture fit, advice about where to look for that ideal job, or all of the above, please let us know. We’d love to help you finally stop hating Mondays!

About the author

Chris Coppeller is a Recruitment and HR Consultant, providing strategies and advice for you to win premium jobs

Talks about #cvwriter, #careercoach, #resumewriter, #interviewtips, and #interviewpreparation

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