Lots of people are unhappy at work and would love to change, but don’t know how. People often feel stuck: they might have a mortgage to pay or a family to look after or simply feel they don’t have the time. After they’ve gone to work, spent time with friends and family, cleaned the house and done the food shopping, there’s not much time left for job hunting.
But staying in a job that makes you unhappy is not good for anyone, so I thought I’d share my four steps to finding a job you love.
Step 1: Know Yourself
You might be thinking “I already know myself”, but don’t gloss over this step. If you’re in a job you hate, then there’s a good chance that you’ve never given this too much thought. You need to know as much about yourself as possible.
This is really about finding out what you’re a natural fit for. We’re not talking about specific jobs yet, that comes later. For now, we want to think about skills, activities and environments.
• What is it that I’m naturally good at?
• When am I most comfortable?
• What am I happiest doing?
• What am I drawn to?
There are lots of ways to go about this, but I prefer a method that’s very easy to understand and apply to everyday life. It’s called DISC profiling and you can find out more or do your own DISC profile by clicking here.
Or you can do an exercise called Live your best Life, which asks some deep, probing questions to help you figure you what’s most important to you.
When you understand your preferences for working, learning and communicating, you can then find a job that fits those preference at least 80% of the time. That’s the first step to finding a job you love.
Step 2: Know what you want
People often skip this step and just apply for jobs they think they want, but being really specific about what you want is essential if you want to end up with a career (or business!) you love. If you’re going to change jobs, you should find one that’s a good fit. Don’t settle for one that you can only just about squeeze into.
At this point, we’re still talking about generic elements of a job rather a specific job. Write down all the things that are important to you. This should cover every aspect and be specific.
Some example might be things like:
• I want to work with children
• I want to be able to cycle to work
• I want to solve puzzles
• I want flexible hours
• I want to work in a team
Of course, you want to make sure you think of everything, and the best way to do that is to follow my free Ideal Job Checklist exercise.
Step 3: Decide which job you want
Now that you have your checklist, you can make a list of actual jobs/professions/careers that you’ve ever considered doing. Don’t limit yourself, make the list as long as possible. Don’t think about how you’re going to get it or whether it’s feasible, just down everything you’ve ever wanted to do.
Then choose one thing from the list to research. This has to be the thing that most appeals to you at this point. But you have to pick just one.
Now research that one job. Speak to people who are doing it and find out what they love or hate. What qualifications are needed? How much do people earn? What sort of hours are involved? Find out as much as possible, and remember to check it against your Ideal Job Checklist.
Either one of two things is going to happen: the more you research it, the more you love it. Great, then that’s the one you’re going to go for. Or the more you research it, the less interested you are. Also great, as that means you can cross it off the list and move on to the next one.
Step 4: Get the job
When you’ve done steps one to three, this is much easier than most people think. Knowing what you want and being really passionate about it, means that invariably you’ll find a way to get the job. Tell everyone what you’re looking for, contact businesses that you want to work for (even if they don’t have an opening at the moment), update your CV, register with recruitment agencies, use LinkedIn and get creative.
If you follow through these four steps to finding a job you love, I’m confident you’ll be well on your way. If you’d like to know a bit more, you can pick up my book “The Happy Worker – how to find a job you love and love the job you have” or book a free 30-minute career coaching session with me.
Good luck finding your dream job. You know you’re worth it!