HOW TO FIND A JOB YOU LOVE
Photo by Emma Dau
You spend a third of your life at work. You deserve to have a job that energizes you, excites you, and makes you want to go to work every morning. Too many people stay in jobs they don’t like for reasons that have nothing to do with their happiness and satisfaction.
It is possible to find a job you love no matter how old you are–even at 50! You just have to be equipped with the right tools, the right attitude, and the right mentality for the journey. If you want to find a new job that inspires you, but you’re not sure where to start, this guide will help you find direction and take action that moves you closer to the job of your dreams.
What Holds You Back from a Job You Love?
Sometimes it’s hard to pinpoint exactly why you’ve stayed in an unhappy work situation for so long. The daily grind can last a lifetime if you’re not careful. Suddenly a few weeks of dissatisfaction becomes a few years, then an entire career.
If you’re struggling with any of the following reasons to stay in your current job, do some reflection. Sometimes all it takes to set you free to explore new options is to identify the fear, concern, or doubt that’s held you back. Consider the joy and happiness you will feel when you acknowledge these concerns and choose to move forward onto a new path in spite of them.
Fear of the Unknown
You’re too worried about what might happen if you change direction, and you’re not exactly sure which direction you want to go, so you’ll stay safe where you are until you figure it out.
You’re never going to know exactly what to do, and you’re never going to feel ready. You have to take action before you know for sure that it will work out. You can wait all you want, but ultimately, you’re just waiting for the day that you convince yourself that you can do it.
You can do it. Right now. You don’t have to wait.
The fear of poverty keeps a lot of women stuck in positions that drain them just so that they’ll have that steady paycheck. It also causes women to grab whatever job they can just to ensure that they’ll be able to pay their bills.
Money is important in our world, and it needs to be thought of as you look for a job, but if the fear of being without it traps you in a job you don’t like, then it has become your master, and no amount of it will make you happy.
Be mindful of your spending and your savings and support yourself with healthy financial decisions as much as possible, but don’t let money be the reason you tell yourself you can’t find a job you love.
Whether it’s your work colleagues, your family, or your boss, you may feel the weight of responsibility firmly on your shoulders. You think you must support those around you, or you feel that you can’t leave your job because your department will suffer. You’re willing to sacrifice your health and happiness for the sake of obligation.
We all have responsibilities. They matter, and they must be taken into consideration when we make decisions. But if you are truly unhappy where you are, you will be of far less use to the important people in your life than if you took a risk to find a position that lights you up.
No amount of thought can take the place of solid action. If you’re unhappy and you want to leave, that’s about all the thinking that needs to be done on the matter. Your mind is a problem-solving tool. It’s there to help you move forward. Don’t give it the problem of “should I stay, or should I go” when you already know you’d rather go. Instead, give it the problem of, “how can I make this happen?”
You don’t believe in yourself enough to make a change. This is perhaps the most destructive of all the reasons presented. When you doubt yourself, you often betray yourself by staying where you are long after you’re ready to move on. It’s also easy to shortchange yourself when you’re in a place of self-doubt. You decide to settle for less than what you’re worth because you don’t believe that you can do better.
Pay attention to the thoughts you think and the way you speak to and about yourself. You are fully capable of finding a job you love – you just have to commit to yourself and choose to believe you can do it, even when the negative voices come to tell you otherwise.
7 Steps to Find a Job You Love
Now it’s time to move forward. These tactics will help you through the process. Every journey is different. Find the way these tips work best in your situation and use them to guide you through the unknown. You don’t have to see all the steps before you go. One step at a time is enough.
Once you’ve decided to pursue a different path, sit with yourself, and reflect on what you love and don’t love about the job (or jobs) you’ve held. Add to the list what you’ve wanted to explore but haven’t yet, as well as your non-negotiables in any work situation.
Make another list of all your best qualities – your strengths and skills. Use a combination of soft skills (such as communication and leadership) and hard skills (such as PowerPoint and Excel).
Read your list over and see what it inspires in you. You’ll start to see what sort of roles will and will not be a good fit for you moving forward. Write down what potential positions seem the most exciting for you. These will carry over into the next item on the list.
Now that you have a list of options do some research. Search online for information about each career, watch interviews with people who currently hold those positions, and dive deep into what exactly you need to know, learn, or understand to be successful in each role.
This process may eliminate certain items from your list as you realize you only wanted it in theory, not in practice. Other potential jobs may rise to the top, and you’ll move forward more confident and excited about the direction you want to go.
Once you’ve landed on a position or two, you’d like to focus on, research whether or not you need additional skills. If you find that you do need further education, take a class that will support you in the role. This will also help you decide whether or not the career you’re looking at is really for you, or it may help you narrow down your options even more until you find the single position you want to pursue.
Find a mentor to talk you through the next steps, and better prepare you for what’s to come. Look into specific companies you may want to work for and explore their mission, history, and work environment.
Tap into your network to find potential job offerings, or to meet certain important people who may be able to help you gain access to the information you may otherwise not be able to find.
Be mindful here that you go through the proper networking channels and practice etiquette. This is not the time to bombard strangers (or even friends) with unsolicited messages. Use tact and your best judgment to strategically get yourself in front of the right people without creating any bad feelings.
Once you’ve locked in on a clear direction and path for yourself, it’s time to plan your finances, your timeline of execution, and to set clear and honest goals. Hold yourself accountable in whatever way works for you to ensure that you will follow through on your commitment.
Now that your plan is in place take action! The best plan in the world does nothing if it’s not executed upon. If you decided that you would apply to certain positions, hold yourself to that even if it scares you. You’ll be surprised what doors will open when you keep moving forward (and the ones that will stay closed if you don’t).
If you take action, but face rejection, no problem. Each rejection is an opportunity to learn, refine your plans and strategies, and try again stronger than before. You’ll be a wiser, braver, fiercer person on the other side of this journey. A “no” isn’t a reason to give up. It’s a gift that guides you away from the roles not meant for you and toward the perfect position out there that’s just waiting for you to claim it.
It can be hard to remember in the thick of transition that you are capable of achieving anything you want. It’s easy to stay in a job you don’t like, just to avoid the pain that might come from taking a risk. But the real risk is to continue down a road that doesn’t fulfill you. This is your life, your story, your career. Take control of your destiny, and go for exactly what you want.
You should feel good about the job you do every day! We’ve created an amazing course to help you land the job of your dreams. Join us for our online program “How to Land Your Next Job” for even more in-depth information, tools, tips, and wisdom to guide you as you take action toward a life that fulfills you. We can’t wait to work with you!