Finding a job that you will love starts with knowing what motivates you and what makes you feel rewarded and fulfilled. Since everyone is different, it’s important to spend some time considering what’s truly important to you in a prospective role. In this article, we explain how to find a job you’ll love and provide you with seven tips to get you started.
7 steps to finding a job you’ll love
Finding a job you will love involves thinking about your interests, skills and needs. The following steps can move you in the right direction:
Consider what you are curious about
Don’t immediately take salary into consideration
Ask for an objective opinion
Identify your ideal work environment
Meet with a career counselor
Expand your skills
Research companies that interest you
1. Consider what you are passionate about
Find where your curiosity, passion and skills meet to identify a job that will bring you joy.
You might be passionate about music, but you might have set it aside when you realized you weren't a professional-level musician. However, you can sell instruments, learn how to build them, teach music theory or work in the music industry.
If you aren't sure what you're interested in as a career, you can take career-matching quizzes. They match your skills, interests and motivations to the best careers for you. Some use personality traits, while others are focused on your skills and aptitudes.
2. Don’t immediately take salary into consideration
If you are centering your job searches on how much money you can make, you are less likely to find a job that you love. Make a list of what you would do if you didn’t need to worry about meeting financial obligations. This will show you the kind of activities and environments that would be fulfilling for you.
Shifting your focus away from salary will also help you find the kind of job where you won’t mind putting in long hours once in a while. For example, if you find that your dream is to run a small business, you will often be working longer than a standard workweek. Knowing that it would still be rewarding to work long hours on occasion, lets you consider options that might have otherwise seemed unacceptable.
3. Ask for an objective opinion
Sometimes friends, family and even trusted coworkers can offer an objective opinion of jobs you might find fulfilling. They might also have some insight into favorite activities you might have overlooked or things they believe might be a priority for you, such as working flexible hours.
Your friends and family know who you are when you’re not at work, so they may have suggestions that haven’t occurred to you. For example, if you view yourself as a person who works best while analyzing data in an office, but your friends view you as a dynamic speaker who can explain complicated concepts in an accessible way, you might find that working as a teacher or corporate trainer would be a good fit.
4. Identify your ideal work environment
It’s important to understand your own priorities and values when looking for your ideal job. For instance, some people are willing to be paid a lower wage if they are working in a position they find rewarding. Other people might prefer having a set schedule so that their evenings and weekends are available for family or leisure. Explore what your ideal work environment and schedule would look like and identify the benefits that you value the most.
5. Meet with a career counselor
Career counselors can help you find jobs and industries that match your interests, skills, salary requirements, and ideal work environment. They can also bring your attention to roles or industries you hadn’t considered, as well as help you build a long-term career plan.
6. Expand your skills
Once you’ve identified areas of interest, it’s a good idea to take classes or earn certifications in those areas. By developing your skills and expanding your capabilities, you’ll qualify yourself for a diverse set of roles. Advanced education is also a great way to learn about new roles and industries that may interest you.
7. Research companies that interest you
You can research new companies by reaching out to your immediate network and asking for referrals or introductions. You can also research online by reading the companies’ social media accounts and websites. This can help you learn about each company’s culture and values and how the company interacts with its community. Understanding a company’s values, goals and culture can also help you prepare for a job interview.