Take a moment to envision what your work environment would be like if you had a job you loved. You'd have a healthy work-life balance that allows you to work hard and value your personal time. The company culture would be inviting and encouraging. Each day, you'd leave the office feeling proud of the work you accomplished. Now, does this reflect your current job?
Learning how to find a job you love is crucial for your career path and well-being. Loving what you do makes you feel like your work is purposeful and impactful, and the workplace needs more of it. One study found that only 13.9% of surveyed workers are passionate about their work.
But researchers at Oxford University found that happy workers are 13% more productive. Imagine how that extra productivity would benefit you and your entire team.
Finding the right job isn’t easy. You won't find it after five minutes of scrolling through LinkedIn. You also might expect to love one role, only to be disappointed by your day-to-day duties.
Knowing what to look for when you read a job description and understanding what your dream job truly is will help you immensely. This article will guide you through the necessary steps to find a job you love.
Finding the job you love: follow these tips
Is it possible to have a job you love? Absolutely. But the job hunt is overwhelming. You might be unsure where to begin or what to look for, and with so many potential titles jumping out at you, the search becomes daunting. With a plan and these tips, you'll know where to focus your time and energy when you search for a new job.
Here are five tips to help you find a job you love:
1. Figure out your passions
This might seem like an obvious tip, but don't overlook it: spend time with yourself to understand your dreams, values, and goals. What fills you with passion and purpose? Finding a job that adds meaning to your life is tough if you don’t know what’s most important to you.
Taking the time to ask yourself questions about what sparks joy for you and investigate your interests will point you in a clearer direction. After you come to your conclusion, you might find that you need a full career change.
2. Ask for a second opinion
You're in charge here, but asking for an objective second opinion helps. Asking close friends or family for their opinions may give you valuable insight or remind you of things you forgot about.
If you were a camp counselor when you were younger, you might’ve forgotten how passionate you are about working with children and teaching them about the environment. When someone reminds you of that, you can find the source of that drive.
That might mean you’ll feel more fulfilled with an educational aspect of your role or that you’ll find meaning in creating environmental policy.
3. Consider your daily tasks
What would a typical work day look like for you in some of the jobs you're thinking of? Take a look at job descriptions and consider how you'd enjoy the daily tasks and responsibilities.
Write down what excites you about the job and what doesn't seem very attractive. If you aren’t a people person, a job title in sales might not be for you. Try chatting with recruiters about what they expect from candidates and what the company has to offer. After, you might find out that you'd hate this job, but that's OK. It all helps you on your journey to find a job you love.
4. Be mindful of salary expectations
Having a job that provides financial security could be a big requirement for you, so learning how to find a job you love and pays well might require more focus on salary expectations. Crunch some numbers and establish what you'd like your minimum salary to be.
Make sure you have a plan for salary negotiations. Studies have found that compromising on salary isn't a strategy that's linked to any salary gains, but those who collaborated with potential employers on establishing a salary were more satisfied with their final number.
5. Make a list of dealbreakers
Let's say you come across two new jobs you'd love. How will you choose which one's the best for you? Write down a list of dealbreakers, and stick to them. Think about what aspects of a job would go against your passions and values. These dealbreakers could be straightforward job requirements, like if you'd want to work remotely or in person.
It could be things like how small the company is or the potential for growth into management positions. The job may not be completely perfect, but it shouldn't force you to sacrifice what you value.
Job searching is like dating. You have to go step by step
Step by step, you'll make progress on your job search for something you love. Some steps might feel like they take longer than others because they're more involved, while others go by much quicker. But they all contribute to helping you reach your ultimate goal. Remember to enjoy each step and value what it teaches you along the way.
Here are four steps to take as you find a job you love:
1. List your strengths and weaknesses
After narrowing down your passions, it's time to make a list of what you excel at and struggle with. What are your skills? What do you do best, and what do you need help with?
Knowing yourself and your abilities helps you create a detailed plan for how you'll secure your dream job. It'll teach you what to highlight in job interviews and how to answer certain questions like "What's your biggest weakness, and how do you plan to overcome it?" It's also an opportunity to establish your professional development goals about what you want to improve in the future.
2. Talk to a career expert
A career expert could be a mentor, career coach, or career counselor. They should be a person who understands your skills and passions and has your best interests in mind when giving career advice. Talk to your career expert about your plans and any concerns.
They might help you find a management course before you aim for a promotion or have insights into the realities of a particular industry. This is also your opportunity to practice answering interview questions and solidify your next moves.
3. Do your best to network
Don't be afraid to reach out to existing employees at a company you're interested in or chat with other people in your network with a similar job. Increased networking has been found to relate to career success, salary increases, and greater industry knowledge.
Search up a company you're interested in on LinkedIn, and try to connect with employees from there. It's your chance to ask employees what they enjoy and dislike about their jobs. This will give you more insight into which job will best suit your passions and interests.
4. Organize an interview
Networking with employees is one thing, but a conversation with the hiring managers is your time to ask all your pressing questions. Interviewing works both ways, so use it to your advantage.
Informational interviews allow you to gain knowledge that isn’t included in the job description. You might ask what the company culture is like, the company's values, or what they plan to achieve in the next couple of years. These interview questions are for you, so ask away. Here's a tip: don't forget to follow up after the interview and thank the hiring manager for their time.
Choosing the right job: why is it important?
You've put lots of time and energy into this job search, and by the end, you need to make the right choice for your future. Choosing the ideal job will put you on track for a successful and meaningful career, so be sure of your decision.
Of course, you can always change your mind if a position turns out to be the wrong fit. But paying attention to the details will help you find the right one from the start.
It seems like a lot of pressure, but it doesn't have to be. Breaking down your job offer will help you understand if it's the best job for you and if you'll love working there.
Here are a few questions to ask yourself when choosing the right job:
- Will this job feel like a chore, or will you complete your tasks with enthusiasm?
- How comfortable will you be in the work environment? Will you enjoy working in person or remotely?
- What made you apply for this job in the first place? Do you still feel the same about it now?
- How long do you see yourself working there?
- Did you notice any red flags during the job interview or when you did your research?
So why is it important that you take all this time to find a job you love? A job you love transforms how you view work. It becomes a place you want to be, rather than dread going to each day.
Here are four other reasons why it's beneficial to have a job you love:
- Your job makes you happy, and happy workers more productive than unhappy workers
- You’ll have more motivation and ambition to do your best because you're passionate about the work
- You develop a growth mindset that teaches you to welcome learning opportunities
- The quality of your work improves since satisfied employees have greater work performance
You might wonder what to do if you can't find a job you love. The answer: keep trying. Learning how to find a job you love takes time, and it isn't easy. You might think you're close to finding your dream job one day, and the next day it falls through. But it's out there, and it's waiting for you.
You're putting in the hard work now for a successful future by developing an action plan and learning some insightful tips. You know to spend time figuring out your needs, like what your passions are and what goals you want to achieve.
Plus, you know that finding a job you love will help you professionally and personally because it injects meaning into your life. You'll also have healthier work relationships with your coworkers and managers because you believe in your team’s work.
Whatever your passions are, follow them toward a job that honors them. You won’t regret it.