6 Steps to Finding a Career You Love
There are so many job options out there. How do you know if you’ve taken the right path and are in the job that suits you best? Is there something better out there? How do you find out? Just because you’ve been working towards a particular career path for a number of years and have experience, should you just stay put and keep your head down? Maybe not.
For some of us, it’s so much easier to figure out what we don’t want to do, rather than what we like to do. Not only do you want to be sure you’ve found the right job, but you also need to work for the right company and for the right boss. Any one of those pieces can sabotage the rest and make you unhappy at work.
Some people are lucky and stumble upon the right path early in their careers, but if you aren’t sure, here are some tips to get you started. If you’ve never taken an interests survey or personality test, it’s a good place to start. There are plenty of options to help you discover your strengths, preferences, social style, work structure, etc.
Some of these assessments are free, some are not. Take a look and read about the test to see which one may work best for you:
- Myers-Briggs Type Indicator: Identifies personality traits that help point to work preferences
- The Big Five Personality Test: Shows how you work and relate to others
- Riso-Hudson Enneagram Type Indicator: Tells you which of the 8 Enneagram types you are most like
With this information, you’ll be able to clarify some important facets of your work preferences and what jobs/companies will be best suited to your needs. You may discover patterns and common themes. Once you identify those, you’ll be able to narrow your search and find real results.
So, now what? Take a minute to think about what a “Dream Job” isn’t. It isn’t the job that pays big bucks for minimal work, or sucks the life out of you every day. It doesn’t leave you wondering what you’re supposed to be doing in life or makes you feel like you do nothing but work. Whatever you do, don’t choose a job only for prestige or money or just settle because it’s easy and it’s what you’ve always done.
A Dream Job makes you feel wonderful about what you do; it fulfills you and makes you respect yourself. You feel empowered and creative and it builds your self-confidence.
6 Steps to Finding the Career you Love
1. Start by leading with your strengths. If you’ve taken a personality assessment (or two) and learned more about what makes you tick, use that information to define the environment you prefer and identify your values, and interests.
2. Think about your past experiences. Evaluate what you liked and didn’t like about where you worked, what you did there, the people you worked with, your manager, etc. When did you find you were happiest? What was the biggest challenge you faced and how did you feel about your accomplishments?
3. Do information interviews. Talk to people you know who already do what you think you’d like to do and ask them about their day-to-day duties. Read about other people’s experiences and go on LinkedIn and find those who are successful in that work. Ask them for a few minutes of their time to understand what they do. Most people are happy to help out.
4. Take a class or try something new. If you’re thinking about a career in the food and beverage sector, take a look at some cooking and prep videos. Watch interviews with chefs and give it a try. Take a class at a local community college on hotel management and see what it takes to earn a certificate or a degree in hospitality. Do your homework about potential career paths to see what the day-to-day is really like.
5. Think about the environment in which you’ll thrive. Do you do well under pressure? Do you mind working non-standard hours, holidays or weekends? Are you looking for a resort or travel job? Think about what you want your lifestyle to look like.
6. Finally – do what makes you happy. If you look for the kinds of work you would do for free or already do for “fun,” you’ve hit the jackpot. Choose the job that allows you to do what you love and continue to learn and grow.
* Source consulted: https://skillcrush.com/2015/07/02/how-to-find-your-dream-job/