Just a few months ago, I was on my lunch break having a full-on identity crisis. I’ve always had the view that the only true type of independence is financial, so my job has always been the highest priority in my life.
I was working a bog-standard 8 to 5 admin job. Sure, it was nowhere near that bad, and I loved the team I worked with, but I just felt so unfulfilled.
I just kept thinking to myself, why can’t I find a job I love?
Does this even exist? And if it does, where do I find it?
So, I did a lot of soul-searching and now I’ve found a much better attitude and have begun a career I really enjoy! I work a full-time remote job for a merchandising company and blog part-time.
This is nowhere near the end of my journey, but at least it feels like I’ve started!
I get up excited every day and I didn’t think that was possible.
Here’s what I learned along the way. If you’re looking to do some soul searching to set a long-term career goal, here are some practical action points you can do TODAY to find a job you love.
1. Find Out What Job Would Make You Happy
There is a quick, 3 step exercise you can do to help you narrow down your search.
- Make a list of all the things that make you happy, work-related or not.
- Then, make a separate list of what it is about those activities you love.
- Brainstorm some possible industries or jobs that share those same qualities.
For example: if you enjoy basketball, what is it that you like about basketball? Is it physical exercise? Is it being outside? Is it teamwork? Construction is an industry that is outside and involves a lot of teamwork, for example.
If you were to say something like makeup, perhaps it’s the creativity or the process of researching and hunting for good quality products.
Once you have your list, it can act as a vague guide as to what sort of jobs will make you happy and would be worth looking into. The job you end up loving might not have all of these characteristics but it’s a good self-evaluation activity to do for a starting point.
2. Try Before You Buy – Similar Approach To Your Job Searching
Before you invest time, money, and emotions into a romantic relationship you test it out first through dating. Most people would agree it’s a bad idea to jump straight into marriage.
This is how I would recommend approaching job searching.
Here are some ways you can scope out an industry before you jump in:
a. Work Experience
You are never too old to do this!
No matter what your age, contacting a company and asking to come into their environment, even if it is just for a day, will show great confidence and willingness to learn. You will learn if a job in this industry would make you happy.
If you don’t have the time to do work experience, try and organize a meeting with someone who works in the industry.
You’d be surprised at how open people will be meeting and sharing their advice (with you)! They will be able to give you some good pointers on where to find a job you will love in their industry.
c. Social Media
If you cannot meet someone in person, reach out to them via social media.
LinkedIn is great for this and I would strongly recommend that everyone has an account. Approaching someone on Facebook is a little unprofessional.
If you’re struggling and can’t find a job, this will help as you’ll get you’ll name out there. Instead of having to apply for loads of jobs, employers might contact you when they start recruiting.
d. Online Research
If you’re not feeling confident enough yet to do any of the above, just do your research online.
Watch YouTube videos and read news articles about the industry. It will be a good exercise to help you find a job that’ll make you happy if you take the time to consider what you want.
3. Where To Find A Job
Here is a list of great places to go job searching
- Companies’ own websites – if there is a specific company you want to work for, try having a look at their website! Often, they will have a ‘vacancies’ or a ‘work for us’ section.
- Recruitment agencies
4. Send Out Applications
Once you have a good idea of what industry you want to go into apply, apply, apply.
If you aren’t quite the right fit for one role, the company might have something else you would be perfect for! It’s worth getting your name out there.
You can never apply for too many! If you get several interviews, then that gives you a chance to compare what different companies are like.
Tip: Make sure you personalize each application you send out. This might seem a lot of effort, but it’ll save you time as you’ll have to send out far fewer before you’re successful.
Then, FOLLOW UP on your applications! This can pay off massively, however you have to approach this in the right way so you don’t come across as annoying.
Below are some pointers on how to carry it out correctly.
- Only do this if you have a direct recruitment contact. (the email or phone number of the recruiting manager or the specific office admin).
- Do not do this over LinkedIn!
- If it says on the job advert ‘If we have not contacted you by DD/MM/YY then please assume your application has been unsuccessful, only contact them for feedback.
- If the job advert doesn’t tell you when they will contact you, it’s worth emailing them after a week or so asking if they have had a chance to review your CV.
It is essential to keep track of what applications you’ve sent and when. This will help you plan out and in addition, you can always stay aware of what is going on with each job you applied for.
Do you know how much it costs the average company to take on a new employee? — Approximately $4,000 to hire a new employee according to GlassDoor.
You could have the perfect CV, qualifications, and experience but that doesn’t make you the only one. There are probably hundreds of other people with those things.
You know what really is rare?
Confidence, Passion, and Likeability
I can honestly say in my time working in recruitment that I could count on my hands how many people I came across who truly embodied these things.
If you can prove that you have these qualities an employer will be much more likely to hire you and invest in your capabilities.
6. Hiring Agency
Agency can be a boon from time to time. They can be as helpful when you want to land a job fast with the help of their business network as their clients.
It wouldn’t harm you if you just register your resume on agencies here and there. You might hear back from some of them as a result.
But this shouldn’t be solely done. It’s not the ideal that you rely on them and turn yourself into a couch potato.
Instead, you might feel you need to be more proactive about this. For example, actively searching for a job on your own at the same time while getting help from hiring agencies.
Agency is a good help but it’s a supplementary help along with another downside of using an agency — it costs you their service fees.
How To Find A Job That You Love – Conclusion
Follow those five points and you’ll find a job that truly does make you happy in no time.
Focus less on where to find a job, concentrate on refining your application, and get more contacts in the industry.
It can be so frustrating when you can’t find a job but keep learning from your mistakes and you’ll get there in no time!