There’s no greater fear than being in a career you hate. It’s a soul-sucking, passion-killing experience that can make even the most ambitious person feel stuck in a rut. Unfortunately, it’s a reality for far too many people.
The good news is that it doesn’t have to be this way. Just because you don’t have a specific career, doesn’t mean that you should settle for just anything. There are ways to figure out what job is right for you, starting with taking a closer look at yourself.
Six Steps For A Satisfying Career
Trying to figure out the answer to the question “What job should I have?” can be daunting – but it doesn’t have to be. The following six steps will help you narrow down your options and help you eventually find the right career:
1. Start By Finding Your Passion
The first step to identifying a job you love is to start with what you are passionate about. What makes you excited to get out of bed in the morning? What tasks can you not wait to tackle each day? Identifying your areas of passion is a great place to start because it will help you narrow down your options.
Many people are passionate about certain things but have never considered turning that passion into a career. Some people may not even know they can find a career that is both a job and a passion.
For example, if your hobby is playing video games, there are actually plenty of jobs that involve gaming. Even if you don’t have the skills for game design, you could find work at gaming websites, software companies, and gaming stores. You could also work in various gaming-related jobs, from sales to advertising and management.
Keep in mind that you don’t have to stop at what you are passionate about. Whatever your passions are, you can use these as a starting point for finding a job or career that suits you.
2. Define Your Motivators
Consider what motivates you to stay in your current job. Whether it’s the people you work with, the company culture, or the opportunity to learn and grow, there are usually some essential factors that keep you motivated at work. Be cognisant of these motivators as you look for a new job because they can help guide you towards the job that is right for you.
- Enjoying Part-time Work: For others, wealth is defined by time. If you have a job that allows you to work fewer hours or gives you more free time, this may be your definition of wealth. Spending less time at work helps reduce burnout and can make you appreciate your job more, helpinging you to work more efficiently.
- Living In A Fantastic Location: Some people define wealth by location. If you have a job that allows you to live in a fantastic city or country, this can be a huge motivator. If you work in a climate you hate, this can make you miserable at your job. If you’re in a place you love, it can make you appreciate your job that much more.
- Having Lots Of Family Time: For some people, the ability to spend time with family is the most critical thing in life. Having a job that enables you to spend more time with your family or gives you flexible hours might be your definition of wealth.
- Doing What You Love: The ability to do what you love and get paid for it is the dream for many people. Some people are willing to give up lucrative career positions to do something they’re passionate about, even if they make less money.
- Being Able To Travel: Some people define wealth as freedom. If you have a job that allows you to travel or the flexibility to take time off when you want, it might motivate you to work hard. Even if your job isn’t something you’re passionate about, the flexibility to travel when and where you want can make you love your job.
- Working With Amazing People: Finally, some people define wealth by the people they work with. It can be a huge motivator if you have a job that allows you to work with people you like and respect as it can make your job much more fulfilling.
3. Create Your “Dream Job” List
Once you’ve identified the things you are passionate about and what motivates you in your current job, it’s time to create your “dream job” list. Your dream job list should contain all the jobs you can think of that would suit you based on your interests and motivators.
Don’t worry about whether the jobs you list are realistic or not. Once you begin researching the jobs you’ve outlined on your list, you might find other related positions that are more realistic and relevant to your passions, but that still meet your motivators.
4. Find The Crossroads Where Passion And Money Meet
After creating your list of dream jobs, begin thoroughly researching each position. Specifically, look at the requirements of each job and how much they pay. When considering the salary range of a job, ask yourself how important money is. Is it necessary to make a lot of money? Or are there other things that are more important to you?
For some, money might be more important than any other element of a job because of the freedom it provides to do what you want in your personal life. For others, it’s more important to be fulfilled by the job they do. However, for most, the sweet spot is somewhere in the middle.
The goal should be to find a potential career that is related to one of your passions and also pays well. You can use the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook to find salary information about various jobs. If you do, be sure to use your existing salary (or the salary at your last job) as a baseline for your search.
5. Research The Career Outlook
Finding a job related to your passions that also meets your motivators and pays well is the absolute dream. However, there are many other factors to consider as well.
For instance, you’ll want to find out how much training you’ll need for the position, and you’ll also want to look at the expected growth rate. Even if the job meets all your requirements, it might not be much of a dream job if you can’t secure a position because the demand is low.
Therefore, make sure that there are either plenty of jobs available for that position – or that the growth rate in that industry is increasing.
6. Ask Yourself If You’ll Be Happy In Your Future Job
Once you’ve narrowed down your list of dream jobs, try to imagine if you would be satisfied with taking one of those jobs. If you think you will be, then start doing additional research by looking for information about the job online.
For instance, search for informational interviews with people who hold those jobs and see what they say about the position and whether they are satisfied with their careers.
You can also post questions on online forums, such as Reddit, and engage with people who are already in the career you’re thinking about pursuing. By gathering information in this way, you can better understand whether you would be happy in that job in the future.
Additional Factors To Consider
Even after following the previously listed steps to identify a potential career, there are additional factors to consider. Suppose you’re currently employed and are considering pursuing a new career or another job. In that case, the following are a few other factors that you’ll want to consider before deciding to switch jobs:
- Assess Your Current Position: Before deciding if another job is right for you, you must look closely at your current position. Are you truly unhappy with your current job? If you’re only feeling slightly dissatisfied, you might want to try and make some changes in your current job before you start job hunting.On the other hand, if you are truly unhappy, then it might be time to start looking for a new job.
- Take On Risks: When considering a new job, you must prepare to take a few risks. In other words, you might not get the job you want or not like the new job as much as you thought. However, if you’re unhappy with your current job, you must be prepared to take risks in order to find a job that will make you happy.
- Be Informed: If you’re going to apply for a new job, you should aim to be informed about the job before you submit an application. This means researching and knowing as much about the company and job position as possible. The more informed you are, the better your chances of impressing potential employers and getting the job you want.
Choose A Career That Resonates With You
If you’re looking for a change in your career, it’s important to consider all of the factors involved. However, choosing a career that resonates with you is the most important thing. After all, you’ll be spending a large portion of your life working, so you should aim to choose a career that you’re both passionate about and that will motivate you.