Finding a job these days can be tough. Finding a job that you like?
A career you can thrive in? That can seem like a pipe dream.
But we think finding the right career for you matters. Why? There are a few reasons.
Work takes up (a lot of) your time
How you spend your days accounts for a large portion of how you spend your life. You want that time spent to serve you – your needs, your goals, your health. Because ultimately, we work to live. We work to pay for those needs, goals, and well-being.
It’s not only good to find work that supports your life, it’s the smart thing to do, because . . .
Fulfilling work = a job well done
If you like what you do, you’re more likely to do a good job. The Harvard Business Review reported that stress and disengagement at work lead to decreased productivity – and even more on-the-job accidents. Finding something that is within your scope of comfort and interest is crucial to performing well at work.
So, how do I find the “right career” for me?
Let’s clarify that when we’re talking about the “right career”, we don’t mean that there is only one answer – a holy grail that you must find at all costs.
Finding a career is more about identifying your priorities, your strengths, and what you hope to get out of your day to day work life.
Think about your immediate needs
We work to make money, so we have to think about our most immediate needs.
You might have rent, or a mortgage, utilities, car payments, maybe daycare costs. You might have health needs that prevent you from doing things like standing or sitting for long hours. Maybe it’s better for your mental health not to be on the phone all day, or to make sure you’re working with people. Maybe you need a job that aligns with your kids’ schedule, or that allows you to work on weekends. Consider your most immediate needs when looking for a career.
This might mean saving up some money before making a career switch. It might mean you narrow your search to jobs that will, at a minimum, provide for those needs.
Think about your long-term goals
Finding meaningful work can be a journey. It could take some strategic thinking, and that’s okay. Starting to think in the long term will help you ask yourself “how do I get from here to there?”.
Ask yourself where you’d like to be in 1 year, 5 years, 10 years. These thought exercises will help you figure out what you need to do now to get there. For example, if you want to have a career in Law, you could look for entry level positions at a law firm and save up to take online paralegal courses. You’re unlikely to start exactly where you want to be, but once you identify where you want to be, you can make small steps toward getting there.
Think about what you have to offer
If you don’t even know where to begin, start right where you are – with what you already have.
Are you really organized? Do you have a great memory? Are you good at figuring out puzzles? Do you have a natural interest in people and their lives? Do you love to drive? Do you love to cook? Can you retain a lot of information?
Asking yourself questions like these will help you nail down your skills and open up your potential career paths.
Don’t be afraid to seek guidance, too. Free career tests like the RIASEC/Holland
test can help you pinpoint your options. You might even consider asking someone close to you what they think you’d be good at.
Finding the right career for you takes time, but it’s worth it. You’ve got this!
On the job hunt? We’re always looking for people to join our team. Check out open positions at careersbyworld.com