Finding the right career is something that just about everyone struggles with. Lots of people either find themselves bouncing from job to job trying and failing to find something that they really enjoy, or they get stuck in a boring job that slowly becomes more and more frustrating until the very idea of getting up in the morning to go to work fills them with dread. Obviously, neither of these situations are exactly ideal, so it’s no surprise that just about everyone has the desire to find a career that they can really settle into and enjoy for the long haul. Of course, doing that is certainly easier said than done. In fact, a lot of people think that finding the right career is as much about the luck of the draw as anything else, since it odds of finding something often seem so incredibly low. However, that’s far from the case. Just because something is difficult doesn’t mean that it’s impossible and it’s incredibly important that you don’t give up on trying to find a career that you can really love. In order to make it just a little bit easier, here are some questions that you should ask yourself in order to make sure that you’re looking in the right places for your dream career.
What engages you?
There’s no point putting a lot of time and effort into finding a job if you’re just going to end up getting bored after a few months and either moving on to something else or growing to resent your job for leaving you unsatisfied. In order to avoid this then you need to think about what it is that you really want from a job. Are you a creative kind of person, or are you better with hard facts and figures? Do you enjoy abstract concepts and ideas or do you prefer to work with things that are more concrete and definable? There are plenty of resources online to help you figure out what kind of work suits your personality and psychology best, like Digital Ladder. Even within certain industries, there is so much variation that you’re likely to find something that fits you like a glove. Not everyone who works in marketing is going to do so in the same way, and not everyone who wants to lead a team of people is going to have the same techniques. By having a job that suits your personality, you’re going to find it much more engaging.
Where do your skills fit?
Of course, it’s not just about how much you want to do the job; it’s also about how well you can do the job in the first place. Think about the skills, qualifications, and experience that you have. Where do they fit? What kinds of roles to they give you the opportunity to try? If you’re interested in something enough to develop a genuine level of skill in it, then it’s not going to entirely surprising that jobs that use those skills will be engaging for you. Not only that but working in a position that allows you to use skills that you have is often and incredibly encouraging experience. If you lack a certain set of skills or qualifications that would allow you to do a job that you really want, then don’t be afraid to think long term and work to gain those skills so that you can perform that role at some point in the future.
What situations do you work best in?
Of course, it’s not just the job itself that makes a difference to how you feel about it. The way in which the business that you work for is structured can have a huge impact on your experience and satisfaction within it. Does your job involve you working independently or will you be a part of a team most of the time? Are you going to following direct instructions every day or are you going to be in a position where you need to take the initiative when it comes to certain tasks? These things that can make the difference between a job that you hate and one that leaves you feeling totally fulfilled. How much of a people person are you? How good are you at coming up with new ideas? These kinds of questions are important to ask because they will tell you whether or not a certain business’s culture and environment will be a good fit for you or if you’d just end up feeling confused, frustrated or both.
What level of balance do you need?
You need to be aware of just how important a work/life balance is for you. It’s the sort of thing that a lot of people consider to be relatively crucial, but it’s an extremely personal thing from one individual to another. If you’re the kind of person who is at a point in their life when their career is the most important thing of all, then you’re likely going to be happy working a job that takes up the vast majority of your time and brain space. However, if you’re someone with a family, then you may have entirely different priorities. You might feel as though you need to strike a different balance between the time you spend at home and the time you spend at work. Not only that but the amount of extra work that you’re willing to take on will be greatly impacted by your home life. Neither is right or wrong; it purely comes down to what you really want out of life.
It’s important to remember that, even if you are following this advice, things aren’t always going to be easy. You’ve got to stick with it even if it feels like things aren’t going your way. Unless you’re extremely lucky, looking for your dream job is going to involve a great deal of rejection, and that can often be enough to leave a lot of people feeling incredibly discouraged. However, the true key to being able to find your perfect career is your ability to bounce back even when you find yourself struggling to find something for long stretches of time.