According to a Forbes report, the majority of Americans — 53 percent — are unhappy at their jobs. And as much as we all would like to find our dream jobs and dream careers, actually accomplishing that is easier said than done. It’s easy to get lost among confusing titles and new niche career fields that continually emerge.
Finding a role you love means more than enjoying the work you do. According to Huffington Post Australia, we spend about 13 years and 2 months of our lives at work, so we might as well make sure that we spend those years doing something that makes us feel both happy and productive.
Read on as we at ForceBrands bring you 35 tips for finding a job you love. We asked our team of executive recruiters, senior leaders, and more to offer up some solutions that will help you identify your passions, find jobs in your dream field that best suit your skill set, and other great advice for job seeking.
1. Talk to people to get inspired
The world of jobs is full of careers and positions you have never even heard of, and it’s a good idea to discuss with people what it is they do or aspire to do to get some inspiration for yourself.
2. Listen to those close to you
While you should take most things that other people advise or comment about your life with a grain of salt, with the right amount of filtration, you can extract some helpful information. If those who know you best have always thought you had a knack for something, that might be a field worth exploring.
3. Talk to people about your dream job
If you think you’ve got it narrowed down, talk to people about your unique vision for your career to learn more about its upsides and downsides, so they don’t surprise you when the right time comes.
4. Get an outside perspective
Instead of letting people come to you, seek out honest opinions. Just be sure you listen to those who have your best interests in mind.
5. Take classes in things that interest you
If you are still just on the way to completing your degree, try to take electives and classes in things that sound like something you could end up pursuing in the future, whether they fall within your major or not. Figure out which ones really speak to you.
6. Use a career coach
Take full advantage of career services and coaches being offered at educational institutions.
7. Take career and personality tests
Who doesn’t like taking personality tests? Some of them, such as Myers–Briggs and Enneagram, can help you identify what career fields would be a good fit for your personality profile.
8. Sample companies through internships
Sample a variety of work environments and companies through internships to get a better idea of what you would like your job to be like. The experience will likely help you narrow down what you like or don’t like doing.
9. Who did you want to be when you were growing up?
Finding the role that’s right for you may be as easy as answering this question. What did you envision yourself doing when you were much younger (when you didn’t have to consider taxes, insurances, etc.)?
10. Be curious
If you are curious, you are more likely to explore all of your options, and not just the most obvious ones.
11. Be open-minded
Don’t fixate on one field or one position. Be open to all opportunities that might come your way.
12. Don’t be afraid to learn
New skills can open up new doors and introduce you to new interests.
13. Take every experience as a learning lesson
No matter how good or bad, take every experience working as an opportunity to weed out what you want and don’t want from a job.
14. Give yourself honest feedback
After certain jobs or projects, sit down and give yourself honest feedback about how you did, if you would like to handle the same duties again, what mistakes you made, and what you could learn in the meantime to improve the results in the future.
15. Go to job drives and career fairs
Talk to various firms and professionals who can shed light on their titles and what it’s like working at their respective companies.
16. Research companies of interest
Some places might seem like a dream job but do your own research using websites like Glassdoor to see what actual employees have to say about working there.
17. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes
Making mistakes is how we learn. You can make mistakes in your learning process and in the process of figuring out what you want to do. If anything, mistakes help you filter out what you would really like to avoid in your future projects and positions. As the expression says, ‘mistakes are what make our fate.’
18. Identify your talents
You know yourself better than anyone so give yourself an honest evaluation and see where your true strengths lie.
19. Do your best no matter what position you are in
Even if you are not working at your dream job yet, it will help to do your best in your current position. At the very least, it will provide you with opportunities and good recommendation letters to leverage in future pursuits.
20. Get experience
One of the best ways to find out what you would and would not like to do is through experimentation. Try filling different roles and handling a variety of duties.
21. Say ‘yes’ to things
The best way to gain that experience we are talking about above is by saying ‘yes’ to career-related things, which also can provide you with networking opportunities.
Networking is key in any field because it offers you valuable insights on companies and titles that are worth pursuing and can help you make valuable connections. Even if it’s just a coffee meeting with a professional at a company that interests you, leverage it to your advantage. Never stop networking.
23. Do you own research
Google search and research brands that are in your own city. You might not be familiar with a brand at first but then fall in love with their mission and ethical practices. You never know until you search.
24. Make a list of brands
Look up brands that you already like and feel loyal to in your everyday life or admire and would like to be a part of.
25. Analyze your type
Are you more creative or more analytical? Entrepreneurial or structured? Are you someone who likes to simultaneously juggle multiple tasks or focus on one assignment at a time?
26. Set realistic standards
No job is going to be absolutely perfect, and you need to be able to prepare yourself for the fact that even your dream job will have some drawbacks.
27. Find a mentor
Your mentor could be someone you really respect or someone who is older than you, has more work experience, and who can help you navigate this complicated job search world.
28. Figure out your perfect work schedule
Are you okay with a 9-to-5 job? Or do you require more flexible hours? Would you prefer to work remotely or just freelance instead like 46 percent of Gen Zers?
29. Figure out your ideal work environment
Would you thrive in a small company wearing multiple hats or are you dreaming of a corporate job?
30. Set your priorities and motivators
Make a list of what would be your main priorities in enjoying your job and your dream career. What motivates you to get out of bed in the morning?
31. Work with a recruiter
But not just any recruiter. Even if you just graduated from college and don’t have a lot of experience, find a recruiter who you can trust. A recruiter can hear about what classes you’ve enjoyed in college and help identify what your ideal cultural and work fit would be. They will be able to offer a full assessment and recommend career choices, job, or companies that can best fit your lifestyle.
32. Analyze your achievements
What skills have proven most successful? What awards did you collect during high school and college? Which KPIs did you easily hit during previous positions?
33. Don’t give in to peer pressure
Just because all of your friends are trying to go into fashion or sales doesn’t mean you should follow them. Make sure that your career path is your own.
34. Choose for yourself
It can be harder to say ‘no’ to your parents and family than it is to your friends because they can sometimes have a stronger influence on your life. Yet, they shouldn’t make the entire career decision for you. Just because your entire family has gone into medicine doesn’t mean you should give up on pursuing acting or journalism if that is what you truly want.
35. Define what makes you happy
As obvious as that sounds, your dream job is most likely something that will bring you joy and satisfaction. Look for those happy moments in your college and work life and see how they can be developed into a full-time career.
Ready to explore the jobs you’ve been dreaming of? Explore hundreds of jobs in CPG via our job board.