Do you wish you had a job you loved? Most of us yearn for something that lights us up and doesn’t feel like work because we’re so aligned to the position duties, our colleagues, and the organizational mission. For most Americans, this is not reality. Yet, we spend most of our waking hours at work, which I find unpleasantly ironic. Some of us eventually say, “not me; I’m going to find something I’m passionate about.” This initial motivator may trigger an enthusiastic job search. I have found that while a person’s job search starts with the right intention, most people make several mistakes along the way. The problem – they go broad instead of deep.
If you’ve been looking for a new job for a while without any luck, it may be because you’re casting too wide a net. Most of my clients do this because they’re not clear on what they’d genuinely want to do. In other instances, they have a dream job in mind, but they’ve told themselves they can’t do it because it is too far afield from their current profession.
There’s always a way, so long as you’re willing to gain a high level of specificity and close out other options.
Closing out opportunities is a sticking point for most people because they fear a ‘bad’ decision. However, if you lack specificity in your job search, it may languish or worse; you could end up staying in an unfulfilling job. Neither is going to get you to the goal of loving your job.
Here are four things you can do to gain clarity:
- Think about someone whose life and career you admire, no matter how unrealistic it seems to you. What is their job, and why are you envious of it? Naming these attributes will help you identify the things that spark enthusiasm in a profession and the associated lifestyle.
- Consider the components of the position, company, and people that would create the ideal career and make a list. Notice any themes.
- Write out a list of companies that you’d be delighted to work for, and consider why those companies made your list. Examine the attributes and elements that attracted you to those organizations.
- Complete this complimentary job clarity workbook to flush out the above exercises further.