It’s an difficult task eh? I know! I spent about 10 years looking for a job that I really wanted to do. There can be too many options and so many possible solutions. However, there are strategies mentioned below that I used and that will really help you, as long as you are prepared to do the work also!
I don’t pretend that these are always easy things to do, but I will promise that they are effective. The easy thing to say is that 'not everyone finds a job they like!' or 'get a job, any job!'. You’re reading this because you don’t want to get ‘any job’, you want a job that you love. And maybe you don’t know where to start.
1. Model people with cool jobs
When you see someone doing something that you’re interested in, it’s a good idea to find out more about it. Watching programmes about what they do and checking out resources on the internet are too simple methods. Talk to them if possible and ask them more about what they do. Be wary of only seeing the fun or interesting side of the work. There may be more to their work than there seems. For example, someone interested in the IT industry could read about 10 People Who Changed the Social Media World
2. Do it for the right reasons
There are people in almost every industry that are rich and that are poor. Very few jobs guarantee riches these days, so you may as well choose something that you love. After all, you could be doing it for 40 years or more. If you are convinced that money is the most important thing, that’s fine, maybe it is for you. But I’d recommend you read this journal article that I wrote, before you make that choice: Are you SURE you want to be a millionaire?
3. Hit the library
Try going to the library and wandering around until you find an area that sparks an interest. Once there, you can flick through books to see if anything jumps out at you. If you’re not prepared to do this, you may not be really keen on finding a career that excites you. I often suggest that my clients go to the library to discover this for themselves because many people will watch TV programmes that they’re not really interested in, but very few people will read about something in the library they’re not excited about. You may also discover some subjects that you didn't even realise existed.
4. Interview 3 personal connections
This is a great way to see the ups and downs of any job. The person actually doing the work can tell you what it’s really like, something which people selling courses will not tell you, for fear that you won’t buy their course. It’s a nice idea to choose three people with completely different jobs to give you a wide scope of experiences to choose from. I did a sample interview with a former colleague of mine to show you what I mean.
5. Trial and error
Often it seems that you have to have a job to do work that you love. But this isn’t always the case. If you’re a writer, you can write. If you’re a designer, you can design. Or if you’re a trainer, you can train etc. Don’t wait for someone to give you a job, start doing it already! If you like it, you can pursue it further, and if not, at least you know that there is one more job that you know you aren’t interested in. That's progress!
6. Watch long videos about the area on youtube
Youtube has videos everything. So why not search for long videos on your area of interest? They need to be long so that you are sure that you’re interested in the area. Also, that’s what your work will be like so it’s good practice. It’s even better if the production quality is poor or the speaker is boring - then you know you’re really interested in the topic if you’re still watching!!!
7. Go to the career fairs
These are always a good way of seeing what’s on offer. Although, remember that not every job is there and some of the companies with more money are able to seem more attractive because of the advertising that they can use. Look for the content behind the advertising and listen closely to what they are saying. Forget how it looks, how does it sound? Forget the benefits, what will you be doing for 35-40 hours every week at that job? What type of people will you be working with? Do they enjoy their work?Will this be a long term career choice or short term?
8. Use the free resources on my site
I've created resources that you can use to discover your passion and do work that you love. I've received a lot of good feedback about thess so I hope that you will also find them useful! Check them out here.
9. Book a session with a Career Coach (like me!)
Helping people find what job they'd like to do and then guiding them through the process of doing it is my speciality. After having had this very same problem myself for almost ten years, I decided to find everything I possibly could to answer the question 'What career do I really want to do for 40 years?'. My sessions aren't about strengths or weaknesses because ultimately I believe that we can learn to become good at anything once we are passionate about it. That's why I focus on discovering passion. Once you've discovered it, you'll need a strategic action plan and some essential tools to help you achieve it. Set up a free 15 minutes phone call and let's see if we're a good fit.
I hope this post have been of help to you. Feel free to contact me for more information, comments or questions. Thanks, Ronan