7 Tips to Find a Job You Love

Anyone can find a satisfying career.


Happiness, Job
Happy employees who love their jobs.

(wavebreakmedia / Shutterstock.com)

Everyone deserves the right to earn a living while doing something that makes you happy. It’s never too late to start over. Anyone can find a satisfying career, at any age. 

After all, Jonah Peretti was still a middle school computer science teacher before launching Buzzfeed and The Huffington Post in his 30s according to Inc. Wedding gown designer, Vera Wang, didn’t open her first bridal shop until age 40 and Julia Child was 51-years-old when she published her first cookbook before becoming a celebrity chef. 

You, too, can find a career full of passion and purpose. If you want to start your path toward career reinvention, follow these tips to find a job you actually love.

Define your values
Like the foundation of a house, your core values provide the framework to build your life. When you understand your values, you can create a life of meaning that aligns with who you are.

Getting clear on your values will help understand the direction of your life and find a job you actually love. Some examples of values include: family, career, status, stability, honesty, service, compassion, spirituality, and freedom

Not everyone shares the same values. What matters to you the most may not concern the next person. Rather than comparing your life to someone else’s, you need to understand what truly matters to you. 

Take some time to list values. Try to narrow down your list to three or four of the most important ones and let these guide you as you explore a new career path.

Assess your strengths
Everyone has strengths. Yet not everyone has taken the time to recognize what they are. Strengths are  those skills and abilities that come naturally to you. When you recognize your strengths, you can nurture them, put them into action, and build confidence as you excel in those areas. 

Strengths differ from talent. A football player may be able to run fast, but it’s the hard work and dedication that turn a natural athlete into a pro. Think of strengths as those aspects of yourself that you can build and develop..

Consider the things that you do well and enjoy doing. Some examples of strengths include: discipline, patience, creativity, enthusiasm, leadership, emotional awareness, and public speaking.

Your strengths make you feel energized. You may even lose track of time while doing that activity.

When you realize your core values and your strengths, you can connect the dots between the two. This process gives you an idea of what matters to you and what you will enjoy and excel at in your career journey. 

Take some time to brainstorm potential career paths that you’d like to pursue that match with your strengths and values. You can write down ideas to help keep track.

For example, let’s say you consider service a core value and emotional awareness as a strength. You may thrive as a therapist, social worker, or in healthcare. Or, if you value freedom and creativity, you may enjoy working as a self-employed graphic designer, writer, or architect.

Take Calculated Risks
Making a big change in your life takes some risk. You’ll have to step outside of your comfort zone a little. But you don’t want to jump in headfirst and find yourself in financial ruin. Instead, take calculated risks. By planning ahead and understanding the risks involved, you set yourself up for success.

Everyone has different opportunities available to them. Before taking a big step, like quitting your job or going back to school, review your options. 

Ask yourself some of the following questions to better understand your situation before moving forward: Do you have enough savings to cushion a career shift? Do you have a family to support that requires earning a certain level of income? Do you have family that can support you while you navigate a career change or go back to school? Can you cut your budget so you can explore a career change, even with a pay decrease?

Find a Mentor
When you recognize a direction you’d like to go, look for someone in that field who has succeeded. Reach out to a role model or mentor and discover the path that led them to where they are. They can provide guidance to follow in their footsteps.

Read, Learn, and Discover.
You can find all kinds of ways to educate yourself without the long-term commitment of a university program. Schools often offer free courses online, on sites like edX or Coursera. You can sign up for certification programs to qualify for a new role, which costs less time and money than earning a degree. Books, podcasts, audiobooks, and TedTalks are also accessible ways to learn.

Finding your dream job won’t happen overnight. The road to a new career will take you through twists, turns, and even dead ends. Expect the process to take time. Give yourself the space to explore. Try out different jobs. Even if you don’t find your dream job right away, you’ll get to experience different options to learn what you like, and what you don’t.

Your job doesn’t have to be the thing that brings meaning to your life. You may find fulfilment outside of the office. You might decide to stay in your current job to keep a roof over your head, and then find joy in a hobby or passion outside of work.

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