Find a job you love with these 5 tips
"If you do what you love, you'll never work a day in your life." How many of us can honestly say that we love our jobs (yes, here at Expertrain HQ we're usually happy at work!)? Should we spend time searching for a career we love that leaves us feeling satisfied and fulfilled, or settle for a job which pays the bills? We've all had that conversation - whether it's with yourself or with friends and family - about what we dream of doing. Chances are, the job you do now is very different from what you dreamed you'd grow up to do! Whether you already know what you'd love to do or have ideas but don't know how to implement them, these five tips will help you on your way towards a career which makes you happy.
#1. Be self-aware
Self-awareness is important in so many areas of our lives, from health and fitness to mental health and our career path. We're all different, and that means that different things matter to us. It's important to take some time to think about who you are, what your interests are, what your lifestyle priorities are and what gets you out of bed in the morning. Taking a personality test such as the Myers Briggs Type Indicator test can help you by assessing your personality type and giving you an idea of what motivates you (1). Tests like this can provide you with insight and direction if you're not sure which path to take or are feeling indecisive.
#2. Network, network, network
Talking to as many people as you can who work in your dream career, or even in the same industry you'd like to get into, can help you to find out about different potential career paths. This can also enable you to create professional networks which could boost your future career prospects. Don't be afraid to use LinkedIn and social media sites to make contacts. Set up interviews and ask people how they got into their current role - if they're not too busy, most people will be only too happy to help - they may even be hiring! Say yes to every opportunity or contact that comes along as you never know where it could take you. Taking advantage of networking events in your area is also a great way to make invaluable contacts.
#3. Get some experience
With so many graduates hunting for their dream job, how do you stand out amongst hundreds of other potential applicants? Nowadays employers value industry experience highly, so whether you'd love to work for a non-profit organisation or fancy yourself as a marketing expert, applying for volunteer or intern roles can help you to gain invaluable work experience. You'll learn more about the role you're interested in as well as the industry. Attending industry events such as exhibitions and seminars can also help you to keep up-to-date with your industry knowledge which can put you ahead of the competition. Never underestimate the importance of your interests either. Want to work as a personal trainer or in the fitness industry? Then you'll need to spend your free time pursuing active hobbies to stay fit and healthy.
#4. Find a mentor
Need some career advice or a bit of motivation to get that dream job? Finding a mentor - whether it's a former lecturer from uni or an old boss can really help. They can provide you with advice, help you to work out where your interests and skills lie and motivate you! We all need a bit of a push now and again, and having somebody on your side to guide you along the way could be the boost you need. They can help you network, offer insights and advice or even provide you with a professional reference.
#5. Re-brand yourself
Before you start sending off job applications, there's something important you have to do - re-brand yourself. Think of yourself as a new brand or product waiting to be launched. Spend some time revising your CV and cover letter - you want it to be an accurate reflection of your new skills and any relevant experience you have gained. If you're struggling, there are CV services available which will help you out, for a fee. Don't forget that many employers will also check you out on social media before hiring you, so make sure you update your Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook profiles to reflect your new career goals and any new skills. It's also important to remember to tailor your CV and cover letter to each individual position that you apply for, rather than just firing them off blindly and hoping for the best! Take the time to think about what you could bring to each role you apply for - perhaps you're applying to be a counsellor and you're a good listener or have struggled with addiction problems in the past. Be confident; you have loads to offer!
The path to your dream career may not be a short one, or a smooth one, and you'll need to put in the effort if you want to reap the rewards. But imagine getting up to go to work every day (well, most days) with a smile on your face - doing a job that you love and that you find rewarding and fulfilling! You won't wake up tomorrow and find yourself in your dream job. But taking action today and making little changes will set you on the road towards being happier at work and enjoying a successful career.
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