Just a few months ago, I was on my lunch break having a full-on identity crisis. I’ve always had the view that the only true type of independence is financial, so my job has always been the highest priority in my life.
I was working a bog standard 8 to 5 admin job. Sure, it was nowhere near that bad and I loved the team I worked with, but I just felt so unfulfilled.
I just kept thinking to myself, why can’t I find a job I love?
Does this even exist? And if it does, where do I find it?
So, I did a lot of soul searching and now I’ve found a much better attitude and have begun a career I really enjoy! I work at a university and blog part time.
This is nowhere near the end of my journey, but at least it feels like I’ve started!
I get up every day excited and I didn’t think that was possible.
Here’s what I learnt along the way. If you’re looking to do some soul searching to set a long-term career goal, here’s some practical action points you can do TODAY to find a job you love.
Table of Contents
1. Find Out What Job Would Make You Happy
There is a quick, 3 step exercise you can do to help you narrow down your search. All you need is our free, downloadable template (see below) and a few minutes to spare.
- Make a list of all the things that make you happy, work related or not.
- Then, make a separate list of what it is about those activities you love.
- Brainstorm some possible industries or jobs that share those same qualities.
Example: if you enjoy football, but what is it about that activity you enjoy? Is it the physical exercise? Is it being outside? Is it the teamwork? Construction is an industry that is outside and involves a lot of teamwork.
If you were to say something like makeup, perhaps it’s the creativity or the process of researching and hunting for good quality products.
Once you have your list, it can act as a vague guide as to what sort of jobs will make you happy and would be worth looking into. The job you end up loving might not have all of these characteristics but it’s a good self-evaluation activity to do for a starting point.
You can download a free in-depth example and template here.
2. Try Before You Buy
Before you invest time, money and emotions into a romantic relationship you test it out first through dating. Most people would agree it’s a bad idea to jump straight into marriage.
This is how I would recommend approaching job searching.
Here are some ways you can scope out an industry before you jump in:
a. Work Experience
You are never too old to do this!
No matter what your age, contacting a company and asking to come into their environment, even if it is just for a day, will show great confidence and willingness to learn. You will learn a about if a job in this industry would make you happy.
If you don’t have the time to do work experience, try and organise a meeting with someone who works in the industry.
You’d be surprised at how open people will be to meet and share their advice! They will be able to give you some good pointers on where to find a job you will love in their industry.
c. Social Media
If you cannot meet someone in person, reach out to them via social media.
LinkedIn is great for this and I would strongly recommend that everyone has an account. Approaching someone on Facebook is a little unprofessional.
If you’re struggling and can’t find a job, this will help as you’ll get you’ll name out there. Instead of having to apply for loads of jobs, employers might contact you when they start recruiting.
d. Online Research
If you’re not feeling confident enough yet to do any of the above, just do your research online.
Watch YouTube videos and read news articles about the industry. It will be a good exercise to help you find a job that’ll make you happy if you take the time to consider what you want.
3. Where To Find A Job
4. Send Out Applications
Once you have a good idea what industry you want to go into apply, apply, apply.
If you aren’t quite the right fit for one role, the company might have something else you would be perfect for! It’s worth getting your name out there.
You can never apply for too many! If you get several interviews, then that gives you a chance to compare what different companies are like.
Tip: Make sure you personalise each application you send out. This might seem a lot of effort, but it’ll save you time as you’ll have to send out far fewer before you’re successful.
Then, FOLLOW UP on your applications! This can pay off massively, however you have to approach this in the right way so you don’t come across as annoying.
Here are some pointers on how to do this correctly.
- Only do this if you have a direct recruitment contact. (the email or phone number of the recruiting manager or the specific office admin).
- Do not do this over LinkedIn!
- If it says on the job advert ‘If we have not contacted you by DD/MM/YY then please assume your application has been unsuccessful’, only contact them for feedback.
- If the job advert doesn’t tell you when they will contact you, it’s worth emailing them after a week or so asking if they have had a chance to review your CV.
It is essential to keep track of what applications you’ve sent and when. This will help you plan when to chase them.
Use my downloadable guide, it tells you when information you need to hold onto.
Useful Templates / Links To Help With Your Applications
5. To Find A Job Fast, Try Recruitment Agencies
This is where my professional background comes from- my first job out of school was working for a recruitment agency and I’ve been in similar jobs ever since.
Recruitment agencies can be massively helpful when finding a job, especially if you need to find one fast.
They are growing in popularity. In 2019, there has been a 46% year-on-year increase in recruitment agency registrations since 2017.
They are completely free to use!
Recruitment is a growing industry, its valuation increased by 11% to £35.7 billion in 2018. This is done by employers, not you the candidate, paying the agency, so if there is a sign-up fee DON’T DO IT!
This means they aren’t making enough money from their job bookings, which means they probably won’t be able to find you a job, especially not one that’ll make you happy.
In the UK, you will be able to find an agency no matter what industry you want to go into. Some offer free CV help and training on interview techniques.
What will happen is you’ll send your CV to the agency or fill in a form they send you. Employers will then ring them to let them know about any job vacancies they have, and the agency will ring you to see if you are interested.
Recruitment is a competitive industry, so don’t depend on them completely to find a job you love. You’ll still have to look around for yourself. But it’s a really low effort way to increase your chances on finding a job.
Do you know how much it costs the average company to take on a new employee?
Approximately £16,868 in their first year (excluding salary, bonuses, NI and pension). https://theundercoverrecruiter.com/true-costs-hiring-uk/
You could have the perfect CV, qualifications, and experience but that doesn’t make you the only one. There are probably hundreds of other people with those things.
You know what really is rare?
Confidence, Passion and Likeability
I can honestly say in my time working in recruitment that I could count on my hands how many people I came across who truly embodied these things.
If you can prove that you have these qualities an employer will be much more likely to hire you and invest in your capabilities.
How To Find A Job That You Love – Conclusion
Follow those six points and you’ll find a job that truly does make you happy in no time.
Focus less on where to find a job, concentrate on refining your application and getting more contacts in the industry.
It can be so frustrating when you can’t find a job but keep learning from your mistakes and you’ll get there in no time!
What tips would you give other people about job searching? Let us know in the comments below!