Career Advice

How Do I Discover What Job is Right For Me?

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By: Mariah Rogers
Jan 16, 2021 • 8 min read

How Do I Discover What Job is Right For Me?

Finding jobs that meet your qualifications is only half the battle. While it may seem as though your skills and talents would make you the perfect candidate for hire, finding a job that is the right fit for you can be challenging. Just because you meet the job posting’s surface requirements does not mean that the position is a perfect match for you! While it is important to stay open-minded and avoid being too picky when filtering your job search, finding a career that matches your goals and ambitions is ideal. Finding a job that will only meet some of your needs means you’ll probably be applying for a new position not long after starting at your new company. And who has time for all that bouncing around?!

Finding temporary positions here, and there is definitely not the most effective way to build up your career and gain valuable experience that will contribute to your growth as a professional. In this blog, we will be exploring how to answer the common career search question, “How do I discover what job is right for me”? If you are looking to settle down into a long-term employment situation that checks all the boxes, keep reading.

two women talking while looking at laptop computer

Start With These Three Soul-Searching Steps

Before you can discover what kind of job is right for you, you’ll need to embark on a soul-searching journey. This might sound cheesy, but it’s true! Checking-in with yourself is the only way to come up with concrete attributes you are hoping to find in a career. This can be challenging, especially if you have a wide range of desires when it comes to finding the perfect job. To break it down and make things easier, try asking yourself the following list of soul-searching questions.

1. What did I hate about my last few jobs?

While it’s always best to avoid harping on the negative, identifying what you didn’t like about your previous positions is the first step to finding your perfect new job. So go ahead and write out all of your dislikes! This will help give you a clearer focus on what to avoid in your upcoming job search. Sometimes, knowing what you don’t want is even more helpful than understanding what you do want when searching for a new company. Let’s take a look at some sample areas you can contemplate when reflecting on your past work experiences.

Some areas to critique:

  • Schedule flexibility
  • Workplace culture (relaxed, uptight, structured)
  • Coworkers & team synergy and bonding
  • Opportunity for growth and advancement
  • Relationship with management and supervisors
  • Work-life balance
  • Company organization and communication style
  • Workload and stress
  • Opportunities to collaborate

man facing kitchenware and appliances wearing white top and blue apron

2. What compromises did I have to make in my previous positions?

No job is perfect, that’s for sure! You will need to be willing to compromise in a few areas in order to find a suitable fit. Think back on what compromises you have had to make in the past and decide if you are willing to yet again settle for less than perfect in these areas. Remember, you want your new job to be a step up from your old one! So, it’s important to only make compromises when it’s really necessary.

For example, if you had to settle for a lower salary in exchange for a good work location last time, consider if you’d be willing to travel just a bit further for a pay raise this time around.

Compromises to consider:

  • Salary and benefits
  • Work from home versus working in an office
  • Paid time off benefits
  • Commute time and location
  • Vacation days
  • Quality of the office

3. What are the qualities I am determined to find in a new job?

Last but not least, you need to ask yourself what qualities you are not willing to compromise on. Identifying your job search must-haves is another great way to narrow down your list and make your application process more strategic. Make sure to narrow this list down to very specific qualities that you can’t live without!

This list will look different to every single applicant depending on what stage of their career journey they are in, personal needs, and future plans. Make sure to create a list that is specific to your personal desires!

Possible must-have qualities to look for in a new job:

  • Remote work flexibility
  • Core company mission and values that align with your own
  • Increase in salary and benefits
  • More organized management and better communication
  • A team you can see yourself working well with
  • An industry you wish to grow in

man pouring on cup

Switch Industries Sooner Rather Than Later

If you have been contemplating switching your current industry of work for a while now, make it happen! Don’t wait until your next job search or even the one after that. Changing industries can be daunting, but the reward is worth the work! You’ll need to spend extra time on your job application materials in order to market yourself as a qualified candidate in this new field of work. It will take some extra research, effort, and commitment to adjust your application materials and prepare for a whole new set of interview questions. However, it is better to do this now instead of later on in your career! Younger and less experienced candidates are more likely to get hired in industries they are unfamiliar with. This is because these types of applicants are typically more mailable, trainable, and adaptive when put into a new situation.

When discovering what job is right for you, make sure you take a broad look at your current industry and assess your options. Discover if there is a different avenue you can see yourself thriving in! You might just find the perfect position in one of these new undiscovered areas. When beginning a new job search, don’t limit yourself. Dare to explore and venture outside of your comfort zone!

Let us help guide you through the process of switching career paths if you want to make this a reality for yourself!

Explore Your Desired Work-Life Balance

Taking the time to discover what job is right for you is the perfect opportunity to reassess your desired work-life balance. Work is important, but so is having free time during your day to dedicate a few hours to family, hobbies, and friends. If you are feeling inundated in your current position, try to decide if continuing on this path is the most sustainable option for you. If you keep contributing to your burnout, this might make you less successful in your new position. Consider applying for jobs that offer a more flexible work schedule if you feel as though you want more control over your days.

Positive work-life balance perks include:

  • Work from home options
  • Opportunity to travel
  • Relaxed company culture
  • Values that align with your lifestyle
  • Frequent and encouraged brakes
  • Space to unwind in the office
  • Management that understands your wants and needs

what job is right for me

Seek a Challenging Career, But Not Too Challenging

It is important to find a career that fits your skills and talents. You want to be able to thrive, prosper, and grow within your new company. If you are able to excel at your new tasks, you’ll be able to climb the company ladder faster and earn promising promotions. If you feel capable and successful at work, you are more likely to be happy in your new position.

In order to find a career you can thrive in, it’s important to understand your strengths and weaknesses. If you’ve been job searching for a while, you likely know where your areas for improvement lie! You should always be sure to find a job that will require you to use a mix of both your strengths and weaknesses. This will keep the job interesting, exciting and offer a fantastic growth opportunity for you. It will teach you to learn from others, ask for help, teach when you can, and strengthen your problem-solving skills.

If you choose a job that requires you to utilize your weaknesses more than your strengths, the position might be too challenging for you to truly thrive and enjoy doing work. Of course, it is always good to challenge yourself and try new things! However, if you arent able to feel confident in your abilities, it might be tough to feel a sense of belonging in your new workplace. So, it’s best to always aim to search for companies that will utilize both your strength and weaknesses in the new position.

Tips To Find Your Strengths and Weaknesses

While we do have a whole separate blog post dedicated to discovering your strengths and weaknesses – here is how to find yours in a hurry!

First, you’ll want to acquire information about your strengths and weaknesses from outside sources. This means contacting your supervisors, coworkers, friends, or anyone else you have worked closely on a project with. Seek feedback from people who know your work style and are not afraid to be honest with you! This should be someone you are comfortable around who you have collaborated with for at least 6 months on a project. Ask them to describe you as an employee, teammate, leader – and then transition into asking them about your strengths and weaknesses. Try to get them to give you examples that are as specific as possible. Really try to get their nitty-gritty opinion. Remember, they are practically doing the interview prep for you at this moment!

Once you have gathered feedback, it’s time to physically write down both your strengths and weaknesses so that you can easily visualize this list. This will make it easier to align your talents with job postings as you sift through applications. Make this a continuous process, and update your list as often as needed!

Examples of strengths:

  • Trustworthiness
  • Determination
  • Persistence
  • Honesty
  • Integrity
  • Dedication
  • Respectfulness

Examples of weaknesses:

  • Lack of confidence when presenting
  • Difficulty delegating tasks
  • Tendency not to take risks
  • Trouble saying “no”
  • Trouble with confrontation

what job is right for me

The Big 5 Personality Test

Have you heard of The Big 5 Personality Test? If you are looking to dive deeper into learning about your unique personality, this is how to do it! The test contains fifty personality questions, and it is your job to examine each of them and assign a number (1-5) indicating how well they apply to you. This test will give you a better understanding of your overall personality, preferences, and interests. What better way to help guide yourself into the perfect career for you?!

We’ve listed a link so you can take the Big 5 Personality Test yourself and utilize the results to help you answer the career- search question “What job is right for me”? Knowing a bit more about your personality can help you give a strong interview performance, too! Most questions your interviewer will ask you most likely will be based on your personality. So consider this one more step in the preparation process!

The results you will be provided with will reveal your top 5 personality dimensions: openness, conscientiousness, agreeableness, extroversion, and neuroticism. You might be shocked by the results, so give the test a go!

Do Some Networking

When searching for the right job, it is important that you feel comfortable working with the current team. Try to find out what type of employees this company usually hires! Is it a very outgoing and collaborative group? Or, can you expect more quiet and individual work to be done.

Networking on sites such as LinkedIn will help you get a better understanding of the group you might be working with if hired. Try connecting with employees and checking out their profiles! You can even send a quick message asking any questions about the recruitment process that you have. You might even be able to meet the team in-person if you are invited for an interview! 

The happier you are working with the team, the more likely it is that you will be satisfied with your new position. So, try making the most of your resources available to you and search for a team that meets all of your requirements!

You can even ask close friends, past colleges, or other connections what kind of job they see you thriving in. While it is always important to take outsiders advice with a grain of salt, the feedback you will receive can be very helpful. Use this networking to help you find possible positions that will be a perfect match for your lifestyle and career desires.

Use this resource if you are looking for help with networking- both online and in real life.

what job is right for me

What Are Your Values?

When searching for a company that will be a good match for you, it is crucial to examine your values and find a match between your principles and the establishment’s mission statement. A mission statement consists of two or three sentences that compile the overall values and goals of the company. Typically, you can find the company mission statement on the homepage or website of an organization. Review this statement and find out if the core values of the company align with your own. This is key to understanding what job will fit into your wants and needs.

Examine your values, both personally and professionally. Personal values might translate into other aspects of your life, but professional values are exclusive to your career. Let’s explore a few examples of personal and professional values below:

Values you may align with:

  • Loyalty
  • Honesty
  • Commitment
  • Respect
  • Integrity
  • Service
  • Responsibility
  • Trust
  • Freedom
  • Family
  • Wisdom
  • Authenticity
  • Courage
  • Selflessness
  • Justice

Solidify Your Comfort Level Regarding Customer-Service

Most jobs will require you to have strong customer service skills. If you are not comfortable working with and assisting customers, this can reveal a lot about what type of work is right for you! Working with the public can be exhausting. However, you might find that getting to know customers is one of the highlights of your job. Understand where your interests and comfort levels lie and assess the job opportunities that you are considering.

If you enjoy:

  • Helping others find what they need
  • Solving problems with purchases
  • Starting and holding conversations
  • Handling complaints and feedback
  • Working closely with fans of your store
  • Resolving conflict

Then customer service positions might be the perfect match for you!

If you want to:

  • Work independently
  • Do not enjoy communicating with strangers
  • Are not confident in your conflict resolution skills
  • Prefer to work “behind the scenes”
  • Enjoy working with a small team

Then customer service position might not be the right fit for you as an applicant.

Use these tips and find out what job is the right fit for you! We hope you enjoyed reading. If you try any of these strategies, connect with us on social media and let us know!

More to Read:

How to Answer: What Do You Hope to Gain From This Experience? 

Workplace Personalities and How to Manage Them

How to Answer: How Do you Want to Improve Yourself in The Next Year?

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