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There’s a popular saying by Confucius: “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life”. But how do you identify that job? And how do you decide you are passionate enough to work on it every day? Identifying your dream role is not as easy as it sounds. You need to do a lot of research, create an alignment between your interests, skills, and the job market, and finally weigh your options.
According to a study, almost 80% of professionals are not engaged in their jobs. Engagement at the workplace refers to employees’ commitment towards the goals of the organization. This has a direct impact on their productivity and wellness. Thus, if you are not satisfied with your current job, it becomes all the more important to find your dream role and work towards landing it. Through this article, we will help you figure out your dream job so that you get a happy and healthy work-life. Let’s have a look at what you should consider:
1. Identify your interests
The first step is to understand your interests and explore related career options. For example, if you have an interest in designing, you can explore design-related roles, such as fashion designing, graphic designing or UX designing. You can use the following resources to research your options:
a. Career books
High-quality career books are always a good option for career explorers as they are informative and insightful. Depending on what you choose, you may have an opportunity to read about different professions and their pros and cons and decide what suits you best. Here are some career-related book suggestions for you:
I. Changing Careers
- Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard by Chip Heath and Dan Heath
- Get a Life, Not a Job by Paula Caligiuri and Jay Snyder
- Do What You Are: Discover the Perfect Career for You Through the Secrets of Personality Type by Paul D. Tieger, Barbara Barron, and Kelly Tieger
- Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future by Peter Thiel
- The Lean Startup: How Constant Innovation Creates Radically Successful Businesses by Eric Ries
- Entrepreneurship: Successfully Launching New Ventures by Bruce Barringer and R. Ireland
- The Freelancer’s Bible: Everything You Need to Know to Have the Career of Your Dreams―On Your Terms by Sara Horowitz and Toni Sciarra Poynter
- Creative, Inc.: The Ultimate Guide to Running a Successful Freelance Business by Joy Deangdeelert Cho
- The Six-Figure Freelancer: Your Roadmap to Success in the Gig Economy by Laura Pennington Briggs
b. Industry Experts
Engaging with an industry expert on LinkedIn is a great way to inquire about that specific industry. You will gain first-hand information, with an in-depth focus on the pros and cons of working in that industry. It will also aid you in understanding the work-life balance, quality of life, and financial stability that come along.
c. Career strategists
Career strategists make sure you elucidate your options and make an informed decision especially if you are confused about more than one industry or role. They will help you compare and analyze those options, and give you a clearer picture of the market. And once you choose a path to follow, they will instruct you on how to approach it and land that job you dream of.
Another aspect to think about is your desired lifestyle. This means identifying:
- Where you would like to work; it could be a metropolis such as New York and London, or a smaller city like Edinburgh and Milan.
- If you would like to work full-time, part-time or as a freelancer.
- If you would like to get into a permanent role or a temporary one, on a contractual basis.
- A proper understanding of these aspects would make it easier for you to shortlist roles at a later stage.
2. Analyze your strengths
Another crucial step is to analyze your strengths while keeping in mind your interests. A combination of your skills/expertise and your personal interests will help you narrow down the options and identify your dream role. Some ways that can help you understand your strengths are:
a) Career/ Personality tests
Such tests help candidates understand the impact of various personal attributes on success and satisfaction with different career options. Some of the tests that you can try are CareerPlanner by Prospects, Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) test or 16 Personalities, which is a simplified version of the MBTI test. However, we recommend being cautious of fake tests that ask for unnecessary information and do not aim to provide accurate results. Avoid going for random quizzes like “Which career suits you best?”. These not only waste your time but may also misguide you.
b) 360-degree feedback
360-degree feedback is a powerful tool to understand your strengths and areas for improvement. In a corporate setting, the purpose of this is to provide timely feedback to enhance performance. In this case, it will help you identify what you do best and identify a career path that aligns with your interests and strengths. It is an opportunity for you to get feedback from your colleagues, managers, friends and family, and even yourself.
3. Make a decision
The next step is to make a decision based on your research and analysis. Make a list with all your options and rank them based on your preference. Your interest in the role, requirements, job market, pay, and work-life balance are some of the factors that will impact your rankings. The highest-ranked job role is probably the one you will love and want to pursue.
Before taking the next step, you should confirm your decision. A good way to assess your decision is to understand how you feel about it. If you don’t feel good about it, we recommend re-assessing your evaluation or talk with an expert. Making the right decision is crucial, as being in a less preferred job can result in physical and mental exhaustion, as well as high levels of stress.
4. Identify vacancies and make applications
The next step is where the real action starts; in your job search process. After you have made all the crucial decisions, it is time to finally start looking for your dream roles. Based on your preferences, choose specialized job search sites to get the best options in a time-efficient manner. For example, if you are looking for jobs in finance, efinancialcareers would be a great resource. Once you have identified the roles, make sure that you apply with well-written documents that are customized for each job.
Identifying your dream role is hard, but what’s harder is being stuck in a job that you dislike. Some people are hesitant about moving to a different career because they are ‘too old’ to switch to their dream job. The list of people who achieved their dream jobs in their 40s and later is endless. So, if you think you are not happy in your current job, now is the time to start chasing your dream role.