The perfect job is the cornerstone of the American dream. The kind of thing you would do for free but are more than happy to get paid for.
Whether you are a recent graduate or someone looking for a career change, you, like many others, are wondering how to find a job that you are truly passionate about.
It is certainly possible to find the job of your dreams, but – like all things in life – figuring out how to find a career you love is more complicated than that.
Very few people can simply graduate from high school or college and walk through the door of the business of their dreams. Few can even identify a passion to pursue professionally when first preparing to enter the workforce or looking to change careers.
Most people won’t find the perfect job for them, but what’s important is that you can find a career that is both lasting and fulfilling.
So how do you get started? How do you find something you love that you can turn into a career?
The following steps will help you identify what excites you and find a career that is right for you:
1. Reflect on past experiences.
When considering the type of career to pursue, there are a myriad of factors to consider. Many people hold on to external factors and fail to reflect on their own past experiences to identify what they might really like to do.
On the importance of looking to past life experiences when looking for a new career, ACC Success and Leadership Coach Christine hourd writes that “To discover your passion that can be developed into a successful career, look at your favorite childhood memories. It was a time when you were free to explore and didn’t yet have the influence of others to choose a career they wanted you to pursue. In this experience you will find the essence, or the ‘why’, that will turn work into play. “
2. Never stop being a student.
Just as it’s important to reflect on past life experiences when researching your passions, it’s essential to always look for ways to improve your skills and expose yourself to new experiences.
You can find what you like about the topic of your classes in school or working in a summer job. It is essential to develop usable skills that you can take with you between jobs before.
Relations and Communication Coach Marilyn Sutherland says, “Learn from every job. Understand the skills you need to develop to be successful and develop your skills in those skills. Many skills are transferable.
3. Ask other people in your life.
People are our greatest resource. Talking to a peer doubles the number of life experiences available to you and talking to someone who has had a busy career can offer even more.
Everyone lives unique lives, but that doesn’t mean that the experiences of others should be underestimated. Relatives can often provide information that you have gone blind to and this input can help point you in the right direction.
4. Seek professional advice.
As important as it is to talk to other people in your life when looking for a career that you are passionate about, sometimes you need a fresh take on your situation.
Professional career coaches have worked with many others in similar situations and, like Career Development and Life Coach Lisa Petsinis writes: “Finding a job that is right for you can be overwhelming, and working with a mentor or coach can help you sift through information objectively and encourage you, especially when everyone in your life has an opinion. “
5. Try out internships and entry-level positions.
As most guidance professionals will tell you, they started out with entry-level positions and internships in their fields. Accepting a new job can be a daunting task, especially when the job isn’t paying much, if anything at all. It’s no less important to develop skills and experience and see if the field might be a good fit for you.
It is also important to take these early professional experiences as learning opportunities, as counselor and relationship therapist Lisa Rabinowitz said: “I looked for internships in my field. I have asked therapists about the pros and cons of their work.
Above all, when looking for a fulfilling and rewarding career, it is important to remember that you are not have to love it.
Work environment, hours, commuting and pay are all important factors to consider when looking for a new job. Ultimately, the goal is to find an appropriate and lasting balance between all of these factors.
Even if you find exactly the job that you would describe as the job of your dreams, as long as you enjoy certain aspects of it and it meets your needs to the point where you can support yourself and be satisfied, that’s what account.
Dan O’Reilly is a writer covering current affairs, politics and social justice. Follow him on Twitter.