When YouGov asked recently whether people would rather have a job they detested which paid a lot of money or a job they loved which paid little, the results were surprising. Over 60% said they wanted a job they enjoyed – it seems we want more than great remuneration when it comes to our 40 plus hour week.
While many of us have an aspiration to land the one job we love, the truth is that happiness in work is a lot harder to find for most. According to the same research, 36% of us are either ambivalent about our current job or actually don’t like it.
The trick is to think carefully about what you want and then put in place the goals that help you achieve it.
Some people like busy offices, others prefer the wide open country. Sit down and think about the work environment where you are the most productive and happiest. Do you want an employer who is as flexible as possible? Do you prefer an office to yourself or an open plan design where everyone mingles? Do you want to be doing a job that means something or just one that’s fun to do? All these can determine the next step in your career.
What do you really want? It’s not as easy as many people think to come up with the perfect life plan. We tend to settle for what the world throws at us rather than undertaking the work that we need to change things to our advantage. Develop a list of your ideal job choices and working environments with a particular emphasis on what’s going to make you happy.
We don’t get anywhere in the world without having a good plan. This is the most important part of finding a job that you love. Where do you want to go and how do you get there? Bad goal setting is one of the biggest impediments to finding the career that you want. We often set our goals high, which isn’t a bad thing, but then we get overwhelmed by the enormity of it all.
Of course, you have to believe that you can achieve your aim. But more importantly your plan needs to be broken down into smaller, bite size chunks that are easily achievable.
Another thing that gets in the way of finding the perfect job is the career we’ve already chosen. Just because you work in one sector doesn’t mean you can’t move to another. We all have transferrable skills and if you choose the right options you’ll have all the motivation you need to learn the new ones you need. Talk to people who already work in any new area and find out what you need to do to break in.
To find a job that you really enjoy, you have to match it to your passions. That doesn’t mean it can’t be something new and exciting but if you already feel a connection to a particular career area or pastime, it’s useful to move yourself in this direction. This involves taking money out of the equation in the first place and sitting down to explore what really fuels your enthusiasm. Yes, it’s another list but it’s an important one.
Finally, you won’t get anywhere without having a can do attitude. Doubt is a terrible thing and can dampen your enthusiasm all too quickly. With the right goal setting and the appropriate direction, you can achieve your dream job. The good news is that many employers are a lot more flexible than they used to be, so if you have to break into a new sector then you’re chances are better than ever of being successful and happy.