Five questions to ask yourself when looking for a job
Most people dream not only of a high salary but of a job that is exciting and related to their interests. Find out what to ask yourself when looking for an exciting job. But first, subscribe to our Telegram channel. We often publish such valuable articles!
Until a couple of years ago, young people looking for a job were encouraged by the message “Find your dream and follow it.” That advice seems to be receding into the background lately. It doesn’t mean everyone should pursue a job they don’t love, but choosing a profession by following your passion alone and not considering other essential aspects is foolish.
But many people manage to find an exciting job. According to a Gallup study, one in three workers in America is passionate about their job.
To get a more attractive job, you need to ask better questions than “What do I want to do?” You should consider your motivation, needs, skills, and what you will do or have done. So here are five alternatives to the question, “What do I want to do?” that you should decide for yourself.
1. Why do I need to do what I like to do?
An astonishing number of people strive to find their true passion because that’s what their acquaintances want them to do or because that’s the advice a job placement specialist gave them. This idea is ubiquitous, and there is a false impression that if a person doesn’t do what they genuinely love, they are a loser. It’s important to realize that all your actions are based on motivation, and everyone’s motivation is different. Focus on your genuine motivations. Ask yourself “Why?” five times until you’re right in the middle of the problem. You may discover, for example, that you don’t want to follow your dreams on your own but are just comparing yourself to your peers. Or you don’t like your current job because of your boss, not because you’ve chosen the wrong career path.
2. What role does the job play in the life I want?
The message of “follow your dreams” implies that work is of great value, not a means to an end. There is a great distance between loving work and hating it. Work can reflect your personality and become a servitude, but there are other options.
You can decide what work should be for you. It will help you find a balance between professional fulfillment and personal life. You first need to decide how you want to live your life and what role work plays. Then you can reconcile your expectations and needs. You don’t automatically become a loser, and you don’t lose anything if you don’t enjoy it.
3. What inspires me and how?
When we discuss finding our dreams, we first think about what we do with pleasure that makes our eyes burn. However, it’s more accurate to be open to anything new. Often we do not have a holistic view of what we need to be able to do to get the job of our dreams.
Even if you have decided what you want to do, you may not know which way to go or how to combine your interests and work. For example, you enjoy writing. Think more specifically about what to write about and for whom.
The NYU Career Choice Exercise Program has a great technique. We recommend that you bookmark the jobs you like, and after you’ve accumulated at least 50, go through them and determine what they have in common. What did you pay attention to? Why? Do these options fit your interests, or is it something new? What are the requirements of employers? Where are the companies located? Questions like these will help you think through your next plan of action.
4. What do I want to accomplish?
In his book “So Good They, Can’t Ignore You: Why Skills Trump Passion in the Quest for Work You Love, ” Cal Newport makes a compelling case that success and satisfaction are more about the quality of your work and skill development. Focusing on self-improvement means doing things (exactly things, not ideas or assumptions) that inspire you.
Mastery makes us happy at work. It is also being able to do our work at a level that helps us with current tasks daily. Even more important is whether your work contributes meaningfully to the whole.
It takes time and experimentation to decide what skills and qualities we want to develop, but it’s the most impactful way to get closer to what we want from a job.
5. What am I willing to give up?
The classic trade-off is to focus on salary and vacation time. Other factors often don’t get enough attention. Think ahead about what will make the job perfect and what will make it unbearable. Be honest with yourself.
Take the Menteora career guidance test; artificial intelligence will name your most suitable professions. The accuracy of the test is 70-80% because we use a mathematical-statistical algorithm (read about Menteora's unique career guidance methodology).