The Importance of Finding the Right Job for You

If you’re considering a career move, or thinking about starting work for the first time, the choice of occupations can be bewildering. It’s easy to get stuck in a rut in any occupation, feeling bored but unable to take the steps into something more interesting and challenging. Working is very rarely a choice – it’s something we do to pay the bills. But when we spend upwards of 37 hours a week at work, isn’t it sensible to make sure that you are a good “fit” with your job, and more importantly, that your job is a good fit with you?

Skills, Likes and Dislikes

The best starting place for working out the type of work which would suit you best is to start writing lists. What would your dream job look like? Perhaps you’d prefer to be working outside, or as part of a large team, or doing something which is different every day rather than routine. Write everything down as it occurs to you, without thinking in too much detail about the sorts of jobs which your needs might apply to. Be realistic though – there aren’t many jobs paying £100k per year for doing very little. Try to rank the factors in order of importance so you can decide what is really important to you. There are no rights and wrongs here – we’re all different. For you, the most important factors may be job security or career progression, for others it might be working in different locations and managing a team. Make a list of your skills too, not just academic qualifications but also soft skills like management experience, public speaking or time management. Get someone who knows you well to look over your list and see if they agree.

What Have I Enjoyed in the Past?

Think also about what you’ve enjoyed in the past, whether at work or in your personal life. If you’ve once had a wonderful summer looking after sheep on a remote island, you may find you’re more fulfilled working alone. Talk to other people who have jobs which you have always admired, finding out what they do on a daily basis and trying to establish whether a similar role would appeal to you too. Don’t just think about what you don’t like about your existing role or employer; try to think positive and decide what work would challenge and stimulate you too.

Apply Your Criteria

Once you’ve written your perfect job specification, keep it somewhere you can see it. Pin it to the fridge or slip it inside your bag. Use it as a prompt when evaluating a job advert or when you hear someone talking about an opportunity. Does this role meet my requirements for a new position? Am I prepared to compromise on some of the less important factors on my list to take this new job? This will help keep any job search focused, and will stop you making a leap from one unsuitable job to the next, and never really being fulfilled.