“Find a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”- Confucius
For many of us, changing a career and finding the right job can be frustrating. Many jobs often fail to engage us for the long run while others are simply not a good match when it comes to the skills used and results we achieve. At the end of the day, it’s not about finding any job, it about finding the right job, or at least a role that will eventually get us where we want to be. Ideally, that role will be the answer to: “What career is right for me?”
Essentially, we all want to feel useful and contribute to something that actually matters. Sadly, that’s also something that too many people are missing because they are stuck in the wrong jobs. You will often hear people say “follow your passion,” or “ask yourself what’s one thing you want to do.” The truth is, we all want to be ‘passionate’ about our jobs, but how can you be passionate about something you haven’t found yet?
Don’t worry because you are not alone. According to research, human beings are extremely bad at predicting how they will feel when doing something in the future. That’s why so many people thought they would love their job once they started doing it, only to wind up utterly despising the very same job. The good news is, even when everything else fails, you have yourself and the time you need to dedicate to finding something better. So what CAN be your guide to the right career, if you can’t rely on passion and expectations?
Skills, skills, skills…needed for finding the right job
What do you do well? What skills do you love using in the workplace? According to a decade of research, people are more engaged and they find their work more interesting when they experience a fit between their own motivation and the way they work. Look hard at your skills, especially those acquired outside the current work. When you know your dominant focus, you can evaluate other positions that might suit you.
Analyze your past job experience. If you disliked your last job- was it the team, the entire company or the role you had? What did you enjoy learning the most? Try to remember the good days you had at work and then try to remember what you enjoyed the most and what you achieved. But don’t get stuck in the past. Look around you and try to figure out what topics you enjoy talking about with your friends. What jobs done by your friends fascinate you the most? There are many angles to look at when searching for the right job.
Also, when focusing on your skills and considering other jobs, don’t forget about your personality. For example, introverts tend to work in small groups and often concentrate on one task at a time. Ideal industries for introverts are information technology, science or animal care. On the other hand, extroverts enjoy working in large groups and often prefer team assignments. For extroverts, ideal industries include HR, public relations and sales.
After taking these factors into consideration, try some of these tips that can help you improve your skills and open the door to a brand new career.
Find in-house training
Many employers offer formal staff trainings. These classes often include a variety of technical and soft skills such as problem-solving techniques, emotional intelligence, leadership skills and creative thinking. Some companies even give their employees free access to online providers, where you can obtain quality knowledge that you open brand new possibilities to you.
For example, Lynda.com is one of the leading online learning platforms that helps anyone learn anything from business to creative skills. What’s unique about Lynda is the fact that their catalog includes 3D printing, computer-aided design, MS Office skills and so much more. Classes are taught in English, German, French and Spanish and members have access to the entire Lynda.com through a monthly subscription.
Spend an hour a day on new skills
Whether you like your job or you want to improve your skills and make yourself more marketable, an hour a day is all you need. Dedicating an hour every day on something new that’s job-related is a great way to finding new skills. The thing is, when you learn something new and put into practice immediately, you are actually making the time spent on learning worthwhile.
Once you start ‘digging,’ you might feel overwhelmed with the number of online providers and courses. That’s where a concise learning plan can help you. With all links at one spot and freshly updated information, an effective education plan can save you a lot of time during the process of learning new skills.
In many cases, hands-on practice is the best way to obtain new skills. Your company could be actively seeking volunteers, or you can proactively create an opportunity for yourself to grow personally and to go above and beyond for your employer. Also, if you hear that another company is looking for volunteers in an area that might be interesting for you, go ahead and apply. This is a great way to get new experience and learning at the same time. You can also pick up skills by volunteering at a nonprofit or an industry group. Find local opportunities in the type of work you’d like to gain more expertise in and start leveling-up your life.
HR managers and recruiters often seek out formal certificates, especially when it comes to skills tied to software. So if you are learning SAS, be sure you take accredited classes. Once you finish the course (either online study or classroom training), take some extra time to pass the exam and get certified. Many companies are even willing to pay for at least a portion of training and certification that employees get on their own. Even if your company doesn’t have a formal program, ask if your manager would be willing to cover some of the cost.
Learning and developing new skills is crucial when it comes to finding a career that you will love. How you manage your time, stress, communication skills and how you take action on career development are the key areas you should be focusing on when it comes to finding the right career.
If you can, get a degree or some other certification. Keep up-to-date with developments in the industries you are interested in and finally, never, ever give up on yourself! There are plenty of top rated online courses that you can use to change your life forever.