The No Fail Way To Work Out If The Job Is Right For You

Have you ever thought you really really wanted a job only to work out that it wasn’t for you after you had already committed to it? Ahhh, I hate it when that happens but I’m convinced it happens to everyone at some stage. For example a couple of years ago I decided to make a detour into child protection. It seemed like a logical choice as I’d spent the last couple of years helping disadvantaged youth find employment so I liked helping people and I liked youth. Sounds like a perfect match right?

Nope! Even though I had a seriously great boss and fantastic salary package it wasn’t for me for a million different reasons. ( One of which is that I like to have an on/off switch between my personal and professional life and with child protection it’s very difficult to go home and just flick that invisible switch). If I’m honest I knew it wasn’t for me in the first six weeks but I had built up such expectations around my new career that I slogged it out for another 11 months before I had the courage to admit that it wasn’t working to myself.

Now to prevent you from making the same mistake, here is my no fail activity to help you clarify EXACTLY what you want out of a job.

Step One – I want you to write a list of 50-100 things you really like or love. This does not have to be work related. So my list looks something like this:

  • I love dogs
  • I love a town called Thargomindah
  • I love Darwin
  • I love beer
  • I love spending time with my daughter
  • I love chocolate
  • I love to travel
  • I love writing
  • I love helping people that want to be helped
  • I love the smell of grease and oil (seriously they need to bottle that shit!)

Step Two – Every time you go to apply for a job go through and circle anything on your love/like list that could relate to the job.

For example in my current job (helping you guys with your job hunting stuff) I get to indulge my love of writing (resumes, selection criteria), helping people that want to be helped, I get to spend heaps more time with my daughter  and if I wanted I could live in either Darwin or Thargomindah because my job is location independent. The same goes for travel and if I really wanted I guess I could drink beer while I worked as well.

The job you are applying for doesn’t have to tick every box on your like/love list but you want a healthy ratio. I can tell you right now that one or two is not going to be enough. I’d aim for 10+ on a list of 50 and higher if you can write the whole hundred. If you read through the job advert and it doesn’t match your love list, scrap it. You don’t need to waste 11 months of your life on a job that’s not for you.

And one last thing: if you do start a job and realise 6 weeks into it that it’s not for you, take advantage of the three month trial period, thank them for the opportunity and go back to the drawing board. Sometimes this can be hard but it frees you up for a job you love and frees the company up for someone who is a better match. It may not seem like it at the time, but this is a win-win for both of you.

I hope this helps you find the right job for you.

Want more ways to test if a job is right for you? Check out my ‘Get The Job You Love’ workbook available in Ebook and Print version here: http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/getthejobyoulove

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