An old group of friends from undergrad sit in a café for their quarterly brunch. They’re chatting away about life when the conversation slides into catching up on work and one of the friends is exuberating excitement while sharing how much she loves her work. The groups reactions fall along the spectrum of disbelief to utter annoyance. The comments that follow are “nobody actually loves their job”, “yeah, most people are just working for the weekends”, added on by “I’m trying to retire early so I can finally enjoy life”. Sound familiar?
On average, most people spend over 100,000 hours of their lives working, yet instead of loving their jobs or career choices, they’re eager to finish working whether it’s for the day, for the weekend or retirement. This is because most individuals hold the perspective that jobs are there to provide a means to survive by gaining an income, rather than a platform to achieve a purpose (or multiple purposes). Let me say that again: individuals can use their job and/or career choice to do more than earn a paycheque. The answer, however, is not simple and requires introspection, challenging your own biases, and of course, prioritizing what’s most important to you in the current stage of your life.
Below are a series of questions that have been curated to help you a rapidly assess how much you love your career today versus how much you could love it!
10 questions to help you land your dream job
Reflect on each question below and write down 3 responses for each. Some examples have been provided to help you select what might be your top picks for each question.
What drives you? (Compensation, Learning, Rapid growth, Solutioning, Creativity)
What brings you joy? (Helping others, Solving juicy problems, Managing people)
What is non-negotiable for you in role? (Flexibility, Inspirational Leadership, Wellness offerings)
What are your core values? (Dedication, Loyalty, Harmony, Sustainability, Equality, Quality)
What type of environment do you prefer? (Highly collaborative, Fast-paced, Social, Traditional)
What are your top innate skills? (Visionary, Innovative, Analytical)
What are your top learned hard skills? (Strategy development, Computing, Managing people)
What are you top learned soft skills? (Adaptability, Empathy, Leadership)
What skills are you interested in learning next? (Decision-making, Delegation, New language)
At this stage of your career, are you a generalist or SME? (Note: You could be some combination of the two)
After going through this activity, you’ll have identified elements that you seek, now it’s a matter of identifying how they differ from your reality today. Where do you have gaps and how significant are they to you? Refer to the table below with associated tips on how you can continue to navigate your career and drive it into a direction that's closer to landing your dream job.
Everyone deserves to love their job and that includes YOU! Don't wait for the right opportunity to find you, write out what you seek and make that your non-negotiable investment.