If you are concerned with finding your own niche in life, and are certain that a happy person does only what he or she likes, then, perhaps, you may have to accept a low income or just have no job. Unfortunately, there is no escaping the fact that people all over the world go to jobs they don't love, and are unsatisfied with what they are doing during working hours. In 2014, an independent organization called Conference Board published the results of a study, according to which 52.3% of Americans are dissatisfied with their choice. A year before, the Gallup organization even claimed that only 13% of the entire population of the world feel involved in their work, and are prepared to invest emotionally and professionally in their fellow employees. Experts in vocational guidance and psychologists increasingly refer to the global problem of mankind, which is the incorrect definition of objectives, problems with the education of children and adolescents, and, as a consequence, the wrong choice of profession towards which young people are being pushed by their parents and society. All of you remember when jurisprudence, journalism, economic specialties, and now also IT, experienced a surge in popularity. But the truth is that programming can't be everyone’s cup of tea, and it won't guarantee a high income if you don't like coding or learning new languages. We see hundreds and thousands of examples of incompetently written code for websites or applications, or startups which are launched and abandoned. It is no wonder that such a situation is even more frustrating for people who don't love their professions, who want to find an occupation that would satisfy their souls, as well as their wallets. We see the examples of brilliant executives; we read their biographies voraciously, forgetting that it is their path, not ours.
So, what should you do? If you have an opportunity, you can choose the most difficult path: to get back to the very beginning and try to figure out what you are good at, and what you really want to do. Don't forget about the issue of native ability. Professional ballet and advanced mathematics are the destinies of very few people. The process of job search requires time and money, there will be plenty of trials and errors, but if you stay committed, you will find a suitable occupation. Hundreds of online publications about careers offer free courses which can determine your propensity to a particular profession or a sector of employment. For instance, you can take the Forbes test, which is called “How to find the job of your dreams”, or answer the following nine questions from the reputable career portal The Daily Muse:
- If I could choose one friend to trade jobs with, I’d choose ____________, because ____________.
- I’ve always wondered what it would be like to do ____________. It’s interesting to me because ____________.
- If I had the right education or skill set, I’d definitely try ____________, because ____________.
- If I had to go back to school tomorrow, I’d major in ____________, because ____________.
- My co-workers and friends always say I’m great at ____________, because ____________.
- The thing I love most about my current job is ____________, because ____________.
- If my boss would let me, I’d do more of ____________, because ____________.
- If I had a free Saturday that had to be spent “working” on something, I’d choose ____________, because ____________.
- When I retire, I want to be known for ____________, because ____________.
These tests don’t guarantee that tomorrow you will find a new job. They do, however, give you a chance to get to know yourself better through realizing what you really like, and dislike. If you haven't yet gotten to the point where you want a radical change, you can go the other way and continue in your current career, while agreeing to substantial compromises. For instance, you could find friendlier co-workers or a better boss, a higher salary, or a place which offers plenty of benefits. While making any of these choices, the main thing is to be aware that you are making them consciously, and that you won't ever again complain to others or to yourself about the career that you don't relish. Setting the record straight could have a positive impact on your psychological state. Worries will be replaced by interesting hobbies which, perhaps, might become your new job in the future.
Having a job that you love usually means that you will automatically earn an acceptable income. Being engaged in your favorite occupation, you can always provide for your family and yourself, because it is impossible to do something amateurishly if you really like your chosen line of work. It is necessary to make an appointment with a good dentist a few months in advance, while some doctors go weeks without patients. Have you ever wondered why? The articles and publications which are written about and devoted to finances and attitudes towards money outnumber those that are written about careers. Authors of the larger part of them recognize that you don't have to have a lot of money to be happy; otherwise the problem resides not with the money, but in the depths of the mind.
In conclusion, we present a list of tips which could prove useful if you have made up your mind to change an employer today, and have put meditations on the value of money and human happiness on the back burner.
- Study your professional environment for possible job opportunities. Your co-workers probably have some information about openings. Identify the most important and influential acquaintances you have and let them know that you are looking for a new place of work.
- Contact your coursemates or classmates. We like the people with whom we have been studying, we share their values and hobbies, and usually we are willing to help them. We are referring not only to fellow students from schools or universities, but also friends whom you've met at courses or open lectures.
- Visit the places where professionals usually hang out. Visit the events in which people from your industry participate at least once a week. Get acquainted with strangers and with those who might help you find a job, gather contacts and stay in touch.
- Use social media for professionals. For instance, LinkedIn allows you not only to search for open vacancies, but also for recruiters who are able to make personnel decisions. Improve your account, update your personal data and information. At the same time, you should clean up your profiles on other social media, because only a lazy HR manager will fail to check the Facebook or Twitter page of a job applicant.
- Take care of your CV. If you send it randomly, then make sure that it is properly composed and includes full details. If you have chosen a particular position, then you should write the CV specifically for this vacancy. Learn more about the company, and get yourself familiar with the employee in the HR department who is in charge of recruiting in case if you feel that something is missing in your CV, and it could look much better.
- Relax and have fun. Remember that you are looking for something better, so do not make the same mistake twice.