Growing up, I always wanted to do something – I remember repeatedly asking my mom to sign me up for piano lessons, drama classes, and even basketball.
I always wanted to add a purpose to my day, and just playing didn’t add up to my equation on what I should be doing in life.
I even remember my childhood friend Andrea, who had all planned out by her parents. She knew when she should practice the piano and when she should go to ballet lessons. She had an exact schedule and knew upfront when she will eat, play, and sleep.
My parents, on the other side, were pretty liberal. I remember them saying: “Go on and play. Enjoy your childhood. It’s the most beautiful part of your life.”
They wanted me to use the time I had for fun smartly because once real responsibilities kick in, I wouldn’t be able to be careless about everything. My job was to eat, sleep, and play.
Looking back, I think I was a pretty anxious child. I wanted to prepare myself for those responsibilities. As if I already knew that fun could not last forever, and I had to be ready for the real thing.
The fun doesn’t have to stop once you’ve reached adulthood.
What I didn’t know is that fun doesn’t have to stop once you enter adulthood. You’ll still have a “playtime” with your friends, and you can actually enjoy your work – something my parents never told me it’s possible.
Finding a job that doesn’t suck is not a mission impossible.
I was lucky enough to find a profession that I love and “never work a day in my life.” Of course, there are things I don’t enjoy doing. However, those things are still in the minority.
If you ever find yourself stuck doing a job you don’t like, dreading going to the office, or feeling like those eight hours cannot pass long enough, fight your way out of it.
And because I know how important it is to do what you love to our overall life satisfaction, I decided to share a five-step-plan on avoiding being stuck in a happiness-sucking job and finding your next job.
Step #1: Find out what you love doing.
If you want to find a job that doesn’t suck, you should think about all the things that make you happy, as well as about all those things you’re doing good. Then, you can focus on a career path that has the right combination of those two things. However, figuring out what makes us happy takes time. In his book “Stumbling on Happiness,” Professor Dan Gilbert said that we often judge the pleasure of an experience by its ending. In short, our self-reflection is useful but not totally trustworthy. When deciding how our dream job should look like, we should think about these few things:
- How will our day look daily, and would we enjoy it? Is the job we’re dreaming about engaging enough to keep our attention and make us happier?
- Would our job be financially satisfying? Let’s not lie, and pretend money doesn’t matter and take financial satisfaction into the equation.
- How do we imagine our life and how pursuing a specific career path reflects on our idea of our future?
Reflection on these few things will allow us to make more conscious choices and obtain a more satisfying life.
Step #2: Research companies you want to work for.
Once you’ve determined what you want to do, you should start researching companies you might want to work for. After all, finding the environment that shares the same values as you are one step closer towards finding the job that doesn’t suck.
Make sure you follow them on Social Media, get insights about their hiring culture and pay-range (you can check it on Glassdoor, for instance), as well as the company culture.
Knowing the company you’re applying for will enable you to send a more personalized CV and avoid the recruiter’s wastebasket. In the end, research will help you make easier decisions about your future employment because you’ll know you want to work for them if you do your research.
Step #3: Start sending your CV.
Now, when you know what you want to do and what are the companies you want to work for, it’s time to make a winning CV that will get you the job.
I already talked a lot about how a winning CV should look like and what to take into account while making it here. In short, make sure:
- You pick the right format for your CV.
- Think about the soft and hard skills you possess.
- Use keywords to pass the ATS selection and ensure the HR reads your CV.
Step #4: Write a compelling cover letter.
Writing a compelling cover letter will surely help you in finding a job that doesn’t suck. Why? Let me explain.
HR managers have seen it all. And quite frankly, they had their fair share of “team players” that have “great communication skills.” However, what they didn’t have (at least not enough) is someone who has the answer to their problems.
When researching a company, make sure to think through what their problems are and how you can contribute to fix them. Your cover letter should highlight your skills in solving their supposed problem and show that you’re not interested just in the paycheck.
Step #5: Network.
There’s no better way of finding a satisfying job, then getting recommended for it. Networking is something you should be doing through your career because it can help you advance your career faster. Some jobs don’t even get to the job boards because those positions get filled via recommendation and employee referral program.
Once you decide to change job, make sure to notify all your connections you’re looking for new opportunities. This way, you’ll have greater chances of reaching potential employers and get the job you actually want faster.