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How to find a job you love

Posted on by from Changeboard

Do you feel a sense of fulfilment from your job? What drives you? How do you find your purpose in life? We ask 10 experts and business leaders for their advice.

Jennifer Candee, head of global talent acquisition, SABMiller plc

Understand your ‘why’– your passions and what drives you. Then clarify what you want, what your ideal role looks like and the type of company you want to work for.

Define your personal brand and take measures to amplify it, look at how others do this and adopt it in your own authentic way. Take risks, say yes to the things that scare you, you might surprise yourself.

Never underestimate the power of your network; when you’ve done something great, share it and have an open mindset. Do the same for others, it’ll come back to you tenfold.

Alan Watkins, neuroscientist and CEO of Complete Coherence

The two most important days in your life are the day you were born and the day you find out why. 

The latter is the day you discover your purpose – your reason for existence. If you can uncover this (this is not easy and usually requires skilful guidance from someone who knows how to uncover purpose) you can then find a job that has purpose and meaning for you, personally. If you know what sort of job aligns with your purpose, then you will love what you do. 

Good luck.

Claudia Harris, CEO, The Careers & Enterprise Company

You need to know what you love, what you are good at, and broadly speaking, where the opportunities are. This helps define the potential space for a job that you love.

Then you need to find a specific opportunity in that space. Exposure and confidence make the difference here. You need to put yourself in the way of opportunity – broaden your experience, explore new ideas, meet new people. 

And then, when you find the right thing, have the confidence and commitment to jump in with both feet.

Dan Collinson, director, Positive Psychology Learning

What do you love doing and what job do you feel passionate about? Frequently, people are unable to answer these questions.

First, look to your personal strengths. By this I mean what tasks do you excel at AND enjoy that are energising AND come naturally to you. 

When people are aware of their strengths, they can begin to look for jobs that will allow them to apply their strengths more frequently, which will result in them being more productive, having greater love for their job and being happier.

This is what I’ve done and I’m flourishing!

Clare Thornton, partner, Frazer Jones

On the days that you bounce out of bed into the office or leave work late but with a real sense of achievement – what did you do that day to make you feel that way?

Taking time out to think about this can help build a clearer picture of what makes you feel fulfilled at work and can be useful when looking for a new role you will love.

Remember, it might not always be what you are good at that makes you feel great.

Alastair Douglas, CEO, TotallyMoney.com

Finding a job you love isn’t easy, but finding a job you love is important. 

Don’t be afraid to make drastic changes to help you achieve that goal. Having intended to be an engineer, switching to insurance, now running a tech start-up, I’ve learnt it’s OK to admit that what you once enjoyed isn’t right anymore. 

Surround yourself with enthusiastic and diverse people. Enthusiasm brings more enthusiasm and diversity helps generate different and better ideas.

I enjoy creating a culture where employees are encouraged to try new things and see the results of their own actions rather than being locked into a hierarchy.

Samantha Clarke, happiness consultant and changemaker, Samantha &

Does your job represent who you are today and contribute to the person you want to become?

We can all be ‘founders’ of our work happiness, but it starts with identifying how you want work to shape you as a person.

I did an audit of the type of work that makes me estatic, what zaps my energy, where I feel in ‘flow’, the companies I have loved/hated working for and why. Take this as your first point of action, it helps you to highlight pattterns, the pivots you could have made, and what’s holding you back from making career changes.

James Ryding, head of talent acquisition, easyJet

Don’t be afraid to tell a potential employer how much you want the job, nothing is as flattering or positive in an interview. This doesn’t just apply to junior levels – I once placed a CEO who wrote to me saying I had advertised his ‘dream job’.

Align the culture of any future employer with your own values and personality. There’s no point in picking a very traditional and slow culture if you are a lively, informal person who thrives on relationships. You’ll perform at your best in an environment where you can be authentic, the real you.

Sally Martin, director, Robert Walters

Find what motivates you. It could be maximising your earning potential, working abroad or working on diverse projects. The experience you gain throughout your career may reveal that you value things you wouldn’t have guessed you would. 

Don’t feel compelled to stick to your original plan if you realise your priorities have changed.

It’s also crucial to understand that the kind of company you work for is as important as your role. While working for ‘big name’ companies may have great appeal, many professionals find the dynamic environment of an SME, where they have a less rigidly defined role, may suit them better.

Stephen Bungay, director, Ashridge Strategic Management Centre

Focus on what you enjoy and don’t enjoy about what you are doing now. A good test is what I call the ‘batterydynamo’ question.

If, on a Friday afternoon after work, you feel drained, the job has been taking energy out of you and not putting any back – you have been running on a battery. If, on the other hand, you feel you want to keep going, the job has been giving you back the energy you expend – you have been running on a dynamo.

Look for dynamo jobs. You’ll not only enjoy them more, you’ll be better at them too.

Sarah Clark

By Sarah Clark

Changeboard

Online features editor at Changeboard

Changeboard

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