By Robert M. Detman, for Yahoo! HotJobs
Some people were born knowing what they wanted to do. For the rest of us, it may require years of education and amassing a multipage resume. Defining your personal job nirvana requires many considerations, but some tips below may help you find the job that is right for you.
The Self-Knowledge Base
- Define the Terms: "We can't possibly find satisfaction and fulfillment if we don't first define it," says Marilyn Walker, founder and managing director of the Right Turn on Red Career Assessment Center. People must define their standards of success, and then they need to look inward to assess their strengths and weaknesses, and decide what they are passionate about. "It's only work when you don't like doing it every day," Walker says.
- Brainstorm: "Start picking your successful friends' brains," suggests Mike Beasley, an executive and career development coach. Ask friends to meet with you to discuss ideas and to help you focus on your career options. In some cases, your friends will have a keen insight on what your likes and dislikes are, so Beasley suggests you take notes while you meet. "Follow those threads," he says. "Think of the search as a scavenger hunt."
- Test Yourself: Career assessment tests, such as the Myers-Briggs Career Report and MAPP (Motivational Appraisal of Personal Potential), can provide objective data about one's hidden strengths. Career tests can help clarify one's aptitude, personal interests and various personality factors.
"These assessments are similar to what many employers are utilizing today, and they help the individual consider the many dimensions that will contribute to satisfaction," Walker says.
Monster also provides several tools to help you choose the career path that's right for you, including our Career Snapshots and the Career Mapping Tool.
The Focused Search
- Target: "Get organized and put your thoughts down on paper," suggests Bob Basile of Career Coaching Inc. He stresses that these ideas can be considered "buckets" into which you categorize and organize your preferences, allowing you to target ideas and weed out the unlikely paths.
- Research: A wide variety of job and profession data -- who's hiring, trends, economics -- is available. "There are companies such as Wetfeet.com and Vault.com that do industry research," Basile says. Bureau of Labor and Statistics salary data is based on education and experience. Also, Monster's Salary Wizard provides salary information based on occupation, location and experience.
- Get in Touch: "Informationally network," Basile says. "Once you have chosen which 'buckets' are most appealing to you and you have done your homework, it is now time to speak to people within these industries." Also look to your immediate resources, gathering information from friends and their contacts.
- Follow Through: Finally, Basile advises that after you have selected your ideal job and have prepared yourself to go for it, you will still have to land that job, and perseverance is essential. "Don't assume a company isn't hiring because they don't have a job posted."