Today, getting a job you enjoy seems like something that can be harder than ever. Unfortunately, many positions are already taken, require too much experience, or are just plain boring, which leads to an availability of just a few jobs!
First you’re going to have to discover who you are:
One of the things you can do is discover your strengths. If you want to know narrow down the options you have, you’ll want to know what you’re good at. Many employers will be hesitant to hire you if you’re not qualified for the position.
For example, no one would hire a salesperson for their business if they lack people and communication skills. Why would they want someone timid representing them as the first point of contact between their business and the consumer? This is the exact thought process that goes on in the mind of the employer. But there are exceptions and we’ll get to those later.
If you’re looking at discovering your strengths, I recommend simply asking a friend or two to list off your strengths and weaknesses. The friend should be extremely honest, otherwise you can consider the response worthless. DO NOT LET THEM LIE ABOUT YOUR STRENGTHS — brutal honesty will be your greatest asset in this exercise!
Once you’ve discovered what you’re good at, you need to decide what you enjoy. You wouldn’t want to work in a school if you hate children! Think about some things that you really enjoy doing, write them down, narrow the list down to about three things that you really love, and discover careers that involve those desires.
Next you want to decide the things you require from your future employer. Is it a high salary? A relaxed environment? A quiet work space? Work from home options? It’s important to discover these values so you can target a workspace you enjoy.
Finally, once you have synthesized your lists of the above, you need to combine them to describe your perfect job. Don’t be unrealistic, but make sure to define something you really enjoy.
For example, maybe you’re a socially extroverted individual, who loves to work in a fast-paced environment, who enjoys meeting new people. Perhaps you could consider working in a sales role! There are plenty of jobs that fit each person’s description, you just need to look hard enough.
Next, you’re going to need to apply:
For this step, you’ll need to build a resume. A resume shows a summary of your professional life, and is often the first thing your future employer sees! Most of us have one or two of these buried in a folder on our computers, but it’s always a great idea to keep this updated as your career progresses.
Your resume should be well thought out and should include the things you think are most important. You can find plenty of resume templates online, but its generally best to only use resume templates as a reference, then design your own so that you have full editing capabilities of the document. Sometimes templates make re-formatting a painful process…
With your resume, you’re now ready to apply for jobs. You can apply in a few ways. One of those methods is applying online through indeed or by using another site of the like. These sites are great because they put a high volume of jobs in one spot and you can select your preferences. You can even put in many of your job specifications from the list you made with the above exercise!
However, sometimes these job boards are not the best way to apply. Another way is by going to the website of the company of your choice, and clicking on the button that says “careers.” Usually companies will list open positions on their site for people to apply.
My personal favorite way to apply for a job, is going to the physical establishment, talking to the hiring manager and introducing yourself, then applying for the position after asking for an application. When someone meets you in person, they are more inclined to follow up with you since you have made a connection with them. Your primary goal is to get yourself in the door and get an interview!
For more formal corporate positions, some of the above methods may prove to be difficult. Generally, referrals from individuals you know are the most powerful tools to get an interview with the business of your choice. If your peer, friend, or family member is an exceptional employee at the business to which you are applying, the employer is likely to give you a shot at an interview.
After applying, your future employer is going to look at your resume and qualifications:
I mentioned earlier that there are exceptions made based on your skillset in the event you do not meet the qualifications. Sometimes employers will be more interested in who you are as a person rather than your skill qualifications. You can teach skill, but you cannot teach personality. In other words, as long as you have a good personality, you can learn to do anything. If the employer decides not to hire you, you can go learn whatever skill you need to qualify for the job, come back later, and apply for the same position if it’s still available!
After your employer has taken a look at your resume, you’re off to the interview process:
This part is my favorite! I’ve been interviewed and have conducted interviews many times, and can confirm this plays a huge part to being hired. The easiest way to ace an interview is to be prepared, be you, and be excited. You must come to the interview, knowing the core concepts of what you want to say about yourself when asked, you have to be genuine, and you need to be in a good mood. In many of the interviews I have conducted, people have shown up in a bad mood, and nothing will ruin your chances of being hired more than a bad attitude. You may have to do more than one interview depending on the company. Often, more established companies will require more than one interview, while smaller companies may not require such an intense process — of course there are always exceptions.
Once you’ve finished your interview it’s time for you to wait:
Wrong! Now it’s time for you to prepare a follow up email or letter to express your appreciation for an opportunity to interview with the company. This is often overlooked and can bring your interview from good to great with one simple step!
Later on you’ll receive a call on whether or not you received the job. Then it’s time for your decision.
Do you take the position or not?