How to find a career you will love in 2023
Whether you've been in the job market for many years or are just entering it, learning how to find a career you will love is important.
Of course, not every aspect of every job or career is going to be incredible, but at the end of the day, the important part is that you walk away satisfied with the work you have done. The right role should give you a sense of purpose and feel aligned with your needs and goals. Also, the ideal role should challenge, but not overwhelm you.
If you're feeling a bit lost, don't worry, we've outlined some clear steps to get you started.
1. Take inventory
When you begin your job search, it's important to figure out why you're you're looking in the first place. Ask yourself the following:
- Do you want something new or different?
- Are you looking for your first role in your chosen area of study or profession?
- Are you seeking more challenging or aligned work?
After you know why you're searching, you can begin to follow industry and skill-specific newsletters that will help you align your search better.
Pro-tip: Did you know that Beacon Hill has our own Job Seeker Newsletter? Sign up today and take advantage of all the expert tips and tricks we have to share.
2. Consider your strengths and weaknesses
Being a self-aware job seeker is underrated. Make a list that outlines every strength and weakness you can think of. When it's complete, use the strengths to better sell the best of what you have to offer and use the weaknesses to proactively come up with a way to discuss how they can be improved.
Everyone has blind spots and taking the initiative to correct them is typically well-received.
Bonus! Knowing your personal positives and negatives will position you to rock an interview, as they are frequently asked about during the first round.
3. Document your goals
The fact is, career goals tend to be small or vague. For instance:
- I want to update my resume...
- Maybe I should update my online portfolio?
- I think I would like to work in sales
These are great ideas, but in and of themselves, they don't move a job search forward.
Have you heard of setting SMART goals? The acronym stands for:
Applying a SMART framework to your job search can be a great way to hone in on exactly what you want as well as how and when you want to achieve it.
Here's an example: Increase my application submission rate to ten applications per week in order to obtain a new job in sales by no later than mid-year.
As you can see, that goal is much more specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound than simply saying "I think I would like to work in sales."
4. Tune up your application materials
After setting your SMART goal (you will likely set more than one), it will become clear what actions you need to take to achieve them. Some of them will undoubtedly revolve around your application materials.
In order to present yourself in the best possible way, it is a good idea to:
- Tailor or update your resume for the job you want
- Update your reference list and notify the people who are on it
- Consider a boilerplate cover letter that is editable in key areas to speed up your application turnaround time
A polished set of application tools is a surefire way to impress potential employers. Plus, you'll be prepared when the perfect job pops up on the job boards you check regularly.
Spoiler: While "first" doesn't always mean "hired," being an early applicant is never a bad thing.
5. Network within your industry
Networking has been a bit different in recent years with COVID throwing a wrench in in-person events, but don't worry, there are many online and offline ways to make yourself known. Here are some top options:
- You can follow and connect with colleagues and people in your ideal industry on LinkedIn.
- You can attend trade shows, conferences or other in-person or online events.
- You can leverage your existing network to meet other people (introductions from friends are usually a winning strategy).
Pro-tip: While it is a great idea to network, try to avoid sending impersonal connection requests online and ensure that you aren't taking advantage of your network purely for a job. Networking should be about your genuine desire to learn about another person. Often, that openness will translate to long-term career success.
6. Do your research and make an action plan
Why shouldn't you achieve your wildest dreams? And is there a better way to do so than by outlining exactly what those are? We don't think so!
You can start by making lists of ideal companies and job titles. This will allow you to bookmark job sites that you want to check regularly and sign up for job alerts when they are offered.
Once that's done, you can spend some time reading the job descriptions to seek out commonalities to capitalize on. When you are aware of the things your ideal employers might be looking for, you can better answer the call via a more aligned cover letter and resume.
Pro-tip: Reading job descriptions will also shine a light on skill gaps that you can make plans to improve via additional certifications, further education, and other options.
If after reading this you feel that you'd like a bit more hands-on help, consider applying for a role through the jobs database on our website. If your application matches up with an open role, one of our team members will contact you to discuss your experience, interests, and long-term career goals in detail so that we can help you find a job you will love.