Job hunting – 3 key factors that determine if you are going to be happy in any job


Everyone deserves a career that is satisfying, rewarding, enjoyable and fulfilling. A career that makes the best use of our talents and makes going to work something to look forward to.  A career that helps us achieve satisfying outcomes that make us happy and content. Yet, a lot of people struggle when determining what the “right” job is for them.

If you are not in a career you are enthusiastic about, it is either because you haven’t found out what it is you want to do or you don’t know where to look. We are all capable of more than we imagine and have hopes and dreams that we wish to realise. However, trying to change career direction without clear focus and preparation will lead to poor results.

It may seem there are multiple factors that make up the “right” job but they can be categorised into three key elements:

  1. Is the job/role going to allow you to use the skills and abilities that you want to use?
  2. Is the sector one that really interests you?
  3. Is the environment/culture compatible to your needs, wants and values?


Where should you start?

Step 1. You begin by doing research on two specific aspects: Identifying the transferable work-related skills you enjoy and identifying the transferable work-related skills you are good at.

With the exception of certain niche roles such as doctor, deep sea diver etc, at first glance, there are hundreds if not thousands of different job titles. However, regardless of the sector, size of business or geographic location, in essence there are really only six or seven different business functions: Sales, Marketing, Operations, Human Resources, IT, Finance and Admin. Within each there may be many subcategories or sub functions, hence the plethora of job titles, but fundamentally there are only the six or seven key functions.

The reason why this distinction is important is that if you can identify and link the transferable skills and abilities you enjoy to a business function that will allow you to use them more often than not, you will be more engaged. Similarly,  if you can link the transferable skills and abilities you are good at to a business function you will be more successful. If you can do both to the same business function, then by default, you will be more fulfilled and successful.

For example, if you know your numerical skills are poor, you struggle with technology and are not great at administrative tasks, you already know you should not be looking for a finance, IT or admin role as they are not going to play to your strengths. Conversely, if you feel that your strengths lie in your creative, interpersonal and leadership skills, which you also may enjoy, you now know that you are probably going to be more successful and engaged going for a marketing type role.


Step 2

Now that you know what kind of role is going to engage you, you also know, based on your qualifications, skill set, knowledge and experience, what level to pitch yourself at. Therefore, you can now move onto the second step and begin to think about where you would prefer to do this type of role/job.

Although there are not as many sectors as there are job titles, there is certainly more than enough.

Here, if you are more interested in planes, trains, and automobiles than financial services or banking, you would rather want to be hired in the aerospace, automotive and transport sector as opposed to one in financial services or banking.

That’s not to say if someone approached you about the same kind of role in financial services, you would not automatically say no, as it is the role that you want to do that is the driver, not the sector. Similarly, you are not going to actively seek a role that you don’t want to do, just because it is in a sector that appeals to you.


Step 3

Having identified the sectors that appeal to you, you can identify the organisations within each and the people that you ideally would like to talk to, because to really find out stuff, especially about the culture of an organisation, you can’t just rely on the internet, you are going to want to talk to somebody, meet somebody, get face to face.

By having face to face informal information meetings, referral meetings and interviews, at some point due to the benefits you bring, you will be seen as the preferred candidate to meet an organisations specific business needs and will be offered a job, which brings you onto the third step, deciding whether to accept the job or not.

Having nailed their colours to the mast and offered you the role, the company now needs to demonstrate that the benefits that they can offer, meet your specific needs, as although they have a role, in a company with benefits, you are looking for the right role (for you), in the right company (for you) with the right benefits (for you).

Taking all the above into consideration, if after negotiating, the offer ticks the boxes, great, you can then accept and start thinking about what you are going to do in your new role in your first 90 days. If not, don’t be afraid to walk away.

“Life is not easy for any of us. We must have perseverance and above all confidence in ourselves. We must believe that we are gifted for something and that this thing must be attained.” Marie Curie

So, making that dream career become a reality might not be as daunting as you first thought and may not require anything more than a fresh perspective and way of looking at it. It sounds simple and it is, it’s just not always easy, especially when trying to do it alone.

If you would like to find out more about this topic, contact us to book your free 90 minute personal 1:1 career consultation:

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