For the past 3 years, I’ve been on the hunt for a change in my career trajectory. The wait finally came to an end in December of last year. The process wasn’t the easiest but I think it made for a great story. And finally, I can share it. Here’s the story of how I landed a job I actually like.
Upon leaving college I was among the lucky few who had no trouble landing a full-time job. I was extremely grateful for that fact. But when my timeline of two years to switch jobs came around I found myself stuck. I was being shortlisted and interviewed for jobs but the final call of confirmation was elusive. Feedback was also limited and I grew frustrated. A year passed and then another and the story didn’t change.
“Switching jobs is easy when you already have one.” I’ve heard this a few times in the lifespan of my career and you may have too. And while I can’t say this is always false I can say that it’s not always true. Switching jobs at any point in your career can be a volatile process.
Changing careers or switching jobs within your profession is not easy by any means. Whether you network your way into your next role or go the application route the process requires effort. Waking up every day chasing the desires of your heart to have better resources to lead a better life all while making a worthwhile contribution to the world cannot be condensed into a simple word like easy.
Try taxing or cumbersome. These words are better positioned to summarize the journey to a fulfilling career or role. I know that’s how I felt.
How did I finally land a job I liked?
Identify your skills
If you’re considering a major career change, first identifying your skills is essential.
For me switching jobs meant diverting to another area within the field of communications. Not too crazy right? Previously I worked in media production. Now I’m a public relations professional.
Though the two jobs could have been cousins I wasn’t very exposed to the world of public relations but with quick research, I learnt I had the required skills to form a good foundation.
Similarly, for you, consider the skills you have. Think about the ones you enjoy the most. Find professions that use those skills and learn about them.
Learn what you enjoy doing
You won’t want to work every waking day but there are tasks you enjoy doing that make it feel like you would. Think about what you like to do. What comes naturally to you? Not quite sure? Taking career/ personality quizzes helped me narrow down a few aspects of my personality that would align with career choices I could see myself excelling at.
Talk to God about your plans or fears. Lay it all out. God cares for you. He knows his plan for your life and though you’re uncertain of what comes next He is completely certain. Be vulnerable and talk with the Lord about the desires of your heart because He is listening and He cares. He’ll comfort you while you wait.
This one was particularly hard for me. I’m not the most patient person but the job hunting process has taught me patience.
It’s easy to lose hope during the long winter of job hunting. You’ve applied and waited. You’ve been shortlisted and assessed repeatedly and you are still wondering if a day will come when you’ll hear those faithful words “We’re delighted to offer you the position of…” and you will hear those words.
Set clear goals
Once you are aligned on what you’re good at and enjoy doing in professions it’s time to make a few other distinctions to help you land the job you really want.
Got a job offer? Does it sound good but could be better? Having a clear idea of what an ideal work situation looks like is key to knowing the best move to make. Whether it means going forward or backwards, remember you define your happiness. The choice of where you work is yours and should ultimately fulfill your needs. Make a list of those needs and stick to them or negotiate a compromise.
Don’t give up
To land a job I actually like I had to experience a lot of nos. Most times there was no feedback and that felt worse than a no. Despite not hearing the responses you want, remember that you still have a lot to offer the world and your value is not tied to your profession. The right yes is worth all the nos in the world, take it from me.
Happy job hunting!
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