Job market / Self awareness

How to find a job you’ll love

 This month it’s Valentine’s Day, and some of you may be trying to attract that ‘special someone’.  Some of the approaches you might take in your quest for love  can be similarly applied to your search for your ideal job. Here are my top 5 tips.

1. Speed dating

Sometimes brief exchanges are all you need to gather enough information to ‘size up’ whether you are interested in someone and want to know more. If your curiosity has been piqued and the chemistry is there, you’ll want to tick the box and follow up.

Careers Fairs offer a similar smorgasbord of opportunities to meet many recruiters quickly in one place and gather this level of information. Even better if you download our  Careers Fair App – this will help you sift and sort the equivalent of ‘not for me’ organisations so you can focus on more promising prospects. Armed with information you can then head off to follow up contacts made and carry out further research.

2. Online Dating

It’s important to put time, thought and effort in before creating your profile so it truly represents who you are and what you’re looking for. It can be disappointing as well as disconcerting when you meet someone where there is a clear disconnect between what you’ve read as well as seen online and in the flesh…

Senior man in workshop

…’blimey, how many years ago must that profile picture have been taken?’

When you’re creating your LinkedIn profile, it’s worth really thinking about how to describe yourself to recruiters who may be looking at you. Are you presenting the most professional and authentic version of you? Would a friend reading your profile recognise you? Is it clear what skills and experiences you have to offer? Can you provide evidence to support these when you go for interview?

Take a look at our earlier post on Are You LinkedIn? or attend one of our careers workshops on how to create a good LinkedIn profile.

3. Trial and Error

Meeting people by going on a date is a good way to find out which of them appeals to you. Having some idea of what’s important – your ‘must haves’ will help get to the heart of whether there is more to the person than simply fancying the pants off them.

When you are applying for work experience this is also a great way for you and the recruiter to ‘try before you buy’. It will help if you’ve asked yourself some questions before you apply; what are you hoping to learn, does the organisation have values that resonate with yours, will you be able to develop your skills and learn from the experience?

As with a date, there is no need for a longer-term commitment unless you are both agreed it’s worked really well for both parties. The experience will have been valuable in helping develop your self-awareness so that any future applications you make are more fine-tuned. You might also gain a valuable referee. They may also be willing to write you a testimonial on LinkedIn.

4. Blind Date

Sometimes a friend or well-intentioned family member might fix you up on a blind date. This might at worst be excruciating; going to the toilet to climb out of a window may be more appealing than returning to continue the blind date.

Emergency exit sign

On the other hand, your blind date may surprise you. Your friends and family often know more about what you want and need than you do.

You might be offered the chance of work experience you wouldn’t otherwise have considered. At worst it will confirm what you definitely don’t want to do, but it might give you unexpected insights to a job you’d never have given a second thought.  No experience is ever wasted, unless, like dating, you keep repeating the same mistakes….

5. The Real Thing

As you gain experience and reflect on what you’ve learned from your life experiences your focus will sharpen and help you head towards future personal as well as career happiness.

Finally, neither love nor careers generally come knocking on your door – you have to get out there and hustle!


Anne Wilson Feb 2017

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