The last two years have made us all reevaluate what we really want. Working from home has shown us that a remote workforce is possible. More time with our families has demonstrated that we don’t want long commutes. Stressful situations have highlighted how important it is to work for a company that champions wellness.
While the ‘Great Resignation’ has caused a huge shift in the workforce, there is no one size fits all policy. Every single person will have different wants and needs when it comes to their career.
Even though it can seem daunting to determine exactly what you want, it’s not something that you have to do immediately. In fact, this process can take some time.
The following steps can help you to figure out what you want and what’s really important to you.
The first thing that you can do is think about your current role (if you have one). Take out a pen and a piece of paper and write down the aspects of your job that you really don’t enjoy. For example, do you dread your weekly presentation to the team? Do you long for flexible working hours or more annual leave?
This might seem a little harsh, but looking at your current role with a critical eye will help you figure out what you really want.
Searching for a new job can be a long and tiring process. By deciding what you don’t want, you can save yourself a lot of time.
Procrastinate a little
Yes, you read that right. For years we’ve been led to believe that procrastination is a negative thing, but it could actually be the key to finding your dream career.
Mathis Ebner delves into this theory deeper in his Ted Talk, ‘Use Procrastination to Choose Your Career.’ During his talk, he discusses how he used procrastination to find out what he was really interested in.
Before big exams or important meetings, he often found himself thinking about computer games. In fact, most of Mathias’ best game strategies came to him while he was under pressure in other areas of his life.
“I decided to use this discovery as a guideline to make my academic choice,” he explains. “And right now, I’m studying Game Design at the Zurich University of the Arts. And so far, I’m really happy with my decision.
So, the next time you’re up against a deadline, take note of where your mind wanders.
Pick your people
Have you ever worked in a job that you absolutely love but your team dynamic just didn’t feel right? Maybe you had no shared interests or simply didn’t gel with your teammates. The truth is, you’re going to spend a lot of time with your colleagues, sometimes even more than you spend with your friends and family. That’s why it’s important to work for a team that you believe in.
Of course you want to work on projects that you’re passionate about, but the truth is that projects often change, are postponed, or even canceled. The one thing you should be able to rely on is your teammates, so choose carefully.
If you can find a boss and team that you truly believe in, you’re on to a winner.
Don’t go with your gut
We’ve all heard the old adage, “Go with your gut’. However, when it comes to finding a dream job or work environment, you need to ignore that advice.
Research into the science of decision-making shows that intuitive decision-making only works in certain circumstances. For example, your gut instinct can tell you very quickly if someone is angry with you. This is because our brains are wired to rapidly warn us when in danger.
However, your gut can’t tell you which businesses are going to succeed or which job will give you a promotion in 18 months. Sure, your gut can give you clues about your career, but it shouldn’t be the foundation of your decisions.
The truth is that every single person has a different work style. Some people like to get big tasks done before lunch, others like to work from 4pm onwards.
In a similar vein, many people thrive having set deadlines and KPIs to hit every week. For others, this might seem stifling and affect their creativity. We all work in completely different ways.
Before you start searching for a new job, take note of when you feel most productive and in a state of flow. If you really enjoy jumping on a Teams call with your colleagues, jot that down, if you relish having an afternoon of uninterrupted work, pay attention.
Knowing your working style is a key way to make sure that your next role is a good fit.
There is no exact science when it comes to finding your dream job or work environment. However, by using the above points and keeping an open mind, you might just hit the jackpot. Happy hunting!
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