Tips to find a job that makes you happy
In the US, 35% of people in the workplace are unhappy with their jobs. Only 20% of people are truly passionate about what they do.
Of course, working is a way to make money, and you'll always have bills to pay. Does this mean you have to be stuck in a position that causes you tons of stress or anxiety? The answer is no.
You can have a satisfying career by finding a job that makes you happy.
Getting your dream job is possible, but you’ll need to take serious action to get there. In the following article, we'll explain why you should find a job that makes you happy and explain exactly how to find a stable career at a workplace that you'll want to go to every day.
Why should you find a job that makes you happy?
A large chunk of your life is spent at work, so it makes sense to find a career that makes you happy (or, at the very least, not miserable).
If you have a meaningful career, it can have a huge impact on your work performance (employees that find their jobs meaningful are 33% more productive, on average). Happy employees are more productive, engaged, and have a genuine sense of accomplishment in the workplace.
If you're satisfied with your role, you'll take fewer days off and have higher morale. Happy employees contribute to positive company culture, and team members usually work better together.
Being in the wrong job can create issues in your everyday life. For example, if you're being bullied or suffering from burnout, it can affect your mental health. You may lose your sense of control and stress about work even on your days off.
Tips to find a job that makes you happy
If your current position isn't fulfilling, it may be time to start looking for a new role. But how do you find a job that makes you happy? Here are our ten top tips.
1. Consider your career path
Before you make any major career decisions, think about your skills and interests. Are you in the right field?
It's never too late to change industries, but some education and training may be required. Making a career transition is a big move, so make sure you’ve done your research.
For example, if you enjoy helping others, you can look for a job as a teaching assistant, physical therapist, or nurse. If you are interested in computers, a career as an IT manager or even software engineer could be the right fit.
To learn more about what you're good at, you can take our free career quiz.
You may already be in the right job type, but working for the wrong employer. Once you understand your goals, you can decide whether you're heading in the right direction and what to do next.
2. Look at the company culture
Company culture plays an important role in your happiness at work.
When your values match your employer's vision, you'll be a better fit for the job. There are different things to look for, and your priorities will depend on your unique needs.
For example, some companies value a diverse workforce, with many opportunities to catch up with coworkers outside of normal work hours.
Your employer may have a collaborative workspace with an open-plan office. Alternatively, they may prefer everyone to work independently.
Before you apply for a new job, learn more about the company. You can read the mission statement on the brand's website and read reviews from employees. If you're not sure, you can ask the hiring manager questions during the interview process.
3. Try different things
If you still don't know what you want to do for the rest of your life, that's okay. The average person has 12.4 different jobs during their careers.
So don’t be afraid to try different jobs to see what you like. For example, you can work in food services, retail, health, construction, or education to learn more about each industry.
Volunteering is another good way to get work experience. If you're considering studying veterinary science, you can volunteer at an animal shelter.
Thinking of becoming a nurse? Volunteer at your local hospital. Want to work for a tech company? You can volunteer your time teaching people how to use computers.
Our resource center is packed with career information, which can help you apply for a new position.
4. Reach out to your connections
Having a strong professional network is crucial for finding good job opportunities. If you're trying to find your true passion, talk to successful people. For example, can a friend recommend a great workplace? Do they know someone who is hiring now?
Talk to people in different industries. What are the pros and cons of changing careers? Do they have a meaningful life?
You can also speak to people in specific roles you're interested in to get an insight into the daily duties and long-term career paths.
Your professional connections are the people around you who are supportive of your career goals. You can catch up in person, over the phone, or via email.
If you want to grow your network online, you can visit our community to connect with like-minded people.
5. Know what you need
Everyone has different needs at work. What makes someone else happy may not be your key to career fulfillment.
Make a list of your priorities. What do you need to be happy? What's negotiable, and what can't you live without?
If you have a young family, you may need a good work-life balance. Some employees prefer a hybrid or remote workplace, with a few days spent working from home each week.
Do you want reduced, part-time hours, or a workplace that has a short commute? Understandable, as traveling an hour by bus each morning could leave you feeling tired and unmotivated.
You may need a sense of meaning, or just have high salary goals. Opportunities for promotion, skills development, and a supportive team may also be on your wishlist. Figure out exactly what you’re looking for.
6. Find the right manager
Even if you have your dream position, you can still feel miserable if you don’t have good leadership. Having the right manager can have a positive impact on your career satisfaction.
If your boss uses positive reinforcement and supports the team, it'll promote employee engagement.
The happiest employees have managers with good communication skills. They should be approachable and understand your strengths.
Try to avoid managers who are intimidating and take credit for your hard work. If you have a manager who micromanages you and doesn't trust your abilities, that can also be a red flag.
During the job interview, you can ask questions about management style and the company culture.
The way you're treated during the interview often reflects the work environment. For example, if the hiring manager is approachable, that's often a good sign. If they're intimidating or overly familiar, you may not want to accept the job offer.
7. Go back to school
Low pay and mundane tasks can affect your sense of accomplishment. If your current qualifications don't match your career goals, it could be time to upskill.
What can you do? Go back to school! By boosting your resume, you can swap jobs or apply for a more senior position.
Well-paying jobs often require a degree, certification, or experience. Whether it's an associate's degree, apprenticeship, or short online course, extra study can give you the career you want.
Education on your resume can set you apart and open up new career opportunities. Plus, more complex tasks and responsibilities can lead to you feeling more satisfied at work.
And it’s not like you have to start completely from scratch. In any new career, you can leverage transferable skills.
Things like customer service, cash handling, organization, and computer skills are examples of skills that can be used across different industries and roles.
8. Take your time
Finding a workplace that makes you truly happy can take time. Even if you need to take a job in the short term for financial reasons, you don't have to stop looking for something better.
You can start by creating a free Jobcase account. Stay up to date with new roles by subscribing to email job alerts.
Plus, we have a free resume builder that's quick and easy to update. If you do gain experience while you're waiting to find your dream job, you can use it to boost your resume.
You may already have a company in mind, but it isn't hiring right now. For example, you may have your heart set on a position at The Home Depot, but you missed the hiring event. Or, there may not be any of your preferred job types in your local area.
If you stay up to date and are ready to apply, the right position will eventually pop up.
You can also check in regularly with your connections to see if they know anyone who is hiring.
9. Don’t get caught up on titles
When you're looking for a job that makes you happy, don't get caught up on the job title. A role might sound impressive on paper, but fancy words don't automatically equal job satisfaction.
Let's say the job title is "building connoisseur." It sounds unique and might look good on a badge, but it could just be another name for a construction manager.
Instead of focusing on the job title, look at the job description. Are there opportunities for career progression? Do the daily duties sound interesting to you? Is it a workplace that inspires and motivates you?
The way you're treated and your responsibilities are more important than your job title. Especially if you want a satisfying career.
10. Understand your working habits
Finally, you should understand how you work best. Remember, everyone is different, so what suits you may not suit someone else.
For example, are you an independent person who likes to work with minimal supervision? A sales company with aggressive goals and a hands-on manager may not be a good choice.
But if you prefer a team environment where you work closely with others, a restaurant or retail position could be the perfect fit.
If you're someone who's highly self-motivated and likes a quiet environment, a remote position could be for you.
Your work habits will also impact the hours you choose. Let's say you're a night owl who struggles to get up early. If you're more productive in the evening, you'll be happier working the night shift.
From the managerial style to the layout of the workspace, knowing how you work best can help you find a job that you love.
What questions can you ask during an interview?
Here are some interview questions you can ask to decide if the job will make you happy. We recommend asking up to three questions during the interview process.
What can you tell me about the company culture?
What is the management style?
Are there any opportunities for career progression?
How would you describe a day in this role?
Why do you like working here?
What do you think the biggest challenge will be for the successful candidate?
What do you need to be successful in this workplace?
How do you measure employee performance?
Asking these questions can help you figure out if a company is the right fit for you, and if you can imagine a long, happy, and successful career there.
Where to start your job search
Want to see what jobs are out there? Visit our job board and search by employer or job type.
You can narrow down your search to a specific area or choose remote-only positions. There are plenty of career opportunities available right now.
Finding a job that makes you happy
Are you ready to find a job that makes you happy? Hopefully, the tips outlined in this article can help you make the right moves.
Before you start applying, consider your career path. You can try different things, and go back to school to improve your chances of getting hired.
Look at the company culture, and see how it matches your needs. Reach out to your connections, and try to find the right manager. Don’t get caught up on fancy titles, and understand how you work best.
Don't forget to take your time, and don’t give up. Your dream job is worth waiting and striving for.
This article has so many actionable tips to help narrow down the best job to fit someones unique needs! And such great advice on how to get there and stay happy there too! Thanks for sharing