Looking for your first job, a major career change or a better deal? Eventually, we all find yourself in search of income. For most, this means finding work. But who wants to just work for money?
“Find a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” – Confucius
For most of us, this isn’t enough. We want to find a job that offers us something much more valuable. We want to spend our time engaged in rewarding work. We need a sense of inner fulfillment.
We want the right job so that we need not work a day in our life.
This may seem unrealistic, dreamy or outright impossible. It’s not! It’ll require a bit of focus and self-reflection, but it’s rather straightforward.
Before we begin, I’d ask that you make a commitment to yourself. Focus on Fulfillment, not finances. If that’s not possible, you’re in the wrong place. You’re not looking for the ‘perfect’ job. You’re looking for money. This is a hollow ambition. That, for most, leads to frustration, disappointment, and regret.
Let’s avoid that!
Ok, if you’re still reading, I’ll assume we’re on the same page. Let’s get started.
Identify the Perfect Job for You
The first step is to take an honest look inward. In this section we’ll explore a couple of essential questions:
- What types of jobs best suit my personality?
- What do I REALLY want to get out of a job?
The second step is to explore the most effective methods of finding opportunities that will satisfy the answers we derive from the above questions.
The third step covers the best methods for applying and getting hired fast.
The perfect job means something different to everyone. The key to finding a career you love is to know what you are good at, what interests you and how you genuinely like to spend your time. Let’s find out what that means for you.
What job is best for my personality type?
Our personality is key to how we interface with the world. That is, how we perceive, experience, express and communicate with the world around us. Jobs have ‘personalities’ of their own. It’s important to find one that you find agreeable and effortlessly assimilated.
Below will cover common personality types and some compatible jobs. You will likely find that you are a little of this and a little of that. You won’t find a list of every single compatible job there is.
Consider each carefully and honestly assess yourself. Not, who you wish you were but who you are now. You may change in time, and so to can your job. For now, let’s focus on what is. Not what may be.
Do you tend toward Extraversion or Introversion?
In which direction do you tend to express your energy? If you prefer dealing with people, things, and situations (the world around you), then you tend toward Extraversion. If you prefer focus inward toward ideas, information, explanations or beliefs, then you tend towards Introversion.
The Letter E = Extroversion & I = Introversion
Do you tend toward Sensing or Intuition?
What type of information or ‘stuff’ do you prefer to deal with? If you prefer clarity, dealing with what is known (observable) and facts, then you tend towards Sensing. If you prefer to consider the unknown, abstract ideas, and new possibilities, then you tend towards Intuition.
The letter S = Sensing & N = Intuition
Do you tend toward Thinking and Feeling?
How do you make decisions? If you usually make decisions based on logic and analytics in a detached objective manner, then you tend towards Thinking. If you prefer making decisions based on your personal beliefs and values, then you tend towards Feeling.
The letter T = Thinking & F = Feeling
Do you tend toward Judgment and Perception?
What is your approach to managing life? If you prefer a well-structured and thoroughly planned approach, then you tend towards Judging (this is NOT the same as being ‘Judgmental’). If you prefer a more spontaneous, go-with-the-flow, flexible approach, then you tend towards Perception.
The letter J = Judging & P = Perceiving
Career Matches by Personality Type
Below several compatible jobs for each personality type. This is not an exhaustive list by any means but provides a basis from which you can create your own list of optimally suited job opportunities.
SJ Career Matches (Protectors)
ESTJ Career Matches (Overseers)
|Senior Manager||Business Analyst||Technical Specialist|
|Auditor||Computer Specialist||Nursing Administrator|
|Government Worker||Insurance Agent||Manager|
ESFJ Career Matches (Supporters)
|Child Care||Nurse||Organization Leader|
|Human Resources||Social Worker|
ISTJ Career Matches (Examiners)
|Police Officer||Math Teacher||Steelworker|
|Medical Doctor||Manager||Systems Analyst|
|Dentist||Computer Programmer||Technical Specialist|
|Financial Officer||Computer Specialist||Technician|
ISFJ Career Matches (Defenders)
|Career Counselor||Human Resources||Auditor|
|Child Care||Medical Technologist||Bookkeeper|
|Police Officer||Office Manager||Business Analyst|
|Church Worker||Shopkeeper||Health Service|
|Medical Doctor||Senior Manager||Military|
|Social Worker||Early Childhood Development||Accountant|
SP Career Matches (Creators)
ESTP Career Matches (Persuaders)
|Police Officer||Comedian||Sales Agent|
ESFP Career Matches (Entertainers)
|Fashion Designer||Public Relations||Shopkeeper|
|Interior Decorator||Singer||Events Coordinator|
ISTP Career Matches (Craftsmen)
|Construction Worker||Probation Officer||Computer Programmer|
|Motorcyclist||Electrical Engineer||Sales Agent|
|Firefighter||Transportation Operative||Technical Specialist|
|Forensic Pathologist||Entrepreneur||Business Analyst|
ISFP Career Matches (Artists)
|Chef||Veterinarian||Personal Service Worker|
|Child Care||Early Childhood Development||X-Ray Technician|
|Pediatrician||Park Ranger||Medical Staff|
|Church Worker||Librarian||Dental Staff|
NT Career Matches (Intellectuals)
ENTJ Career Matches (Chiefs)
|Business Administrator||Computer Consultant||Systems Analyst|
ENTP Career Matches (Originators)
|Computer Programmer||Psychiatrist||Sales Agent|
INTJ Career Matches (Strategists)
|Computer Programmer||Medical Doctor||Judge|
|Computer Specialist||Professor||Organization Founder|
|Corporate Strategist||Business Administrator|
INTP Career Matches (Engineers)
|Professor||Computer Specialist||Network Specialist|
NF Career Matches (Visionaries)
ENFJ Career Matches (Mentors)
|Church Worker||Actor/Actress||Senior Manager|
ENFP Career Matches (Advocates)
|Social Worker||Musician||Career Counselor|
|Conference Planner||Lawyer/Attorney||Speech Pathologist|
|Housing Director||Project Manager||Occupational Therapist|
INFJ Career Matches (Confidants)
|Writer||Church Worker||Medical Doctor|
INFP Career Matches (Dreamers)
|Church Worker||Artist||Social Scientist|
|Social Worker||Minister||Human Resources|
|Physical Therapist||Filmmaker||Video Editor|
|Fashion Designer||Librarian||Holistic Health Practitioner|
|Teacher||Graphic Designer||Employee Development Specialist|
* Special Thanks: All Tables from PersonalityMax.com
Note that each person, even of the same type, is different and no career in these lists should be considered as an automatic perfect match. These lists should be taken as suggestions for exploration.
Career recommendations from Personality Max
- https://personalitymax.com/personality-test/ – for a free personality test
What do you really want from a perfect job?
Keep the previous section in mind as we move forward. The specifics and the measure of importance for everything discussed will vary some based on your personality type.
What we’re looking for here is happiness. Happiness is not exactly the goal, but a symptom of fulfilling certain essential needs and desires. It’s not something to be pursued or obtained. It is a reward to be enjoyed from a well-oriented mind operating in a well-suited environment.
But, what about money?
Isn’t this what a job is all about? If I didn’t need money, why would I even get a job? Maybe this hasn’t crossed your mind. If not, great. But it has crossed the minds of many and it’s understandable. Yes, money is important, but enough is enough. Your life circumstances may require a certain amount and that will be an important factor in your job search. However, financial requirements considered, most will still find a wide range of career paths and job opportunities to choose from.
Let money play its part, but it will not keep you happy at your job. Consider what will be covered below. Most of us need more than a paycheck for a sense of purpose, community, fulfillment and the like.
Questions to consider when assessing a job opportunity:
Will I feel a sense of accomplishment from this job?
A sense of accomplishment is often considered one of the most important factors in employee satisfaction and workplace happiness.
Consider how your outlook, attitude, and mood will be affected, if you can see the results of your work having a positive impact on the company.
If you want that sense of accomplishment, look for companies, teams, departments, jobs that are achievement oriented. During your search, watch for things like “regular check-ins with the boss”, “great feedback”, or words like “goals” or “benchmarks” in job postings (reference – Monster.com).
Look for employers that define success and motivate teams to achieve in a way that speaks to you. That provides a sense of accomplishment through observing the impact of your work from one benchmark to the next.
Will I be appreciated for the work I do at this job?
Most people want to feel like they’re doing great work and that that work is recognized. This can come in a variety of ways. From a thank-you email to a promotion or pay raise. It’s important to do honestly evaluate how valuable such recognition is to you.
If you’re not receiving the positive reinforcement you feel you deserve, it can negatively impact your attitude and eventually performance.
It’s often the case that an employees work is recognized and appreciated but the boss fails to communicate this to the employee. So, if demonstrations of appreciation are important to you look to try to get current employee feedback.
Is this a place I can make friends?
Relationships are one of the most reliable predictors of workplace happiness. The better the workplace relationships the happier the employee.
“Employees who have good relationships with their co-workers are 2.5 times more likely to be happy on the job than those who don’t get along well with their peers, the survey found. Meanwhile, a Gallup poll found that close work friendships boost employee satisfaction by 50%.” – Monster.com
To get a sense your future co-workers and the social environment, try to find and connect with current members of the team, company or department you’d be joining. Ask questions about how friendly everyone is and how much socializing takes place in and out of work hours. You can also ask your interviewer about the team you’ll be working with.
Is this job worth bragging about?
Is the company you’re considering one you’d be proud to work for? Does it represent values you agree with and contribute value to your community or the world in general?
Feeling great about the company you work for is a strong contributor to overall happiness. If you’re not excited to tell others about getting hired (or the possibility of getting hired) at a job, it may be a poor fit.
Finding the perfect job
Once you know what type of job is best for you, it’s time to find the best opportunities to choose from. As we move forward, stay focused and committed. There may be moments where you question yourself and doubt the opportunities ahead. Remember, your dream job is within your reach.
Let’s explore several hacks to help you find that right job faster.
At this point, you should have an idea of what industry you want to enter, and as we move forward you should become increasingly clear on exactly where you want to focus your efforts and get hired.
However, resist the tunnel vision. Tunnel vision is a potential threat to all job seekers. Focusing too narrowly can create self-imposed limits on job growth, opportunities, a higher income, and happier work life.
You may have always done marketing, sales, HR (… you name it) in a given industry (healthcare, finance, tech… so on). You may be inclined to narrow your search to stay within this industry.
Even if most of your experience lies in one industry, don’t limit your opportunities. Opening your field of view may reveal the perfect job opportunity for you.
Laying out the Welcome mat
Before going any further, layout the ‘Welcome mat’. Signing up with the best job boards and sites for your goals. For some, this isn’t the best course of action, or just not necessary. However, most will improve their job search results with these sites.
Upload your resume and make it as accessible and easy to find. Different sites have different settings and search options. For now, make sure you can be seen. Especially if you’re looking at hard-to-fill positions.
These sites can be useful in several ways. They make searching more efficient. You can save job searches and review your application history. Most allow you to apply to multiple jobs without needing to upload a new resume every time. Plus, most offer a variety of useful email alerts. This alone makes them invaluable.
Recruiters are ready to receive resumes as soon as they post a job listing. Early submissions are often viewed more favorably and what many recruiters judge later submission by.
Connect and have fun
Whatever your interests, career objectives or experience in an industry, get engaged NOW!
Make your goal your world now. Go to lectures, events, functions, and meetups related to your goals. Don’t go to find a job. Go to have fun, meet interesting people, and have fun. Let relationships develop naturally and watch as your professional network expands.
Tapping the grapevine
Get acquainted with and connect to people in your industry via social media sites like LinkedIn. Identify professionals in your industry and reach out by offering them value; don’t just pursue your interests and wants. Your interest in finding a great job will be made clear through your SM pages and other exchanges. Ask them to connect you with others who may have connections to the job you seek. Take full advantage or the power of word-of-mouth.
Utilize all available tools
Save time and refine your job search with advanced search options on job boards. All the main job-sites (like Indeed.com, SimplyHired.com, CareerBuilder, and Monster.com), have “Advanced Search” functions. Use these! Search by keyword, location, a radius of a location, job title, company, type of job, date posted and other options.
Ready… Aim… Snoop!
Time to target specific companies. Imagine yourself going to work every Monday morning with a giant smile on your face. Why? Because you love your job and what you do. You’re proud of the company you work for and what they are about. You care about and enjoy the company of your coworkers.
Now make a list of 10 to 20 companies that hold your vision together.
Not sure which companies will meet your standards and fulfill your vision. No problem. Time to investigate.
Use job-sites and social media to explore company profiles and employee reviews. Reviews are especially valuable. They are posted by current and former employees and paint a picture of a company’s culture, work-life, benefits, and even salary insights.
Continue your research until you’ve found 10 to 20 companies that you think will hold your dream job vision together.
Now that we’ve identified 10-20 companies that meet our expectations, we must find out how we can show them we will meet all their expectations as well.
Go through each company on your list. Researching their history, employee size, mission, vision for the future, and any related press releases. You’ll want to develop a VERY clear and accurate understanding of the company, what it’s about and its vision for the future.
Now we want to be the clear and obvious new hire choice. Search for current and past employees on LinkedIn. Note their job experience, education level, any special training or certifications. Also, take note of any relevant personal information that may help clarify what sort of employees the company values.
Lastly, like, follow and engage with them on all their social media channels. And, sign-up for a weekly newsletter if they have one. In short, get connected and stay informed. Be among the first to see new opportunities when they come up.
Applying for the Perfect Job
Once you’ve found the job you want, it’s time to submit a resume. Do a proper job and write a convincing cover letter and you may land an interview. Prepare for your interviews, be well-groomed and pro-active but not aggressive.
Stick to the companies you’ve identified. Applying to every job opportunity can improve your chances of getting selected for an interview. Focus your time on doing your best with a limited pool of ideal jobs. Don’t waste time applying to everything you see.
Apply to every company/job on your list immediately. Don’t wait for one to reply before you apply to the next.
Custom write every cover letter for each job. You only have a few seconds to get noticed! The first paragraph of your cover letter should make clear what you have to offer the company.
Don’t just customize every cover letter. Every job application deserves a unique resume. Carefully tweak your resume to match the job listing as closely as possible. Mirror keywords and phrases used in the listing. Adjust everything from the Summary to your Skills and present yourself as much an exact match as possible.
Dress for Success
Like it or not, what you wear matters. Especially in an interview. Be well-groomed and dress like a successful professional in your profession iconically would. Maybe appearances shouldn’t matter so much, but they do. First impressions are formed largely based on appearance and they tend to influence ongoing perceptions. Dress well and make a great first impression. It’s more likely that any slip-up will be overlooked, and that you will make a lasting positive impression.
Don’t just talk… Narrate
For better or worse, we’re all performers playing our parts on life’s stage. Interviews are no exception and, in some cases, a great place to entertain. Nothing beats a good story when it comes to communicating your skills, experience, and personality. Don’t just itemize your skill sets and experience. Don’t just tell them How you’d handle situation X, Y and Z. Use stories to communicate the facts in context and with greater depth and relevance.
Whether you get the job or not, you were given an opportunity. Make sure to let them know you recognize and appreciate that. Prepare a general Thankyou card prior to starting interviews. Then make custom adjustments and send after the interview.
Warning! Don’t do these things
Slow but sure. The turtle usually wins this race. Be proactive and productive but DON’T rush. You may be templated to hurriedly apply when you come across a job that really captures your interest.
Be prepared and applied quickly but rushing it can cost you a job.
Don’t address your application with, “Whom It May Concern?”
It gives a very different impression when a hiring manager reads, “Dear NAME,”. Make sure you take the time to give the right impression. Every step of the application process!
Check the job listing (or whatever the source) for the correct Name and Email. If it’s not readily available, take the time to find it.
Typos can Kill
Typos can kill any chance you may have had at getting a job. Rushing to apply can result in little mistakes with big consequences. Take the time to read, re-read and proofread again.
Have someone else read through your resume and cover letter.
Something I like to do is read through everything backward. I’ll start with the last sentence and work my way through the document in reverse. This helps me bypass the brains’ tendency to reorganize things into a coherent picture even if when it alters reality. Your ‘unconscious’ mind can and will present things to the conscious mind in a coherent and expected manner. This can result in our missing simple spelling and grammar mistakes.
Failure to appreciate your dream job
Make sure your resume is customized for every job. Don’t be in such a rush that you fool yourself into thinking the version you sent the last job is close enough. It’s NOT!
The resume you submit must highlight the qualifications that are most relevant to every job you apply to. It takes time to clearly align your skills with the job description. Take the time to do this and the hiring manager will see that you are a good fit.