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A career is far different from a job. The trick to success lies in understanding that difference, finding a career you love, and getting paid to work on your passion. It’s what a “dream job” is all about.
But it’s easier said than done.
The job hunt can be grueling and confusing, especially if you aren’t sure about what you want to do next. If you feel like you don’t want to be stuck doing your current job, you need to still figure out what you want to do instead. And then go through the arduous task of searching for career opportunities in that.
Well, here are a few ways to get started.
1. Figure It Out (Web): 8-Day Video Course to Find Your Passion
Every successful businessman has one thing in common: they love what they do. But those are also the lucky ones. As you probably know, it’s difficult to find what you are passionate about, and then figure out a job doing that. Scott Barlow, founder of Happen To Your Career, put together a video series to help you “Figure It Out”.
The eight-day course targets people who are unhappy or disinterested in what they do. The video series helps you identify your core skills and personality traits, and also your passions and interest. By the end of the course, you will figure out how to match these two to come up with the ideal job for you. That way, you will be making money while doing something you truly enjoy, and which uses work you are naturally built for.
You will get one new email every day with a video in it, as well as links and write-ups that can further guide you. If you feel like you can do much more than what you are right now, Figure It Out is the place to start.
2. 80,000 Hours (Web): Everything You Need, From Oxford Academics
You may have never done the math, but a few academics at Oxford University have. The magic figure of 80,000 Hours is how much time you’ll spend on your career: 40 hours a week, 50 weeks a year, for 40 years. Suddenly, it seems a lot more important to get your career right, doesn’t it?
The 80,000 Hours guide is a one-stop shop for everything you would need to know about figuring out your career path. It’s a non-profit organization in collaboration with Oxford academics. It asserts its independence and sincerity by not taking advertisements from recruiters or companies.
There are several ways to use 80,000 Hours, from reading articles on the site to watching a video series. The guide is primarily aimed at young professionals and newcomers in the job market, but most of the lessons are universal. In fact, if you’re looking to change your career mid-way, there is plenty of good advice here.
The process is best if you use the site’s Career Planning Tool while imbibing information.
3. 50 Ways to Get a Job (Web): The “If This Then That” of Job Search
A job search can be a stressful time. There are so many things to do, and so many things you shouldn’t do. And the internet is full of confusing advice. 50 Ways To Get A Job (50WTGAJ) streamlines your process.
It’s almost like a If-This-Then-That system. Start with nine options to identify which stage of the job search you are at: Starting, Finding My Purpose, Overwhelmed, Learning New Skills, Networking, Stuck, Applying for Jobs, Interviewing, Happy. Click what fits and follow the five or six steps within that section.
Each section summarizes the best advice on the internet, complete with links to further reading or tools. 50WTGAJ doesn’t rely only on one external site, and draws from LinkedIn posts, Harvard Business Review, NPR, and other resources. It’s a clear strategy of what you should do next, so that you can follow the process and not get immobilized trying to figure out next steps.
4. The Ultimate Job Search Guide (Web): A Recruiter Spills Her Secrets
For all the expert advice you will get from journalists and bloggers, you know that your fate ultimately lies in the hands of the Human Resources department. So The Daily Muse, one of the best websites for personal productivity, asked a professional recruiter to write what she looks for in a candidate.
The article is a start-to-end guide on what you should do at every step of a job hunt. It is helpfully broken down into sub-sections that you can jump to at any time, like how to write a dazzling cover letter or trick the applicant tracking system. The author goes beyond the hunt itself and even provides guidance on nailing the interview and salary negotiation.
It’s not earth-shattering advice, but having it all in one place helps to construct how you should approach this phase of your life. After all, the ideal goal is to do this just once and not have to think about it for years.
5. The Job Seeker’s Guide to the Galaxy (Ebook): Illustrated, Enjoyable, Free Ebook
You don’t always want your information online. Grab your Kindle or ebook reader, download a free copy of The Job Seeker’s Guide to the Galaxy, and read this wonderfully illustrated guide.
KickResume, a candidate for the best resume builder tools on the web, made this book as an accessible friend for those in the job market. The language used, the caricatures drawn, and the general feel of the book is light-hearted. It takes the stress out of job hunting, in some ways.
The book takes you through all the usual steps of finding a job. You’ll learn how to identify the right job or offer, craft your social media profiles, and prepare for an interview. There are even a few clever hacks and tips thrown in, for good measure. Share your email and they will deliver the ebook to your inbox in seconds.
Download — The Job Seeker’s Guide to the Galaxy (PDF, MOBI, EPUB)
Are You Happy at Your Job?
Looking through the respondents to the tools and sites above, an alarming number of people claim they aren’t happy at their job. Even more fall in the category of “not unhappy, but…” — people who clearly wish they were doing something else.
It makes us wonder, are you happy at your job? What would you rather be doing instead? Do the above tools seem like they can help?
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