The 5-Step Guide To Finding A Job You Actually Love—Without Going Broke

Because not everyone HATES their job.

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Image: The Devil Wears Prada

The way you feel about coming back to work after a long holiday or break can be pretty telling. If you wake up on Monday morning feeling revived, newly inspired, and even a little excited to get back to the office, you’re probably on the right track. Spent your entire vacation with a massive case of the Sunday scaries? It might be time to dust off your resume.

The idea of leaving an old job, even if it’s one that you don’t really like, can be pretty intimidating—especially if you’re not sure what to do next. Here’s how to find and nab you next dream gig, so you never have to deal with the Sunday scaries again!

How To Find A Job You Love In 2017

1Get clear on what you want to do 

There’s a reason you’re looking for a new job—there are things that you don’t like about your current career situation. Whether you’re interested in bumping up your salary, working in an industry you’re passionate about, or just shortening your commute (hey, totally valid!) acknowledge the reason you want to leave. 

Then, decide what you want from your next gig. Want to make more money? Decide exactly how much you’d like your paycheck to be. Interested in working for a company that shares your values? Define your top three most important values and seek out corporations that align with your views. Don’t want to commute anymore? Consider taking a job that allows you to work from home. 

Take a few days to really meditate on what it is you want out of your job. Try to look past what you think you should do, or what societal expectations might encourage you to take on. Instead, think about what you need out of your job to wake up to feel excitement—or at least not dread—about going to work every day.

2Start saving, if necessary 

Related article: 5 financial tips every successful woman follows

Unless your current job causes serious emotional distress, it’s best to wait until you’ve got a new position lined up before you give your notice. This way you won’t have to dip into your savings. But if you’re transitioning to a freelance job or considering taking on a role that you know you’ll love, but pays less than your current role, you need to start saving. Financially, it’s relatively safe to save at least three months worth of living expenses if you’re making a big career change. 

3Update your public profile and resume

Take a discerning look at all of your public profiles—not just LinkedIn. It’s so easy to get private, personal information these days, and your digital persona might not come off as professional and polished as you might like. Either edit your channels, or simply make your accounts private; you can always change the privacy settings back once you’ve secured your dream job. 

Of course, update your resume with your latest role and responsibilities … and spell check at least three times! Need ideas on how to create a great C.V.? Online tools like canva.com can help you design a really beautiful resume that’ll stand out from the crowd. 

4Follow the companies that you really love 

You’re probably already following a company or two that you admire because of their brand identity, vision, or ethics. Even if they don’t specialise in what you “do,” the odds are good that there’s probably a role that’d suit you. For example, you might love the philosophy of the outdoor apparel and gear company Patagonia—but you’re not a professional mountain climber or outdoorswoman.  Thankfully, every company needs a versatile workforce to run its business! Accountants, editors, marketing managers, human resources—there’s a job for pretty much every skill set, and it’s just a matter of applying for the job when the role becomes available. 

Usually, mid-size or large companies send an e-blast out to their email list serve when positions open up, so sign up to a few lists to keep tabs on companies you care about. 

5Ask for a meeting

As cringe-worthy as it may sound, sending a cold email and asking for a meeting can be one of the best ways to learn more about a potential future role. Best practice is to send a short, pleasant note detailing that you’re interested in learning more about the company and would love to get some expert advice from the person you’re emailing. They’ll likely be flattered you’re reaching out and be super stoked to chat with you. Getting face time with a current employee can clue you in on the good, bad, and ugly of the company you’re interested in—and if you hit it off, they can put in a good word for you in the future.

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