Career change, layoff, reduction in force, job discontinuance; call it what you like, but the job
of finding a job might be the most difficult and at times the most frightening thing to face. Just
think of this as a challenging time in your life. It is a wonderful opportunity when you can make
changes by identifying the perfect job for you.
One strategy that my clients have used is to discover what they love to do. Employers are going to
hire the best person that matches exactly what skills they need to get the job done. You need to
be very clear about what you love to do and what you do best. Then you will be ready to convince
your potential employer that you are the best person for the job.
First, identify those things that you loved to do when you were young. Go back to those years
before your teen years and think of all the different activities that you tried. Some of those
pursuits were things that you weren’t especially crazy about doing while other things made you
very happy to be involved in that activity. For example, you may have enjoyed organizing a
stamp collection, which leads you to look into learning more about jobs where you could catalogue
items. Or perhaps you were the one to organize all the neighborhood kids into putting on a talent
show. These skills are used to organize a job fair or convention. It also indicates that you may
like to work with people.
Second, look at every job you have had as a teenager and adult. List every activity that you
performed while doing those jobs. Then categorize all of them into “things you loved doing,”
“things you enjoyed but didn’t get a lot of pleasure out of doing,” and “things you never want
to do again.”
Look over all these lists and identify any similarities to what you enjoyed when young and those
things you enjoy doing in your work. This will help you become very clear about your strengths.
Explore the skills used when doing activities you enjoy.
It is hard to make the leap from what you like to do and knowing which jobs involve what you like
to do. To help you determine this, meet with three people who are doing the things that you love
to do. Find out all you can about their work and their employer. It’s been my experience that
people will love to tell you all about their work and are willing to share information and ideas
that they think are the best in the world. When you are not able to take this step to call someone,
ask yourself what you fear. It could be fear of rejection or feeling inadequate. The worst thing
that could happen would be that someone might refuse to meet with you. If that happens, go on to
the next person. Chances are, though, they will be more than willing to spend time with you.
Remember, people love to talk about themselves. Go to your meeting with them prepared with ideas
of what you want to learn. Write a list of possible questions you would like to ask. You may get
referrals to other people or even potential employers.
By becoming very clear about what you love to do, you will be able to communicate that to your
potential employer with passion and conviction. Employers want to hire people who are enthusiastic
about what they like to do.
Carol Naff is a Professional Life Coach. For more information, call 303.337.4394 or email her at
firstname.lastname@example.org. The Denver Coach Federation is another good resource to learn about
coaching at www.denvercoach.com.
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