It’s a question that dogs most everyone when applying for a new job: How am I supposed to know whether this is the right job for me?
Of course, you could simply apply for the job, see if you get hired, and know for sure whether or not you actually enjoy the gig once you’ve been hired. But this is a huge gamble; if you don’t enjoy it, you’ve wasted a ton of time, money, and energy – and will have to start from scratch all over again.
So, rather than apply a trial-and-error approach to your job search, the best course of action is to take a step back and assess the situation from a number of angles.
When deciding whether or not to apply to a certain job – or to pursue a specific career – consider the following.
How To Decide If You’ll Like a Job
What are You Passionate About?
Perhaps the best way to think about this question is to determine what you’d do with your life if money wasn’t an issue.
More specifically, you’d want to answer the following question with either a “yes” or a “no”: If money wasn’t an issue, would I do the job in question for free?
(Note: Of course, for most of us, money is an issue. That said, your answer to this question is only part of your overall answer to the much larger question of whether or not to apply to a certain job.)
Essentially, if there’s any part of you that answers “yes” to this question, then you certainly want to consider applying for the job. On the other hand, if your answer is a resounding “no,” then you definitely want to look for a different way to make a living.
In considering what you’re passionate about, for the time being don’t let reality get in the way of your brainstorming (there’ll be time for that, later). For now, think about what you would do every day for the rest of your life if you had no other responsibilities. If any of that applies to the job at hand, you should definitely take a closer look at the position.
What Motivates You?
Motivation is a bit different than passion, but it certainly overlaps a bit.
As each of us has our own unique motivators for what gets us up in the morning, a list of examples of such would be rather inexhaustible. Still, when thinking about motivation in terms of your professional life, a few commonalities abound:
- Professional advancement
- Work-life balance
- Family time
- Making a difference in the world
- Making as much money as possible
Needless to say, most (if not all) jobs and careers are going to require you to pick one – maybe two – of such motivating factors, and sacrifice the rest.
That said, if you’re truly motivated by what you believe you’re motivated by, it won’t hurt one bit to sacrifice the rest.
Find a Realistic Intersection
As we said, when considering whether you’ll “like” your next job, there’s a time to dream, and a time to get real.
The simple fact is, you’re probably not going to love every single aspect of your job, every single day of your life. As with everything else in life, there will be ups and downs along your journey.
The main question to ask yourself in this regard, then, is:
Will my best days on the job be worth going through the worst possible days?
As we alluded to, all jobs have their downsides. Before applying to any given position, take the time to weigh out the pros and cons as realistically as possible. If you’re still looking forward to your first day on the job after doing so, start getting your resume in order.
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