How to Find the Right Job for You and Your Capabilities

Do you feel like your current job doesn’t take advantage of your skills? How can you find the right job for you?

It can be hard finding the perfect job, but Winning by Jack Welch says this shouldn’t be your priority. Instead, you need a job that best suits your needs and capabilities.

Discover how to find the right job for you, and what to look for in a position.

Finding the Right Job

Welch claims that knowing how to find the right job for you can only be done through trial and error. There is simply no way of knowing how much you’ll like a job, or how good you’ll be at it, until you try it out. Furthermore, it’s important to understand that no job is perfect and there will always be things you don’t like about it.

(Shortform note: In What Color Is Your Parachute, Richard Bolles argues that job hunting is about learning who you are and what you want to do with your life. Though you may not know if a job is truly right for you until you try it, Bolles provides some tips on how to find a job that matches your identity and life goals. He recommends the flower exercise, in which you look at yourself from different angles such as compatibility with people, skills, purpose, and knowledge. Having a better understanding of yourself will provide clarity on what you want to do with your life.) 

That said, there are things to look for that can help you determine if a job is the right fit:

People: Perhaps the most important part of any job is the people you work with. Welch claims that no matter how much you enjoy the work or how much money you make, you’ll be miserable if you don’t enjoy being around your coworkers. Pay careful attention to whether the organization and the people within it share your general attitude toward work and life. If you find early on that the people you work with aren’t “your kind of people,” it may be better to cut your losses and search for another job. 

(Shortform note: Though you want to have a job with coworkers you like, quitting may not be a valid option, and even when you like most of your coworkers, it’s likely there will be one or two who you don’t get along with. Here is some expert advice on dealing with difficult coworkers: 1) Recognize your triggers: Acknowledge the things your coworker does that bother you so you can respond better to them. 2) Understand your differences: Knowing that you and a coworker have different priorities and approaches to work (and that that’s OK) can help you be more accepting of them. 3) Offer help: Offering help or advice to a difficult coworker can improve your relationship and might change your perspective on them.) 

Opportunities: Welch argues that a job should provide you with opportunities both while you’re working there and after you leave it. By that he means that a job should help you grow as a person and learn new things while also giving you the credentials to further your career elsewhere if you choose to do so. Finding a job that challenges you is important because learning and growing keeps you motivated and mentally sharp. And a job that gives you credentials gives you options if your priorities change.

(Shortform note: Experts note that today’s career paths require more individual intention in order to build skills and find growth opportunities. There are so many career options, and so many skills that may boost your opportunities, that it can be difficult to know when to seek out new employment. There are some signs, however, that may indicate it’s time for a new job: 1) You aren’t learning. If you feel your job is too easy, it’s probably time to get out. 2) There’s no opportunity for career advancement. If you feel you can’t get a raise or promotion at your current job, you should seek out one in which you can. 3) You want to try something new. Sometimes, you just get tired of doing the same things and need to shake things up.)

Joy and meaning of the work: Though a job with the right people and opportunities is important, the work itself must also bring you happiness and meaning. Welch claims that if you find yourself making excuses for having a job, like that the money is too good to pass up, it may be better to find something else. He also says you don’t need to think too hard about whether you’re passionate about the work—when you find a job you’re truly passionate about, you’ll know.

(Shortform note: In So Good They Can’t Ignore You, Cal Newport agrees with Welch—you shouldn’t think too hard about finding a job you’re passionate about. He says that the popular notion that you should find a job based on a pre-existing passion is flawed. He claims that you’re more likely to find happiness and meaning in jobs in which you feel competent and have autonomy and that most people who love their jobs don’t get them by following their passions. Therefore, Newport argues that you should focus primarily on improving your skills, as this will increase your feeling of competence and will give you more autonomy in your career and your life.)

How to Find the Right Job for You and Your Capabilities

Katie Doll

Somehow, Katie was able to pull off her childhood dream of creating a career around books after graduating with a degree in English and a concentration in Creative Writing. Her preferred genre of books has changed drastically over the years, from fantasy/dystopian young-adult to moving novels and non-fiction books on the human experience. Katie especially enjoys reading and writing about all things television, good and bad.

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