If you're on the lookout this Valentine's Day, you might enrich your life by also keeping your options open for a new job opportunity.
Like a good relationship, a new career can be fun, rewarding and even a source of inspiration. But just as you don’t expect to find true love by tapping a stranger on the shoulder on Valentine’s Day, it pays to think carefully about how to find a job you love.
Check out our eight tips on what to do in 2017, and what to look for, to find the role that makes your heart beat a little faster.
1. Share the love through networking
No one ever found romance by sitting at home waiting for Mr (or Miss) Right to come knocking. Finding your heart’s desire involves getting out and meeting people. It’s the same with landing a dream job. Networking among peers and colleagues can be a powerful force because companies often like to hire based on personal referrals. In fact research by LinkedIn found 85% of all jobs are filled through personal networking.
Successful networking hinges on giving rather than just taking, so make a point of forming relationships that are mutually beneficial, and stay in touch. Organise regular get-togethers over coffee, invite the people in your network to professional events, or suggest they join you at trade fairs.
2. Build a personal brand
A Valentine’s Day date is likely to see you take a little extra care with your appearance. If you’re thinking about how to find a job you love, take the time to polish up the avenues where you brand yourself – and that includes carefully managing your social media messages via Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn by removing anything unprofessional or changing your privacy settings.
Build a name for yourself within your industry by raising a hand to contribute to white papers or be a speaker at industry conferences. Create a highly visible brand personal brand too with up to date business cards and a distinctive, professional CV.
3. Look for companies you share a connection with
Opposites may attract, but couples whose relationship survives the long term often share similar values. A similar connection can make a valuable difference in the workplace. Research by Cornell University found one of the most important dimensions of job satisfaction is how you feel about what your company does.
Sure, not every job will involve saving lives, rescuing endangered species or enhancing world peace. But if you can find an employer whose values you believe in, chances are you’ll arrive home from work each day knowing you’ve made a positive impact. Develop a shortlist of companies you admire, or industries you would like to work in, and discuss opportunities with a recruitment expert. It may be that your skill set needs to be updated to be relevant, but it’s a worthwhile investment if it opens the door to a job you love.
4. Look for a role that highlights your traits
Your perfect valentine is likely to share the same interests or hobbies as you. And when it comes to knowing how to find a job you love, look for a role that truly puts your soft skills, qualifications and experience to good use.
An OECD report found almost 40% of Australian workers feel they are over-qualified for their job – one of the highest rates of skill mismatch among OECD nations. This matters because a disconnect between your skills and what you do on a day to day basis can be a source of frustration, and that could see you hunting around for a different role before too long.
5. Don’t let money be a divisive wedge
Tensions over money can be a source of conflict between couples. It can also cause a wedge between you and your job.
Research by Robert Half shows that a desire for higher remuneration is of the main reasons why employees leave a job. So being familiar with current market salaries is a key step in knowing how to find a job you love. Salary guides are useful way to understand current rates of pay for your industry.
However, money shouldn’t always be your main driver. In his book Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience, psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi says one of the most deeply satisfying states is called “flow.” It’s when you’re doing something you love so much you completely lose track of time. If you can land a role where you can enjoy periods of flow, your salary may become less important than job satisfaction.
6. How to find a job you love? Look for work-life balance
Anyone who has been in a lasting relationship knows one of the keys to success is give and take. When it comes to understanding how to find a job you love, a pivotal consideration should be work-life balance.
A study by The Australia Institute found the balance between work and life has worsened for 4.9 million Australians (42% of workers) over the past five years. That makes it worth looking for employers who promote work-life balance with opportunities for flexible work arrangements or telecommuting.
7. Rekindle your career romance
The honeymoon phase of coupledom doesn’t last forever but couples who try new things together can keep the spark alive. If you’re in a rut with your current job, the solution may not be to move on, but rather to shake up the routine.
Research by the State University of New York found new experiences can activate our brain’s reward system, flooding it with the feel-good chemical dopamine. With this in mind, raise your hand to take on challenging assignments, attend training and development courses, or even mentor junior staff. It could rekindle passion for your job.
8. Build and maintain relationships with recruiters
Professional recruiters are career matchmakers, who can provide expert advice on how to find a job you love. From help drafting a professional CV to interview tips, and of course, exclusive job opportunities, it makes good sense to form a working relationship with a recruitment specialist. It could be the critical step to landing a role that you’ve always wanted.