“When I grow up, I want to... *crickets.*” This is one of the hardest questions to answer. It seems like no one is working in the field they earned their degree in anymore. Who knows how long a career in a certain field will even last? With all the positions you’ve held, what has your career path even been? And how do you find the job you really want?
It starts with knowing what you like.
Take a sheet of paper and draw a vertical line down the middle. For every single position, write the things you liked in the column on the left, and write the things you did not want to keep doing in the column on the right. Aim for two or more bullet points on each side for each position. I recommend you focus on the job itself, although coworkers and your boss likely played a large role in your enjoyment of the position.
Now that you know what you like...
Use this list to craft your resume. Each of your bullet points on your resume should focus on the aspects of the position that you liked. Make sure you exclude or minimize the things you did not want to keep doing, because it won’t bring you fulfillment to keep doing them. (You may still have to do them, but you don’t want that to be your focus.)
Is there a position open that you can think of that contains any, most, or all the aspects you liked? Or can you find one after a quick job board search? Great, go get it! You know exactly what to apply for. That was easy.
For the rest of us...
Pass your resume around, and go talk to people.
When you pass on your resume to hiring managers, they will have a good idea of what jobs would be good for you and what positions are open. I found my second position that way.
Feel free to work with recruiters, who will certainly have plenty of people to pass your resume along to.
When you network, bring up the things you like. Ask about positions that are opening up in your area of interest. Talk about opportunities. Don’t be afraid to talk to managers about their experiences and how they ended up where they are.
You never know where you’ll end up as long as you are open to new opportunities. Worst case, you land somewhere you aren’t happy with, and you start your search over.
You’ll know you found a job you really want when...
It doesn’t feel like work. There are almost always some aspects of a job that you won’t enjoy, but that’s why you are paid to do it.