If you’re on the hunt for a job or changing your current one, you’re probably dealing with some uncertainty and doubt. It takes time to choose wisely, and it takes courage to make the leap.
But you can make things easier. Follow our simple tips to help you gain a better understanding of yourself and the jobs that suit you.
Look at your past jobs
Think back to previous jobs you held, and decide honestly what you really liked and didn't like about them. Landscape gardening might have been sweaty, but it might have felt great not to be stuck indoors all day. Call centre jobs might have meant sitting at a desk, but it might have been rewarding to interact with people and solve their problems.
Experience isn't just a list of things on your CV – it can be a useful tool for helping you decide what you want from your ideal job.
Assess your skills
Don't just think about the skills that employers are looking for: think about which of your skills you want to put to use on a daily basis. You might be a naturally gifted mathematician, but that doesn't mean you'll fall in love with an accounting job.
What am I good at that other people usually aren't good at?
Which of my skills (expert or otherwise) do I really enjoy putting to use?
If every job paid the same wage, which skills would I like to get paid to develop?
And after that, you can start to think about which of your favourite or advanced skills would be of value to an employer.
Don't worry about titles
You might think that you'd like to introduce yourself at parties as a ‘financial analyst’ or an ‘events co-ordinator’, but that doesn't mean the daily grind of those roles is going to excite you.
Instead, make a list of desirable elements of a job – such as working with numbers, influencing people, and solving problems. You might be surprised to find out that a combination of these elements fits a role you hadn't previously considered. For example, the three elements just listed could be a match for a number of different insurance jobs.
Talk to real people
Scouring the internet and trawling through job listings might give you a good idea of what's out there – but they won't give you a clear idea of how it feels to work in those positions.
Find someone who's already doing a job that sounds interesting to you, and let them explain what it's really like. Job adverts won't tell you about the boring parts – or the stressful ones.
If you're lucky, the person might even let you join them at work for a day, so you can get a first-hand sense of what that role could be like in real life.
It's quite rare for someone to find that the reality of a job completely matched their expectations. Until you give something a go, you probably won't know what it's actually like.
So don't be afraid to say ‘Yes’. There's no guarantee that you'll land your dream job first time, but at the very least it should help you get closer to knowing which jobs will suit you.
And while you're looking, you might like to find out more about the kinds of Direct Line Group Jobs we offer here