Finding the right job is a lot like finding the right partner/soul mate/etc. It takes time and patience to land the job that is a perfect combination of what you’re looking for. It means finding what’s relevant and engaging, consists of what you’re good at doing, and hits all the marks you have on your checklist. Sometimes this takes years to find, sometimes it’s a job you have to create for yourself, and sometimes people never find this kind of career fulfillment. But, if you are tenacious, ambitious, hard-working, and patient I truly believe that it’s possible for everyone to land a job that builds them up and makes them happy. It might take sacrifice, and it definitely means taking a hard look at yourself and accessing your strengths and flaws.
After speaking with a number of professionals in their mid-twenties and early 30s, these are the signs they say will let you know you found your “dream” job — or at least the closest thing to it. Check them out below!
The company’s values align with your own.
It’s essential for a person to work at a company whose core values align with their own. At my old job, our core values were written in huge lettering on the wall near my desk. I would read them often and always nodded my head (ever so slightly) as I walked by. If you don’t feel as if you could defend your company or stand behind what you and your larger team is doing, chances are you’re going to feel tension at some point down the road. Company values permeate every aspect of our lives and inform important parts of a job such as vacation time, maternity leave, work-life balance, and the overall health of your team. If going into the office each day feels like a challenge because you don’t ethically align with what your company practices, you might feel forced to move on to something else that allows you to sleep better at night.
You have mentors and people around you who want you to do well.
If you’re at a job that you truly feel connected to, chances are it can be attributed to you having a support system, mentors, and/or senior staff who genuinely feel invested in you. Being surrounded by people who want you to do well (and not hold you back) promotes creativity, fulfillment, engagement, and positivity. At my old job, I had mentors set for me as soon as I began working. It made all the difference during those first three years out of college working in the professional world. Anyone who has worked for a cut throat industry knows that the stress and toxicity of an atmosphere like that is detrimental to your growth. It makes concentrating difficult, and makes your time spent at the office feel shitty. Finding a job where you fit in and feel as if you are genuinely being pushed to be the best version of yourself is a must-have requirement for any “dream” job.
You’re offered opportunities for growth and professional development.
One of the most important aspects of knowing you found the job that’s right for you is being challenged by the goals, tasks, and timelines your supervisor lays out for you. You want to feel inspired to tackle new challenges that arise with the job and not get stuck in a rut. When you don’t feel inspired to work toward a larger goal or objective, work can become monotonous and boring. It’s essential to keep yourself moving forward and stay up-to-date with the latest trends, research, design, etc. You know you’ve landed a job at the right company when they value you enough to provide you with the tools and resources to make that a possibility.
You feel moved by the work you’re doing.
Obviously the age-old adage “you should feel ~eXcItEd~ when you get out of bed each morning” feels stale and hollow as hell. No matter what job I’m working there are bound to be days where idgaf. However, the most you can ask for is that you feel an overall sense of happiness when you think about the work you do day in and day out. When you’re working a job that you enjoy and feel moved by you feel implicated in the daily happenings of office life in a way that you might not feel otherwise. This results from truly caring for and believing in the work you do. You should feel affected by the ups and downs of your job — not passive or indifferent. You know you’ve found the right job when you’re working on projects that you want to pour yourself into — jobs that you feel for.
You’re willing to suffer/put overtime in for it.
When you find the job that you truly love and feel invested in you’re going to feel compelled to make certain sacrifices for it, because you know it’s a good gig. Whether it’s losing an hour or two of sleep because you have to get in early, or do weekend work that sets a project above the rest, or physically move someplace, you’ll find yourself willing to make those sacrifices. It’s easy to identify whether or not you feel satisfied with your current job if making those tough choices between work and life doesn’t immediately feel like an absurd question — it will feel natural to accommodate work in your personal life and vice versa. That’s how you know you’ve found a job that you truly care about.
You can picture it in your (somewhat) distant future.
This is an important aspect of any job — can you see yourself doing what you do in the (somewhat) long term. If you’ve really landed a job that you can see being a part of your life for more than a year or two down the road, you’ll find yourself wondering what life will be like when you hit certain milestones while you’re still employed there. If you find yourself inquiring about maternity leave, how long it takes to be promoted to X position, salary tracks for positions available to you, you know that the relationship is ~serious~. You’ll work to figure out ways to navigate life in tandem with the current career path you’re on.
Take the time you need to figure out what type of job utilizes your skill set best and adheres to your personal beliefs, values, and personality. Whether it’s a 10-year-long career track at an agency, or two years spent at a company you can squeeze the most experience out of, these tips will help you figure out when you have it good, and why remaining in place matters.
Image via Unsplash