A surprising 48 per cent of Singaporeans state they are not happy in their current job. Are you one of them? Do you find yourself counting down the seconds until the end of the work day? Do you feel sick at the thought of going to the office? Or come Sunday night, do you feel a mounting sense of dread as you anticipate the arrival of Monday? If these are feelings you can readily identify with, then chances are, it’s time to move on and find a job that motivates you. After all, you are going to be spending at least a third of your life at it, so you may as well enjoy it!
Get to understand yourself
Whether you’re just starting out or right smack in the middle of your career, finding the right career requires a little more time, effort and self-reflection. Do I like what I do? Am I paid enough? How far can I go in this company? Such questions are normal and need to be considered as you start to map out a plan to find the perfect career for you.
Think back on the past: what did you enjoy or excel in? Then make a list. Consider also your own personality. But be honest with yourself. If you’re an introvert, then trying to score a job in event planning, which involves interacting with a different group of people every day, is guaranteed to lead you to grief!
If you’re at a career crossroads, it’s good to lay out your objectives. Are you looking to earn a higher salary? Or do you wish to pursue a life-long ambition? Answers to such questions will determine what your next steps should be.
Break out of your bubble
If you’ve just graduated and can afford it, take time off to travel and gain some world experience – always a winner with your potential boss. It’s worth the time and money invested rather than grabbing onto any available job that you come across right after graduation if you’re not sure of what you want to do. Travelling will help you break out of your comfort zone, force you to think on your feet and interact effectively with strangers – all career skills that will stand you in good stead when you finally land that dream job. If you are thinking of a career switch, perhaps you are in need of some new skills. Volunteering is a great way to gain practical skills and expand your circle of acquaintances, and you’ll be helping people out at the same time – a win-win for all involved.
Tap on your network
Spread the word among your family and friends. If you have a contact working in an industry or company that you’re interested in, there’s no reason not to ask him or her to keep a lookout for an opening or a new career opportunity.
Do your homework
If you’re looking for a career transition or to explore a totally new industry, then it pays to do some serious career research. Scour the Internet, talk to your friends and family, try to connect with a real-life professional who’s in the industry you’re keen on and explore the professional associations. Chart out concrete available career paths that you can embark on. The majority of careers require some form of education qualifications so don’t rule out going back to school or undergoing an apprenticeship.
Take some time to do a bit of self-reflection and try out these tips. You’ll soon figure out what your ideal career is, and landing the right job will then just be a matter of time.