Have you ever asked yourself if you are happy at work? if you are happy with your choice? I did it a million times and the answer to myself was “I am not. But it will improve, just give it some time”. Each time I had to learn rules how to be successful in the team and how to fit the culture. I was giving myself more and more excuses not to change jobs, not to be happy. Because of this, I started reading books, trying to understand how to play the game.
Just pause for a minute and think if you are happy at work...
Well, I was not happy once. I used to love my job, and I was always excited to take on new challenges. However at some point, happiness turned into stress. Each day I had more and more of it, accumulating over time. Turns out I am not alone.
By the statistics in Germany:
- 31% felt stressed yesterday;
- 24% felt tired or burned out yesterday;
- 22% reported that they have behaved poorly with their family or friends on three or more days in the past 30 days due to stress;
- 12% reported that they have had mental or emotional distress such as burnout, depression or anxiety disorders in the last 12 months.
Stress and burnout at work is a real problem. If someone would tell me about it a few years ago, I would not even understand what they were talking about. Unfortunately, by not recognising my level of stress, and thus taking no action, I learned a tough lesson.
Why do we always have to be happy at work? How to be happy? How to find a job which will inspire you?
People who are happy to come to work are more productive, they enjoy every day at work as much as they enjoy their free time. If you are happy at work, you are coming home and sharing your happiness with family and friends, which has a positive impact both on yourself, and the people around you.
How to find the job of your dream?
If you decided to be happy, follow me in this journey. One which I have experienced myself and will share with you.
Let’s get started, shall we?
First things first, what are we going to look for in our search for the job of your dreams?
If the primary goal is to find "a better job", then you might end up at a job, which is just better than your current one. Not better for you, not perfect, just a better job. The company could pay more money, maybe offer drinks, perhaps a free lunch every once in a while, etc. But what actually makes this job or company your "perfect match"? Remember, the question is how to find a job of your dreams? The key point is to stop looking for something that is just better than your past or current experiences. The idea is to find a job, which will inspire you, fulfil your needs, and will make you stronger and happier.
How do we usually decide which job is the best for us, which offer to take into consideration, which positions at which companies to apply to..? We make decisions based on our knowledge or based on knowledge of trusted sources: friends, google search, books, articles. We go to conferences to talk to people experienced in our preferred tech or non-tech field, where we would like to get a job. We do our research based on what we know, but it doesn’t really work quite well. Sometimes we have a biased feeling that a new job offer is better, but not quite good for us.
I offer you to take a challenge to become happy!
The key point is to analyse what makes you happy in life and what can make you happy at work, what motivates you every day.
There are multiple ways to do so:
S.I.M.P.L.E.—Start, Identify, Make-over, Plan, Look, and Execute In "Got My Dream Job and So Can You: 7 Steps to Creating Your Ideal Career After College" by Pete Leibman
20 steps to Your Dream Career "Creating a Pathway to Your Dream Career" by Tom Kucharvy
All of the techniques to find a dream job start from analysing yourself, your expectations, needs and of course plans for the future achievements.
I have developed an algorithm how to take a first step to action, how to analyse yourself.
Define the most important fields of interest in your dream job. For example: work life balance, support from management, technologies, team, culture, office, self development.
Describe what is important in each of these fields. For example if I would take technologies, then my preferred programming language would be Python, also the project should be interesting and bring innovation, the product should be authentic and I should believe into the whole idea which drives the company.
Think what would you like to achieve in 2 years for example and correct your notes accordingly.
There are two types of people (according to Radical Candor by Kim Scott):
Rock stars They are solid as rock, they love their job. They don’t want the next job if it will make them to go out of the comfort zone. They are the people you can most rely on. If their boss will promote them, it will definitely have bad impact. Rockstars really like what they are doing and what they are good at.
Superstars, they are on the contrary ambitious. They have to be challenged and given new opportunities to grow constantly. Would be also useful to recognise which type is yours: would you like to be a rockstar at your job and do damm good work, or to have a challenge and a promotion in the nearest future?
Analyse your key points in your dream job, write down questions to each point. For example, if I take a tech key point, which is very important for me. Then I would ask at a job interview:
- which version of Python are you using (could happen that company still has Python 2.x)?
- what is a current tech stack?
- to get some insights about authenticity of the product I would ask to give me an overview of the product and idea behind of it.
If you ask these questions multiple people at all stages of the interview process and they give the same answers, then it’s a good company to work with. They definitely know what they are doing.
Now you have a list of questions for the interview with a new company. It will be hard to find the company, which will perfectly fit to all your key points. But believe me it’s possible and it will turn your life into dream came true in all it’s aspects.
I wish you to find a job of your dream and to be happy!
Used sources and books to read
- Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action is a book by Simon Sinek
- Radical Candor: How to Get What You Want by Saying What You mean by Kim Scott
- Got My Dream Job and So Can You: 7 Steps to Creating Your Ideal Career After College by Pete Leibman
- Creating a Pathway to Your Dream Career by Tom Kucharvy
- Love your job by Kerry E. Hannon
- Big thanks to unsplash.com for all used photos.