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In deciding what you want to do with your life, or what you want to do next with your life, there are only three questions to ask yourself: WHAT, WHERE, and HOW.
1. WHAT do you most love to do?
2. WHERE would you most love to do it? and
3. HOW do you name such jobs, and how do you find such jobs?
That word Love is important. You want to look for your passions (what you'd most love to do), rather than just your competencies (what you can do). In my 44 years of experience in this field, I have found this is terribly important. Oh, some "experts" will claim that it's hard enough to find any work during this long slow U.S. recovery from the 2008 Recession, so this is no time to be picky. Don't believe them. It's always time to be picky. Here are five reasons why:
1. In this imperfect world, odds are you'll only find part—not all—of what you're looking for, at least in the beginning. So if you aim for all of your dream, and at first find only half of your target, good news: you've found 50% of your dream job, right off. On the other hand if, out of fear, or the desire "to be realistic", from the beginning you aim for only half of your dream, and end up with half of that, you've found only 25% of your dream.
2. If your job-hunt drags on, as is the case more often since the 2008 Recession, you need something that will keep you at it! Pursuing what you'd most love to do will give you the determination to keep on going with your job-hunt or career-change, even during rough patches. "If I get this, or even something close to this, it will all be worth it."
3. If your job-hunt drags on, you need to replenish your energy along the way. Pursuing what you'd most love to do will give you the energy to keep on going, even during rough patches. (Notice, in other situations, when you're talking to a loved one, and you get on some topic you're enthusiastic about, how your energy level rises. You feel renewed. So, here.)
4. You need another way to find organizations than just waiting for them to announce a vacancy. If you first identify what you'd love most to do, it's relatively easy then to identify and research places that might have such jobs. And you can then approach them through your contacts, before they ever announce their next vacancy.
5. Once you get a job interview at places of your choice, you need to stand out from the other (say) nineteen people they're interviewing there. It is the enthusiastic job-seekee rather than the one who can just do the job, that stands out in any interviewing process. If it's your whole dream you're after, you will be enthusiastic, without even trying, because you're about to get closer to your dream. Not so enthusiastic, if it's only one quarter of your dream.