I was talking with my sister the other day about her upcoming move from Florida to Boston. When I asked her about her job search she explained that that she kept putting the job search on hold because she felt so overwhelmed. Miss Type A that I am, I wanted to know why. She responded, “Because I don’t know what I want to do.”
As in for the rest of her life.
My gosh friends, who does. That is not a career commitment anyone can get behind and seriously, how daunting.
If you are at a crossroads like my sister Maddy is right now, stop asking yourself that magnanimous question. Stop it!
I told Maddy, who is a 20 something at the start of her career, to instead ask herself,
“What can I do to pay my bills when I get to Boston?” And then as an addition, “What will I do to pay my bills when I get to Boston–that I will enjoy?”
Maybe you are at a completely different place in your life than Maddy. Maybe you are in the exact opposite place in fact. Maybe you are a mom who has stayed home for the past ten years and this coming fall your youngest will be going to school full-time. You may not need the money and instead you are looking to do something that is just yours. You know you can’t go back to the 60 hour weeks that you had pre-children, so you too may very well may be asking yourself that same age old question,
“What do I want to do for the rest of my life?”
Ask yourself some basic questions, “How many hours do I want to work? What time do I need/want to be home? What is the goal of the work I am seeking?”
Now whether you are a 20 something on the brink of your career or a 40 something searching for a part-time job or somewhere in between here are some suggestions for you.
Ask yourself these questions (without over analyzing).
What am I truly interested in? What brings me joy?
Now jot down two to three things you came up with.
Now pull open a job search engine, like Indeed.com and start typing in key words that relate to your interests. There are so many jobs out there that you never even know existed! Be sure to think about each of your interests in various ways so you could put travel into the search bar or you could put the name of your favorite hotel chain, like Marriott. You could search various key words children and kids. Once you start scrolling through the jobs, notice which ones stand out to you-whether they fit your skill set or requirements perfectly or not. Getting ideas will give you a foundation from where to begin. For example Maddy stumbled upon a job that was working with an organization that helps high school students from other countries studying in the U.S. by supporting the families and the students. Children and travel related together! She can now flag that organization to see what jobs they continue to role out, or she can send her resume to that particular job. The idea is that you start getting ideas of everything that is out there that peaks your interest.
If you are have a particular field that you are interested in, be sure to look on field specific sites as well. Idealist is an amazing site with non-profit jobs that span a variety of organizations. If you are interested in working at a college or university HigherEdJobs has positions from administrative roles to professors. If you are interested in working in hospitality try HCareers. If you can dream it, chances are there is a site for it!
I also encourage you as you stand at this crossroads to:
1.) Keep your eyes and ears out. Do you always feel completely at peace in the boutique down the street? Have you been passionate about the fitness program you are on? Where are the places that you feel drawn to and could you make those places a home? Do you know someone who has a job you admire?
2.) Keep a notebook or a journal. As you see jobs that excite you, write down the organizations, or jot down the job the titles down in your notebook. Also, use journaling for stream of consciousness. For example: “I want to work in the field of healthcare where I can help others in a part-time role.”
Now it’s time to move. Just start sending your resume and responding to jobs. Going into those favorite places and asking if they are hiring. The worst thing you can do is get hung up on finding the perfect job or making sure your resume is to die for. I love what my favorite blogger Jenna Kutcher says, “Better done than perfect.” This is so true!
Also, I love the “question test” that I ask in any major life move…
First ask, What’s the worst that could happen?
And then ask, “And then what?”
You take a job and you end up absolutely hating it. So you quit and get another job and start over. Sometimes what we learn on our journey is what we don’t want to do and that is okay. I promise you that every step along the way you will learn and you will grow.
Now stop reading this and go do it.
Whoever you are, wherever you are, you got this!