How to Find the Right Job for You

Whether you’re searching for your first job, returning to work after a break or thinking about changing careers, it can be tricky to find a job that fits your needs and interests. A good place to start is brainstorming your strengths, skills and passions. 

Talking with an employment consultant can also help you discover opportunities that match up with what you want from work. In Australia, there are a number of government-funded programs that can help you with career planning, job searching and thriving in the workplace. 

Here are 7 tips for finding the right job:

1. Brainstorm your strengths and skills

Taking time to understand your strengths and skills can help you narrow down your job search. Don’t just consider the skills and strengths you’ve gained from study or work. Also consider the skills you’ve gained through life experience, volunteer positions and hobbies.

Ask yourself:

  • What am I good at doing?
  • What comes naturally to me?
  • What do I love doing?
  • When do I feel most productive?
  • What do other people think are my strengths?
  • What feedback have I received from teachers, employers or colleagues in the past?

It’s also important to think about the skills you might need for particular jobs you’re interested in. Will you need to do further study? Will you need to get a qualification or licence? Or will you need to gain experience?

2. Consider the work environment

Knowing what types of work environments you work best in can help you search for jobs that match your needs.

Think about factors such as:

  • Pace – do you thrive in quick, fast paced environments with a lot of activity? Or does a calm, slow environment help you feel more in control and productive?
  • Size – do you enjoy working with lots of people and being part of a big team? Or would you prefer working at a local business with a smaller team? 
  • Flexibility – do you work best with structure and routine? Or do you feel most comfortable with lots of flexibility and variety?
  • Social interaction – do you feel energised and inspired by working with other people? Or do you prefer working on your own?

It can be helpful to think about the past jobs or work experiences you’ve had. Consider what types of environments helped you feel confident and productive. And what environments weren’t as good for you.

3. Speak to an employment consultant

An employment consultant is a professional who can help you think through what kinds of jobs and workplaces would be a good fit for you. Before making suggestions, an employment consultant will get to know your unique set of skills, strengths, goals and limitations. 

Talking with an employment consultant can help you discover job opportunities you might not have considered before. They can also help you plan short and long term steps towards your employment goals. Employment consultants often have connections to local employers which means they can put you in touch with work experience opportunities if you need them.

Many employment consultants can help you with writing your resume to impress potential employers. They can also give you tips on searching for work, filling out job applications and succeeding in job interviews. Having this support can help you feel more confident each step towards finding the right job.

4. Research different job types

If you’re interested in a particular job, it’s a good idea to research what the job involves day to day. Reading articles online is a good place to start. For inspiration about what jobs might be a good fit, try reading blog posts like Fulfilling jobs for people with anxiety and The best jobs for people with immunodeficiency.  

Talking to other people already working in the industry can give you a better idea of what’s involved. They might even let you shadow them at work for a day. You can also try doing some volunteer work or work experience to see if a particular job is a good fit for you.

5. Think long term

You might not be able to get into your dream job straight away, especially if you don’t have the experience yet. But you can work your way there. When thinking about what jobs are right for you, it helps to think about your long term goals.

Consider where a job can take you. What skills will you learn in the role? What networking opportunities will it give you? Is there room for growth and promotion over time?

It can be helpful to write down your 5 and 10 year goals. Think about where you want to be in life and what lifestyle you want to have. This can help you make more informed decisions about what to do with your career now.

6. Get tailored support

Finding the right job isn’t always easy. If you need help, there are a number of government-funded employment programs in Australia where you can get one-on-one support.

These include:

  • Disability Employment Services – provides help getting a job for people with a disability, illness or injury. Services include career planning, resume writing, interview preparation and accessing workplace accommodations. If you’re finding it hard to cope in your current role, Disability Employment Services can help you access work adjustments and financial support.
  • Workforce Australia – provides support for people looking for work. You can access online resources and self managed tools or tailored one-on-one support, depending on your needs.

To access programs like Disability Employment Services and Workforce Australia, you can ask for a referral through Centrelink or contact a local provider directly.

7. Ask for accommodations

Many jobs can be adjusted so your strengths shine and your weaknesses are minimised. You can ask for accommodations in a job interview, when you’re first hired or any time during employment. Australian employers are required to make reasonable adjustments to help employees do their work safely and properly.

Accommodations can include things like working from home, having a flexible start time or taking time off for health appointments. They can also involve physical changes to the workplace, such as placing your desk closer to the bathroom facilities, using specialised equipment, or having your own office.

Getting started on your goals

Finding a job that fits your skills, interests and goals can take time. But working in a safe, supportive and inspiring job can have life changing benefits. If you’re not sure what jobs are right for you, or you’re finding it hard to get a job, it’s important to reach out for help. The right support can make all the difference in finding a job where your strengths shine.

By Rehan

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