Whether you’re a new graduate, considering a career change, or in the midst of a job search, it’s easy to get excited by all the job opportunities out there. It’s also easy to get overwhelmed. Where do you start looking for the right job if you don’t know what the right job for you might be?
Numerous guides and life coaches can help you “find your passion and realize your potential.” Start by asking yourself these three questions, which will help increase your self-awareness, narrow your job search, and evaluate your opportunities.
For each question, ask yourself what you like doing and what you’re good at doing. Know that one answer is not necessarily better than the other, and sometimes you have the option to choose both.
Three Questions to Ask to Find a Job You Like
1. Do you prefer to strategize or implement?
There’s a difference between designing a strategy and actually implementing it. A strategist looks at the big picture and analyzes data to make decisions and advise on solutions.
An implementer takes that strategy and figures out all the tasks and timeline necessary to fulfill the vision, then execute those tasks. Some people love creating strategies and don’t mind staying out of the actual implementation. Others struggle to design strategies, but are skilled at taking someone else’s strategy and making it a reality.
An example of a strategizer would be a consultant, while an implementer would be an engineer.
2. Are you a seller or builder?
Many jobs fall on different sides of the building or selling spectrum. A builder creates a product or runs an organization, from the vision to the day-to-day operations. A seller communicates and sells that vision, product, or organization to others, from written materials to sales and business development. Sellers may not be as involved in creating the product they sell.
An example of a builder would be a project or product manager, while a seller would be a marketing or salesperson.
3. Is an internal- or external-facing position better for you?
Within an organization, a position may be more internal-facing, meaning your main contacts and interactions are within your organization’s staff. You may work closely with other employees to build a product or communicate messages within the organization.
There are also external-facing positions, which work with outside partners, customers, or media. You’ll likely work with your users or partners to sell your organization or product.
An example of an internal-facing role would be a data analyst, while an external-facing role would be an HR recruiter.
Bonus question: Can the best job for you combine any of the above skills?
These roles run on a spectrum and you can absolutely combine each or all of these options!
You could be a strategizer who likes to sell internally—which means you should look for a role where you get to create a strategy for communicating or selling a product, but you don’t work directly with media or prospective customers to do the actual selling. If you find you answered “both” to all of the questions above, look for a startup or small collaborative organization.
Now, read the questions again.
Be honest with yourself and figure out what’s holding you back. It’s important to take time to become more aware of what drives you to be a great employee so you can truly love your work.
What helped you get to where you are now? How do you handle the wide spectrum of these questions above? Share with us in the comments!
Ask Levo Mentor Emily Rosser what she asked herself on the career path toward her current position as Photo and Bookings Editor for Harper’s Bazaar.