So far we’ve talked about when it’s time to leave a job and how to love the job you have, but how about finding a job you love, one that you are truly passionate about?

You can always look at the “how to find a job” posts but those don’t answer the above question. Here we give you a primer on how to best answer that question and get the job of your dreams.

People will say “follow year heart” or “go into something you’re passionate about” and while well intentioned, this is really bad advice. Why? It’s too simplistic and doesn’t consider real life factors and external circumstances.

So what’s the answer? Find a line of work that fulfils three criteria: Passion, Skill and Needs.

Most people will only focus on one or two of these parts and not all three. By answering and exploring all three you are much more likely to get a job that fulfils you.

We must thank Ravi Raman for the initial idea which we are expanding and updating for a more modern time and the UK job market.

Your Passions

There’s a lot that can give someone purpose. For some people it’s their careers, for others it’s not. Your true passions in life may not be suitable for a career and that’s OK. Nevertheless, If you can find a job that you’re passionate about, surely that’s problem solved? Not quite.

Passion is such a strong word and is often misused in this context. The questions you should ask are less “What are you passionate about?” and more “What do you care about?”

You’re trying to find things you care about. The word care is a much more accurate and apt description. In a study of hospital cleaning staff, they saw themselves as part of a team of people who helped to heal the sick. They’re (in all probability) not passionate about cleaning, but they do care about the reason and the purpose behind their jobs.

Think about it like this, who is truly passionate about working in the sewers? Or collecting rubbish off the street? Probably very few. But your passion might be elsewhere that can relate to it. For example, you’re passionate and proud about where you live and want it to look its best. So your job as a street cleaner helps fuel that passion or pride.

So look for something that fascinates you or you have pride in or is strongly tied to your values. The classic question is “What would you love to continue doing even if you weren’t paid for it?” or “Would you volunteer your time and effort to help?”

You may already have an answer, you probably already spend your free time, energy and money on it, or you’ve already considered a career change into this passion.

Even if you don’t have an answer, or can’t think of something applicable, don’t worry. Remember this isn’t the be all and end all of finding a job that you love. That’s where your skills and your needs come in.

People are often proud of (even passionate about) what they’re skilled at. When you are good at something, it gets recognised. With recognition, passion will build. Therefore, pick a job you care about, even if the word “passionate” doesn’t quite describe your interest level!

You can always build the passion up over time.

Your Skills

What are you skilled at?

This is a question that requires a lot of thought and, more importantly, a lot of honesty.

We all have different skills. What comes naturally to one will require lots of hard work for another. Some people are much more analytical and logically inclined, whilst others are more creative.

Every role will require a certain skillset that will either have a steep learning curve or you’ll take to it like a duck to water.

So be honest about your skills. You can find jobs that compliment them (which you care about of course) or you can see the weaknesses you need to work on to build a career you want.

Remember that your skills aren’t fixed. They require constant practice and attention. If you’re lucky you may have realised what your skills are early on and capitalised on them. For most of us however, our skills and what we are good at is in a state of constant flux.

If you are looking for a job right now, it’s important to have the self-awareness to identify the things are you skilled at today. While you can always build new skills in the future, your current ability is what will be most appealing to an employer right away. These are the skills that you can use on your CV.

Tying this into your “passions” and what you care about is important too. If you care about it and are good at it, then you are much more likely to love your job. Remember you are trying to hit that central crossover on our venn diagram. It will also help fuel a successful career as your enjoyment, passion and skill for your trade will make you highly eligible for promotions and new roles.

What if you are good at things you are no longer passionate about? It’s time to build new skills!

We live in an age of information. It’s almost expected of you to consistently improve your skills and learn new ones. The main source of all that information? The internet. It’s a huge vast library of knowledge with the likes of Udemy and SkillShare providing courses and YouTube giving you detailed tutorials. You can find qualifications to take as well as be able to create an online of portfolio of your work skills should your career choice require it.

What The Market Needs

This is much more of a practical, external aspect than a personal search. What does the market need?

The job market and the business market is always fluctuating with supply and demand changing all the time. There are some areas of massive growth, and there are some areas in decline. So think about what your passionate about, what you’re good at and now try to apply it to the market. What is needed and how can you adapt to it?

You may hit a stroke of luck and your passions and skills are perfectly complimented to the current market. Happy days. But for most people there will need to be some research and some slight adjustments before finding that perfect sweet spot.

A good place to see this in action is the average starting salaries of different professions.

The market demands what it demands, and if there’s a skills gap or a shortage of qualified people, salaries increase.

Today’s current job market in the UK is highly candidate driven. What this means is that there are lots of candidates and not many jobs. People can be pickier about the roles they apply for and companies who want to source the best need to pay for it.

If you want to ensure you’re in a career that you not only love but also pays the bills, don’t ignore the market! At the end of the day money is always going to be a huge motivator for which job you choose. However, it’s not the only motivator.

A lot of jobs now provide a whole host of benefits such as working from home, flexible hours and more. Therefore, when you’re looking at the market make sure you’re also taking into account what benefits each role is providing. What works for you? What enables you to still be happy and productive? These questions will help the perfect role for you.

What Happens Next?

How does all this come together to inform the ideal career for you?

To start, examine each element:

  • What are you passionate about?
  • What are you skilled at?
  • What does the market demand?

Remember the sweet spot, the perfect job for you, is in the middle of all of these elements. Remember the venn diagram, you don’t want to be leaning too far one way or the other.

Remember this is a process and will take time to get right. If you feel you don’t know your passions right now look at your skills. If you’re passionate about something but don’t have the skills, practice and learn the fundamentals and build up from there. If the market isn’t in the perfect place (tip: it never is) then look to see what you can adjust or tweak to fit or is there a different market where your skills can thrive?

Or You Can Try This Approach

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