How to Find the Perfect Job: 12 Things to Consider

men shaking hands in business meeting

December is a time to ponder the resolutions we’ll make to kick off the new year right. Quit a bad habit. Exercise more. Eat better. Spend more time with the kids. Find the perfect job. 

Some resolutions are light-hearted and easily fall by the wayside as early as February. Ask any gym owner, and they’ll tell you that the first three months of the year are their favorite because they usually get all the contracts signed that they’ll need to profit for the year. 

But a resolution like landing the perfect job is a little heavier. Finding your way into the job or career that fits you and your family like a glove has the ability to make or break you financially, socially, and personally. 

To help you avoid some of the stress of committing to your resolution to find the right job or career, here’s 12 things to think about that will help you define yourself and find the perfect job in the new year. 

What is the Perfect Job?

Everyone has their own idea of what makes the “perfect job.” While you ponder what the perfect job is to you, take into account these factors as well:

1. Income: Sure, we’d love to not have to consider it, but a perfect job will at least pay the bills and hopefully provide that extra income you’ll want for your spare time. 
 
2. Drive: They say, “If you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life.” We’ve heard it before, but it’s overwhelmingly true. CareerAddict.com says it is critical to identify and strive to perform a job that has meaning to you. 
 
3. Challenge: Skating through the work day gets monotonous. Being challenged engages the mind and engages your will to succeed.
 
4. Personality: Everyone has their quirks and preferences. Some are extroverts, others are introverts. Some like to be in control, others prefer being guided. Find the potential career right for you based on personality type.

Ultimately, the perfect job is one that fits your lifestyle, matches your personality, drives you to work hard, embraces your strengths, improves your weaknesses, and provides you with the income you desire and deserve. While it might sound like a lot, with the right education, resources, and tips, we’re sure you can find the perfect job for you. 

12 Things to Think About

Following the new year, new job mantra and motivation, here are items you should consider as you go about finding the perfect job for you.

1. Define yourself. What type of personality traits do you have, and what types of work do you prefer? This test is similar in nature to the Myers Briggs test and is used widely for career decisions.
 
2. Teamwork or fly solo? Some people prefer to be a part of a team or a group, such as nurses and public relations professionals. For others, being alone in a quiet office is their paradise, fitting more into the IT and science fields. 
 
3. Low key vs. adrenaline junkie. Paramedics and police officers spend most of their days on the edge and are constantly getting their heart rates elevated. However, that sounds miserable for folks who enjoy caring for animals and curating museum artifacts. Which style better aligns with your personality?
 
4. Dolly Parton or Bob Seger? Those who prefer evenings and weekends to themselves love the 9-5, M-F schedule. Accountants and dental hygienists enjoy the nights at home and Saturday morning brunches. But there’s plenty of opportunities for those working on the night moves. Artists and event planners’ days are usually late nights and weekend gigs. 

5. Social butterfly vs. low-key life. The type of lifestyle you like to live plays a huge role in what career will fit you best. If you lead a vibrant social life, the hours and days you’ll be working should be considered. Losing out on your life outside of work could make you regret your job choice.
 
6. Profits vs. public service. If the thought of working for a multi-million-dollar corporation disagrees with your soul, public servant positions may be better suited for you. Don’t sacrifice your beliefs for a job. 
 
7. Are you outspoken? There’s nothing wrong with having strong views on social and political issues, but certain types of fields do not allow for the freedom to voice your ideals. However, positions in political action groups and community organizations seek out individuals who are outspoken. Put that voice to work!
 
8. Structure vs. freedom. Professions in medicine don’t allow for much wiggle room. Ethics, state, and federal law, as well as hospital policies strictly dictate the course of action. If you prefer more freedom, consider journalism or sales. 

9. Nail the interview. Now that you’ve sought out the perfect job, wrote your resume, and applied, it’s time to impress the hiring manager. Take the time leading up to it to prepare, question yourself on your qualifications, or invite a friend or family member to mock interview you. Check out these 31 common interview questions to get you ready.
 
10. Dress to impress. You may be comfy in your joggers and Ashford sweatshirt, but your potential employer probably won’t be impressed. Business casual is a decent go-to, but if you’re a little lost in the fashion department, here are some great tips on how to dress for success. 
 
11. Tap your confidence. Employers want to know that you’ll be able to handle the tasks that they give you. If you come off as a nervous wreck, slouch in your chair, stammer and stutter, or generally look unprepared, there’s a decent chance you’ll still be job searching tomorrow. Believe in yourself, take some deep breaths, and go sell yourself. 
 
12. Be memorable. Maybe you’re one of 20 interviews on a given day. You need to stand out from the crowd. Enthusiasm, a decent joke, and a firm handshake go a long way. 

Need Help Finding the Perfect Job?

Ashford University is committed to your success, both while you’re in school and after. Career Services can help steer you in the right direction and has a broad array of resources and information to help you find the perfect job in the new year. 

If you think you’ve found the perfect job but are coming up short in the degree department, Ashford has a multitude of online programs suited for working adults that can help you with your career advancement. Contact an advisor today to bring your perfect job within reach!

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By Ashford University staff
 

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