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How to find a job that makes you happy!

We spend a third of our lives at work which equates to 90,000 hours over the course of our lives which is a lot of time if we are not happy.

Our job can have a really positive impact on our wellbeing by giving us a sense of purpose, value and achievement, however 69% of employees have experienced mental ill health because of work at some point (2020 Mental Health YouGo research).

This week is International Week of Happiness at Work and all of us want to be happy at work and more often that not when we are happy at work we are happier in the rest of our lives.

So how can we find a career that we love and makes us happy:

Understand your wants and needs - firstly you should go through a process of understanding what matters most to you; what sort of organisation do you want to work for, how much responsibility/autonomy/challenge/empowerment/support do you want, how much do you want to interact with others, what salary/package/location do you want, what culture will allow you to thrive and how do you want your job to fit in with you home life.

Discover your purpose - those that are happiest in their jobs do something that has a clear purpose and adds value. Think about what it is that gives you the most satisfaction and fulfilment and use this as a starting point.

Be clear on your values - we all have personal values and we are going to be most happy in a job if our values align to those of the organisation. Understand what your values are and research the values of organisations you are interested in applying to before submitting an application.

Get some experience - if you want a change of career, try to do some volunteering, internships or part time work within this area so you can learn more about if it is right for you and what else you might need to do or learn to be able to move into that field. This will also show prospective employers that this is a sector or role you really want to move into and are passionate about.

Be flexible - the next role you take might not be your perfect dream job, but it still might make you happy and tick a lot of your ‘wants and needs’ boxes. Keep an open mind and don’t narrow down your options too much.

Network - talk to as many people as you can about their jobs and career journey, understand how they found a job that was right for them and get their advice. Think about what your dream job might be and reach out to people on LinkedIn doing these roles and ask to have a chat.

Take your time - patience is key to finding your right job, take time speaking to people, doing your research, expanding your networking and distilling down what you really want from a job. This won’t happen overnight but the time you spend doing this will be worth it in the end.

Get a coach or a mentor - having someone that is invested in you, can inspire you, challenge you, be honest and provide guidance and advice can be really beneficial to help you make the right decisions at the right time.

At Next Steps Outplacement we have years of experience in career coaching and pride ourselves in supporting individuals to transition into new roles and sectors. If you would like to understand how we might be able to help you please get in touch on or call us on 01926 268160.

Gemma Morris, Director of Wellbeing, Next Steps Consulting

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