Let’s start with a simple question: Do you love your job?
If the answer is no, now is the perfect time to make a change. The first step is to identify what you like and dislike about your current job. Being in tune with your feelings will help you spot the perfect new opportunity.
What would make you want to go to work every day? Are you looking for more meaning? Would you like a bigger paycheck? Do you prefer more autonomy and respect from your boss? Perhaps you want all of the above.
What do you like about your current job? Do you feel you’re working on something with a purpose or a mission that motivates you? Does the job give you flexibility in your daily schedule? What else do you enjoy about your work?
When you’re unhappy at your current job, your first instinct is often to start looking through job postings for the perfect job title. You assume that the right title and job description will make all the difference. However, a job change is rarely that straightforward.
Finding the right job is about finding the right situation. It’s about finding a supportive boss and good coworkers at a reliable company in a stable industry.
The perfect job title doesn’t mean much if you hate your boss or your workplace. Alternatively, you might be willing to make a little less money if you could just find a job you loved.
Remember, finding a job is a lot like dating. If you breakup with a person but you don’t take time to reflect on what went wrong, you very well might end up in another equally unhappy relationship. The same thing happens when you run from one job to another without first understanding what you need to be happy at work.
Once you have a good idea of the pros and cons at your current job, you should start building your professional network. Even if you’re not ready to make a change today, you will need your network when you are ready. Plus, finding a job through networking gives you a higher chance of success. You may already know your future boss – you just haven’t figured it out yet.
The more you know about the company going in, the more likely you are to find a match. After all, finding a job you love is all about fit.
A version of this article originally appeared on Copeland Coaching.
Angela Copeland is a career coach and CEO at her firm, Copeland Coaching.