How to find a career you love (the 5 key factors)
Are you struggling to figure out what career would give you job satisfaction?
As the founder of DefineYourCareer.com, yes, I can show you how to find a career you will love for a lifetime.
But no, you can’t just snap your fingers to make it happen.
There are 5 key factors to identify that uncover what employment you will love for a lifetime.
I will show you how these five factors can reveal what career – or business – is right for you.
In this article: How to find a career you love (in 5 steps)
The 5 steps that settle the question “What should my career be?”
As you will see shortly, it takes digging into a combination of factors to determine how to find a job you will love for a lifetime.
That’s why I saw the need for a systematic process that works the same for everyone, no matter what their work experience or level of education.
Taking my 25+ years of experience in business and individual marketing, I identified a proven set of 5 factors that are used by every successful business and organization. I call them the Five Factors of your Career Destiny.
The Five Factors work for everyone and are geared towards one objective: To help you discover what career is right for you, regardless of your work experience, economic background, or level of education
The Five Factors to find a career you love is explained in this infographic:
You will notice that your Values and Beliefs are the foundational factor that all other factors filter through.
This is the key to understand: Your values are the rules you live by, and they control how you apply your talents and manage your other factors.
Any good career plan template should evaluate your career and money values.
The ultimate career plan blueprint: How to discover what career you should have, using the same 5 factors that every successful business does
To discover what career you should have, one that you will love and be happy in for a lifetime, there is a simple shortcut you can use.
Simply borrow the same proven best practices that successful businesses use, and apply them to yourself!
For example, to define their position in the business marketplace, every successful business, organization and sports franchise spend enormous resources to research and clarify these 5 factors:
- What industry are we in?
- Who is our Target Market?
- What is our competitive advantage?
- What is our business operating model?
- What is our Brand?
Every business that wants to be successful, attract investment, build a buzz in the marketplace and measure up to the competition, must identify these key factors early on.
You as an individual can identify these same factors to define your Career Destiny.
I have converted the principals businesses use, into a career plan blueprint you can use:
- What is our operating model?
- What industry are we in?
- Who is my target market?
- What is my competitive advantage?
- What is my Brand?
You must ask and answer:
- What are my values and beliefs?
- Who is my working peer community?
- Who is my natural audience?
- What are my top talents & skills?
- What is my working day lifestyle?
We will explore the Five Factors to identify your career destiny in this article. But first, lets look at some myths that prevent you from finding a career you love.
As your Career Discovery Coach, I’d be doing you a big disservice if I didn’t help you examine them first.
The myth of aptitude and personality : How career tests can put you into a box
One myth, widely purveyed, is that career tests can match you with a job you will be happy in.
But the reality is that they match you with a job category.
It is not you who are being matched to a job, it is your test results that are being matched to a job category group.
This means your one-of-a-kind personality is completely ignored and you are dumped into a category box! This turns you into a commodity and ignores your unique career path.
Career tests can trap you in a category box
Your career aptitude is not your destiny
One of the challenges with aptitude tests is that your aptitude is not always relevant to what you’d love or desire in your career.
Aptitude tests can measure who you are, but they cant measure what you want. So your test result job matches in no way determine if you want to do the job.
Give you a perfect example.
Recent aptitude test studies by Cambridge University revealed that women have the same potential as men in Science and Engineering, yet only 7% of women are interested in working in those fields!
They got similar results with the construction field.
This proves a crucial point: just because you have potential in a field, doesn’t mean you would be happy working in that field.
Your aptitude is not your destiny. Don’t let an aptitude test result jam you into a career your don’t want.
The personality test trap: introvert anxiety syndrome
An even bigger danger is getting trapped in the box of personality type.
Why? Because you may begin to think your personality type is all you are capable of.
Do you see the scary side of this?
The reason I say this, is a new syndrome I am noticing is how a whole group of people, categorized as introverts suffer from anxiety and are limiting their horizons.
I call this, introvert anxiety syndrome, where your personality type designation causes you stress. You may feel forced into taking solitary jobs like computer coding or librarian because of your personality type.
Even Indeed.com has recommended jobs for those categorized as introverts and I’m surprised. As a leading job search site, why they would encourage such a limited paradigm of job options?
This is a danger to beware of. Personality type can become a self-perpetuating limitation. It can be a category box that suppresses your humanity and causes you to self limit yourself.
This is why my innovative career self-assessments do NOT use aptitude or personality tests.
I want to help you bust out of your box!
Instead, you can self-select the career path that you will love using the Five Factors of your Career Destiny
Bust out of the career test box!
Why job satisfaction studies may be inaccurate
Because aptitude tests have limitations as tools to determine what job is right for you, what other options might you have?
You may ask if job satisfaction studies can accurately give you insight into what work will make you happy.
There are a number of job satisfaction studies. Most have the same ballpark results.
However, a big red flag springs up when you read between the lines: Most of these job studies are done on people who are already in their jobs.
This means the results of job satisfaction studies are not entirely accurate.
If these studies are examining unhappy workers who are in the wrong career, and whose job does not reflect the 5 factors, the studies may misinterpret the real reason they don’t like their jobs!
If they are in the wrong job, of course they will be underpaid, underappreciated, and conflict with their boss!
Here is a recent job satisfaction chart from Kathy Morris at Zippia.com. It does a good job of showing some of the top reasons for job dissatisfaction.
Looking at this job satisfaction chart, do you notice what many of these satisfaction categories have in common?
What they have in common is many of these things are CONTROLLABLE by your choice of career.
Whether its pay, how well you are appreciated, the work itself, etc. The 5 factors allow you to maneuver yourself into a career or business that maximizes your job satisfaction.
When you take the time to identify what is important to you using the 5 factors of your career destiny, you set the table for a happy career where most of these job satisfaction issues are averted.
So lets examine the 5 factors that identify the job you love.
The Ultimate Career Plan Blueprint infographic shows how values are the foundation of your career destiny. This is why they are the first factor to identify.
Aligning your employment values to power a career you will love
What is a career? Your career is simply your network of work relationships.
The number one reason work relationships (careers) and personal relationships fail is values conflicts. So let’s take a look at them:
- Values are the hardwired rules you live by, they are your mental gatekeeper that controls all your decisions
- Beliefs are the emotional expression of your values, they control all your behavior
So the first thing you must do to find a career you will love is to identify your values and put them in alignment so they are not in conflict.
Aligning your values removes the limiting beliefs that cause you anxiety.
This meme beautifully explains how your values manifest beliefs:
Your values govern all aspects of your subconscious and conscious life
You might say values are your internal guidance system, they control:
- What drives you forward and what holds you back
- What rules you live by
- How you perceive the world
- Who you want to be
- How you make decisions and what decisions you make
Values are an absolutely critical determinant of how you view and think about your career and workday.
For example, if you value honesty, you will want to work in an honest industry with honest people. If you value greed for money, you won’t care what industry you work in, if it helps you attain what you value.
However, if you have values that are in conflict, even though you have all the talent and skill in the world, you might never realize your Career Destiny!
This means if you value honesty but work in an industry based on greed, that values conflict will sabotage your success.
These reasons and others are why I say values are number one of the Five Factors.
Your career values are the most important of all the Five Factors,
because they determine what rules you operate by.
From a business perspective, values correlate to operating principles and Brand.
Your values determine your Destiny, as shown in this diagram:
Your beliefs, your principles, your purpose, even how you are motivated springs from your values:
- Your unique career identity values are what makes your personality special
- Your moral and integrity values define your boundaries
- Your survival mechanism/pleasure values drive your motivation
- Values are expressed through your beliefs, which guide your behavior
So you can’t leave it to chance. You must take the time to determine what values are driving you.
Your goal is to become conscious of your values and make the career, lifestyle, and relationship choices that align with them.
The most fulfilled and successful people are those whose career is most aligned with their core values.
Start noticing successful people you may be interested in. Taylor Swift, Rihanna, LeBron James, Elon Musk, or Mark Cuban. Whoever you admire for their success.
You will see they are largely free of values conflicts in how they operate.
Finding a career you love is not always doing what you think you want to do, it’s aligning with your values, as I explain in my career destiny proverb:
The process to uncover what makes you happy in your workday can be a fun self-discovery process. But it will take some self-reflection.
Ultimately only you can be the author of your Career Destiny.
What this means is that you have to put in the effort to assess and identify the five factors that can land you a career you will love.
Wrapping it up
There are Five Factors, based on proven business marketing principles, that you must identify to determine what career you will love for a lifetime:
- Your employment values and beliefs
- Your target market audience
- Your peer working community
- Your talents
- Your workday lifestyle
When your career is based on these five factors it is guaranteed to be one you love.
Want more information about finding the career or business you will love for a lifetime?
Now you can discover how to identify what career is your destiny in my Free Report:
Unlock your Career Destiny today with my FREE Guide
that every job seeker must know to make a career change
to the job they will love for a lifetime.
Larry LaFata is the founder of defineyourcareer.com and the world’s only Career Discovery Coach. He is dedicated to helping you discover your Career Destiny, regardless of your background, education, or experience.
Larry’s innovative courses include Define Your Career Destiny one week home study course and a two-hour Business Discovery Workshop for Friends where best friends can discover their career or business destiny together.