To find work that’s the best fit for you, you’ll need to understand your work preferences. These preferences will reflect your most important skills, interests, and values.
Surveys show employees want a job where:
- The work is meaningful
- They are recognized for their contributions
- The people are positive
- The workplace practices are fair
- They feel safe
- They have the resources they need to do their work
- Their opinions are heard
- They feel comfortable talking with their employer about professional and personal issues (e.g. children’s appointments, health problems, cultural issues)
- They get paid a fair wage
Think about the paid and unpaid work activities you’ve enjoyed in the past. What was it about these activities that made them satisfying? Those activities can give you clues to your work preferences.
Another way to discover your work preferences is to think about your ideal work situation. If you could imagine your dream job, what would it be like?
Follow these steps to identify your work preferences:
- Consider the type of working environment you want.Think about the nature of the work, the hours, location, job security, rate of pay, benefits, size, type of organization, and so on.
- Think about the skills you want to use or develop. Consider both your specific skills for work and the skills you can transfer from other parts of your life, such as organization or strength.
- Decide what values and interests you want to express through your work. Be aware that some of your values and interests can be expressed in other ways, outside of work.
- Identify the opportunities you want. These might include advancing to a more senior position or developing specific skills.
Find a good fit with an employer
Finding an employer that is a good fit for you is very important when you’re looking for a job to
keep. By good fit, we mean an employer who:
- Appreciates the skills you have to offer and helps you develop new skills
- Shares your positive attitude about the job
- Makes you feel comfortable enough to communicate with—especially about personal issues that may affect your job (e.g. children’s appointments, health problems, cultural issues)
Determining what you want in a job is just as important as understanding what employers want in you as an employee. For more information about work preferences, download Advanced Techniques for Work Search and check out the section called “Understanding Your Workplace Preferences.”