How To Find A Job That Actually Makes Your Life Better

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Woman enjoying her job and life

Before you give in to the temptation to quietly quit or rage-apply to every job that sounds remotely bearable, it’s crucial to take a step back. While a change in organization or mindset might be the fix, or a reprieve, from your distress, the job itself might be stealing your joy to wreak havoc on your life. It might be time to change jobs entirely to improve your well-being once and for all.

Are you ready to break free of the cycle of disappointment, discontentment, and burnout because you don’t want to live this way anymore? Follow this plan.

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Four steps to finding a job that makes life better

1. Define what ‘better’ means to you.

Before embarking on your job search journey, it’s vital to figure out the underlying issues that cause dissatisfaction in your current role. Start by asking yourself probing questions such as:

  • What aspects of your job are making you miserable?
  • Do you find yourself overwhelmed with work or lacking a love for what you do?
  • Are there specific areas of your life that feel unfulfilled or neglected

Your responses may reveal profound insights into your version of better. Whether achieving a healthier work-life balance, following your interests or simply feeling more fulfilled, defining your aspirations is the first step toward finding a job that aligns with your goals and values.

happy and focused

Photo mimage-photography via Shutterstock

The more specific you can be in identifying what you want, the more likely you will get it. Pay particular attention to the emotions and outcomes you want to generate through your work. You might land with answers like:

  • I want to do more business development.
  • I want to leave my work at work at the end of my 8 hours.
  • I want to help seniors and make their lives measurably better.
  • I want a job in which I can use my hands and create something lasting.
  • I want an active job outdoors.
  • I want to feel inspired and satisfied with a day’s work.

To go deeper in this process, consider journaling or engaging in guided visualization exercises to uncover unconscious desires and priorities. Seek input from trusted friends, mentors, or a coach to gain different perspectives on your strengths. By taking a comprehensive approach to self-discovery, you develop a clearer understanding of what truly matters to you and are in a better position to know when you’ve found your ideal.

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2. Choose your path.

Once you’ve identified what ‘better’ means to you, it’s time to explore potential career paths that resonate with your values, strengths, and interests. Consider factors such as your personality type, preferred work environment, and ideal rewards. Psychometric tests and reflective activities can tease out the work that reflects who you are and what you value most.

For example, think about whether you want a job that allows you to reflect deeply in a quiet space or if a busy open office with people milling about going from meeting to meeting would energize you. Your deepest interests and the problems you most want to solve, such as fighting climate change or finding a cure for rare diseases, can point you in meaningful directions. Whether you love to travel or navigate the demands of the sandwich generation, you might desire flexible and remote work. All of this is valuable and guides your choice.

Once you've gained a thorough understanding of your ideal work, you can brainstorm jobs without holding back or limiting yourself. You could have different jobs on the table, such as Event Planner, Social Media Manager, Freelance Photographer, or Publicist. This is the exciting research phase of identifying possibilities, learning all you can about a job through online searches, watching YouTube Videos, talking to everyone you know, and getting on-the-job realistic previews before evaluating the options and shortlisting them.



You can do this on your own or enlist a career coach and partner to help you unravel the parts and tie things together, but there is no magic bullet here; it takes openness and a lot of effort. In the end, deciding on a path is one part logic and one part intuition. Ultimately, you must go back to your definition of better and why you want your change to make the final call.

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3. Embark on your job search and land your ideal job.

With a dream job in mind, it’s time to securing. Update your resume, LinkedIn profile, and other materials to highlight your unique skills and experiences. Tailor your applications to each job opportunity, highlighting how your background aligns with the role’s requirements and the organizational culture. This is your chance to tell a compelling story about your career and let them know exactly why you are perfect for the role.

Leverage your network to uncover hidden opportunities. Initiate informational interviews and referrals to expand your connections and learn about potential openings with your target employers.

As you progress through the selection process, stay true to your purpose and evaluate each opportunity against your criteria for a ‘better’ job. Make a list of essential questions and ensure you check off all the boxes before you accept a job offer or go in with eyes wide open on any compromises.

working on laptop

Photo: aslysun via Shutterstock

4. Maintaining a positive outlook is essential through every phase.

Keep in mind, that it can be challenging to make substantial changes in your life, and it’s normal to have doubts along the way. Each step, including rejections, brings you closer to finding the right opportunity. Set realistic goals for yourself and celebrate small wins with a support team that can offer encouragement and a sounding board. Stay focused on your long-term vision and keep pushing forward, knowing the right job is out there.

Stats on job dissatisfaction

You are not alone if you feel dissatisfied and are waiting for a promotion that never seems to materialize, dealing with a toxic work environment, or feeling undervalued for your contributions. Recent surveys reveal alarming statistics: only 34% of employees in the United States report feeling engaged, with satisfaction scoring even lower. Work stress and burnout are on the rise, too, leading many individuals to experience physical and mental exhaustion as the ‘new normal’ in the workplace.

Finding a job to make your life better is a journey that requires self-awareness, strategic planning, and perseverance. By defining what ‘better’ means to you, uncovering your ideal job, and embarking on a targeted job search, you can position yourself for happiness and success. However, you define these and land a job that aligns with who you are, and who you want to become.

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Lisa Petsinis is an ICF-credentialed career and life coach who works with women who want to show up fully for their lives and build lasting life skills – like confidence and resilience – that will help them achieve their career and life goals.