I Need a Job Now: Making Room for Serendipity

Interested in discovering the best way to find a job and stop repeating the I need a job now mantra? Career success and job satisfaction are waiting for you.

Best way to find a job: Immerse yourself in things you love

Best way to find a job: Immerse yourself in things you love

If your mantra has become “I need a job now” it may be time to ask yourself a few questions. How did you fall into your career track? Did you follow in the footsteps of a parent or someone you admired? Did you possess a specific talent? Oftentimes, when you look back on the lives of your children and other people you knew as children, it’s easy to identify the precise moment when they made that choice. They met an entrepreneur who showed them that being your own boss could be fun, they volunteered at an animal shelter, they were inspired by a scientist’s passion for their research during a school visit, or they were praised by an Olympic athlete. They leafed through their first Vogue magazine and were in awe of the designs, or they couldn’t stop talking after watching a movie about an environmentalist’s quest.  And it all seamlessly aligned from that point on: They enrolled in certain programs, sought adults who could guide them, became involved in every activity related to their newfound interest.

For these lucky children whose parents made room for serendipity, the job they finally found was likely the perfect fit. One that brings them satisfaction and, therefore, great career success. You’re unlikely to ever hear them say: I need a job now because they don’t consider what they do “a job” but their passion.

Rubin, Burkell, Quan-Haase Serendipity Model (2011)

Rubin, Burkell, Quan-Haase Serendipity Model (2011)

In our quest to identify the best way to find a job, we tend to forget that, very possibly, the best way to find a job is to explore things you love. To replace some of the traditional job search approach for one that makes room for serendipity. To stop repeating I need a job now and start immersing yourself in what catches your attention.  In other words, open the door to experiences that might show you aspects of yourself that you don’t even know yet.

Allowing more serendipity in our lives is not only a better way to find a job but a better way to discover yourself. Whenever I step away from my computer and go for a walk, lunch with a friend, or a visit to the museum, I come back with one or two completely new ideas. Usually, these ideas are free associations of things I’ve seen, people I’ve encountered, or small attitudes that awaken something in me.

Serendipity happens

Serendipity happens

The same thing happens when you stop looking for jobs on the Internet and start meeting people who work in fields you know nothing about. Striking up conversations where these acquaintances (or total strangers!) share what they do and why they love what they do can be a source of great inspiration and the best way to find a job you didn’t know you wanted. So the next time your old mantra I need a job now pops into your head instead of turning to the job search sites pick up the phone and arrange a meeting with someone who’s career excites you.

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