Do you like what you do for a living? Finding a satisfying career begins by being brutally honest and taking a long look at the things you like and dislike. One of the fundamental problems in beginning a job search is having a focus that is way too narrow. There don’t seem to be enough open positions available in your field. And the ones you do find, have a lots of applicants competing for them.

What Makes You Happy

You are not alone … there’s good reason for this. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, 80% of all positions filled in this country are never advertised.  You’ll learn how to tap into those unadvertised positions in an upcoming message, but let’s lay a foundation for you to build on.

One of the very first steps to take in your job search is to identify the kind of activities that bring you the most satisfaction. This changes over time and it is a really good idea to revisit this topic every few years. Since you are either thinking about changing jobs or in a job search now, this is a great time to asses interests you have and the types of jobs that may be fulfilling.

If you are spending forty plus hours of your life per week earning a living, you should enjoy what you do!

Spend about 5 minutes answering some easy question about things you like and dislike. After completing the questions, you will find a whole list of jobs, the tasks they involve, the knowledge and education required along with salary information, etc.

You can take the interest assessment by visiting:

You say you’ve taken one in the past? As time passes, so do our interests. It is well worth spending a few minutes to see if something new catches your eye. I doesn’t cost you anything but a few minutes of your time. Go ahead, do it.

Pick Your Career Field

Once you find a few jobs that pique your interest, here’s another resource you can use to get more details about the professions you are considering. O-NET Online is a tool provided to everybody by the U.S. Department of Labor. In addition to providing a sample of other job titles that have been reported for a particular occupation, it also includes other relevant information you need to know when considering a profession, such as:

  • Tasks
  • Tools & Technology used in the occupation
  • Knowledge required
  • Skills necessary to be successful
  • Abilities that are necessary to be successful in this type of job
  • Work Activities
  • Work content
  • An indication of how much preparation is necessary
  • Education requirements
  • Credentials
  • Work style
  • Work values
  • Related occupations
  • Wage and Employment Trends
  • Job Openings on the Web
  • Sources of Additional Information

You can access O-NET Online by clicking here or going to the following url:

Look for the search tools in the middle of the page.

  • Occupation Search you can type in your keyword to find suggestions.
  • Find Occupations allows you to browse groups of occupations.
  • Advanced Search will allow you to focus on specific tools or software.
  • Crosswalks will help you find related occupations.

Others who have used these tools have found that their horizon of opportunity expands beyond where they thought they could go. You can too.

“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step” – Lao Tsu

P.S. What are you finding to be a challenge in your job search? Tell me in the comments section below or send an email to If you have a microphone on your computer or hand held device, you can also leave me a voice message at

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