If you just need something to pay the rent and put food in the fridge, then the truth is that any job that covers your bills will do. If you’re looking to take a meaningful step forward in your career, on the other hand, then you have every right to be picky. But, you’ve got to be realistic, as well. Here are three tell-tale signs that you’re applying for the wrong job:
1. It’s What You Always Wanted To Do
This sounds counter-intuitive at best, and like a recipe for a miserable life at worst. But here’s the thing: What you always wanted to do might not be a great career choice, or even a legitimate career choice in the first place.
The problem with dream jobs is that’s what we all want to do. So best case scenario, it’s an exclusive club, and it depends on who you know. Worst case scenario, you’re going to be taken advantage of by people who know how badly you want it.
The alternative? Don’t think of what you want to do and then look for someone who will pay you for it. Look at what people will pay you for, and ask yourself if that’s something you’d like to do.
By all means, keep doing whatever it is that you love doing, but think of it as a passion that might earn you some money later on down the road, don’t expect it to keep the lights on.
2. It’s One Of Many Options
If you want to have a lucrative career in any field, you don’t necessarily have to be the very best in the world at it, but you’d better try.
If the job you’re applying to is one of about a dozen things that you’re more or less capable of doing, then it’s not something you’re great at, and being great is the only way you’ll be able to call your own shots.
If you’re working from a list of “maybes,” narrow it down to the one skillset you’re willing and able to master.
3. It Sounds Easy
An easy job is a great way to pay the bills, but it’s not a career.
If it’s easy, it’s not going to pay you what you’d like to be earning. If it’s easy, it’s not going to keep you interested for very long, and you’ll be desperate for something new by the end of the year. If it’s easy, then there are a thousand other viable candidates for the position and your application might as well be a lottery ticket and you won’t have a lot of pull when it comes to negotiating raises and promotions.
How do you find the right job, then? Find a niche, something that’s in demand, narrow that niche down, master it, and look for a position that you know will challenge you.