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How To Find Out If You'll Like a Job Before You Start

Rachel Serwetz
Rachel Serwetz
November 25, 2020
The Age Old Question: How can I find out if I’ll like a job before I’m in it?

This question often is completely ignored when it comes to career pathing. Most people think you’ll just figure out whether you like it once you get there and that the worst thing that could happen is that you learn about what you don’t like. Unfortunately, that is the status quo. But what if you could flip this on its head and proactively identify which path is right for you before you land that job? What if you could feel certain that you know which role and industry is the best match for you? Wouldn’t you want to do it?

Career Exploration

At WOKEN, we’re flipping your current protocols and assumptions on its head. We believe it is of utmost importance to do career exploration as a thorough process before you begin applying to any job. This process of exploration can get you to a point where you feel clear and confident in which role, industry and company environment is right for you, before you touch even one online job application.

Think about dating, hiring, or really any exploratory process. Maybe you’re thinking about what trip you’d like to go on (post covid). First, you need to figure out what you want out of that trip. What would make you feel fulfilled by this trip — relaxing, sightseeing, being active, seeking adventure, experiencing new things, meeting new people, or some variety of all? Do you want to stay locally, regionally, or internationally? Who would you want to go with? For how long? How much do you want to spend? Wouldn’t things be easier if you wrote down all the things you’re considering before you start doing research? Wouldn’t you be able to narrow down your options faster? Wouldn’t you be able to be more certain that you’d get everything you want out of that trip?

Now, some of you may feel that if you research in an open-ended fashion then you’ll see something you like and want to spontaneously book that trip — but the opposite is true for jobs. While you may peruse a job board and find something that seems interesting, there are much more comprehensive, proactive, structured, proven processes and steps you can take to gain clarity on what path is right. If you simply peruse the job boards, you are increasing the chance of finding and applying to things that are the wrong fit, rather than increasing the likelihood that you find the right fit by chance.

Do the Work First

Let’s put it this way — there are tools and processes to first figure out what you want and what is a good fit for your next career step but job boards are not the place to do that. They can serve as one element of researching what’s out there, but the tendency of most folks is to use those tools to both apply and figure out what’s right for them, when those tools are not designed or meant for that. Don’t brush aside the focused thinking and exploration of first figuring out what is right for you before applying to any role.

Think about any dating coach who has told you to first get focused on your own inner confidence as well as getting clear on what you’re looking for so that it is easy to identify once you’ve found it. All of these same concepts apply to job seeking. The greater clarity you can gain upfront on which role, industry and environment is right for you, the more efficient and effective your job search will be in landing a role that you’ll be certain is a great fit for you.

How To Find Out If You'll Like a Job Before You Start

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Rachel Serwetz’ early professional experience was at Goldman Sachs in Operations and at Bridgewater Associates in HR. From there, she was trained as a coach at NYU and became a certified coach through the International Coach Federation. After this, she worked in HR Research at Aon Hewitt and attained her Technology MBA at NYU Stern. Throughout her career, she has helped hundreds of professionals with career exploration and for the past 4.5+ years she has been building her company, WOKEN, which is an online career exploration platform to coach professionals through the process of clarifying their ideal job and career path. She is also an Adjunct Professor of Entrepreneurship at Binghamton University and has served as a Career Coach through the Flatiron School, Columbia University, WeWork, and Project Activate.

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