Joy hunting versus job hunting

  • 5Minutes

As me move through our adult life, we often lose our joy. We have responsibilities, bills to pay, errands to do, our self to work on, things to achieve and on a deeper level, the endless task of navigating and processing the increasing complexity of life with all it brings. 

Job hunting in particular is one of those ‘adulting’ things we don’t generally feel joyful about. It’s something we need to do and for many of us feels like a daunting process. 

We don’t know exactly where and how to start, how to put ourselves forward, or even what type of role would suit us best. It takes us out of our comfort zone, comes with its share of uncertainty and vulnerability and sometimes it even ends up shadowing our sense of self-worth. 

But what if it doesn’t need to be that way? What if there’s a more enjoyable, even exciting way of approaching this journey (and all the other journeys we’re taken on in our adult lives too)? 

Shifting our mindset 

Life comes with challenges, discomfort and breaking points, but it doesn’t mean there isn’t room in there for joy too. In fact, I’d say joy can take up a lot of space, if we tweak our perspective a bit and invite it in. 

It all comes down to how we approach this experience. We can either look at the process of finding a role through the lens of fear, stress and contraction or we can dial into a different frequency and look at it through the lens of excitement, curiosity, and adventure. 

The very same experience can feel either unnerving or it can feel uplifting and expanding, depending on what lens we choose to look through. As Wayne Dyer beautifully frames it “if you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change”.

Learning to love the process 

The more we learn to enjoy the process of job hunting, the better outcomes we’ll get (and feel a lot better along the way too!). 

Looking through the exciting lens, the process of job hunting can actually serve as a great opportunity for us to dive in and and revisit our gifts, take stock of our values and what matters most to us, and connect more deeply to our why, our sense of purpose in the world. 

It can be a thrilling journey of self discovery and exploring what we’re naturally good at, what we genuinely love doing, and looking back at how we’ve grown through our experiences and how to translate all that into showcasing yourself. 

There’s a variety of fun self-reflection tools too to support this process and resources to draw inspiration from. A good example is the 16 Personalities Test. You answer a set of questions and receive a full profile of your personality –  your strengths, possible career paths, your unique working style and the environments you’re most likely to thrive in.  

Take all these inner reflections and integrate them in your journey. Go for those opportunities that really feel like a fit, those that are good for your growth, those you’re excited to chase. 

Bringing people in on our journey 

The most beautiful part is we don’t have to do all of this alone. In fact, often joy comes simply from sharing this process with people we trust, leaning on their experience and what they reflect back to us, and generally feeling seen and supported. 

Lean on close friends or mentors – people who care for you and really know you – to help you on this self-reflection journey. A powerful exercise leadership expert Simon Sinek talks about is asking the closest people in your life why they value your friendship, why they value you as a human being. 

Their answers might surprise you (and inspire you) and they can serve as valuable indicators of your ‘unique selling points’ – your natural strengths, those things about you that make you stand out and make you uniquely you. 

You can always also ask friends or people you know with great communication skills to take a look at your job applications and how you showcase yourself before you send them through. Sometimes, a second pair of eyes and an outside perspective can make a real difference. On top of that, there’s so many experts out in the world today who can serve as guides. People who’ve been on this journey and who are sharing their experience and expertise to help others too. Find them, listen in and soak up their knowledge. 

Staying committed 

On this job hunting journey, chances are you’ll get some no’s too. Don’t be discouraged and don’t lose your joy. Learn to see these as signs redirecting you toward something more aligned with where you’re at right now, or opportunities for you to reassess how you position yourself and how you can improve. Be brave and ask for feedback too when there’s room. Embrace all of the facets of the process and appreciate them for what they’re teaching you.

And finally, put in the work.

Go all in. Don’t take the quickest, easiest approach. My most joyful (and successful) journeys weren’t necessarily the ones where I didn’t feel challenged, but those where I was able to fully surrender to the process and give it my best. Where I gently and purposefully stretched out of my comfort zone and allowed myself to step beyond who I was before. 

Give yourself this joy too. That’s where growth happens. And when inner growth happens, outer abundance follows.  

Article by Brand and Marketing Manager Theodora Gatin

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