Dust off your resume and message those LinkedIn connections: It’s time to get a new job you love.
The start of the year is a great time to job hunt. ZipRecruiter data shows job postings typically jump significantly from December to January (57 percent in 2018 and 78 percent in 2017, for example).
There are also a lot of job seekers, fueled by fresh new year’s resolution energy. A survey of 1,000 full-time U.S. employees by Workhuman showed 32.1 percent are looking for a new/higher-paying job in 2023.
Sure, that means there’s a lot of competition—but you got this! (Also, that’s why February could be the best month of the year for job seekers, according to ZipRecruiter, because applicant numbers cool down, but job postings remain high.)
To stand out in the applicant pool, find a company and job that fulfills you, and enjoy going to work every day (yes, it’s possible!), here’s what to do.
How to get a job you love in 2023: Finding the right opportunities
Clarify your personal goals
This is a key first step because it’ll guide what’s on your resume, who you reach out to, and how you talk about yourself and what you want. It’ll also help you research jobs and companies with descriptions that appeal to you.
If you’re not someone with a beautifully outlined career vision board (kudos if you are!), start by writing down what you are truly looking for. And be specific. What type of work do you want to do all day? Are you creative? Do you love data and numbers? Independent work versus collaboration? Managing people? Do you want to be in charge of a team now or one day, or build a client list, or work with experts in a field? Remember, you’re looking for a job you love; not a job that’s fine.
Check out InHerSight’s full list of questions to ask yourself to find a career you love.
Write down your must-have benefits
After doing a deep dive on yourself and your goals, think of what your ideal company would offer. Prioritize the benefits you want—what kind of family growth support do you need? Is high pay a must? How important is flexibility? Working remotely?
If you’re not even sure what’s possible in the world of employee benefits, check out our guide to employee benefits packages and what companies offer. You can also view companies rated highly on different benefits-related categories by InHerSight readers.
Focus your resume
I worked at my last company for nearly 12 years—and did not touch my resume for the first eight. A lot had happened.
If you’re not an amazing update-as-you-go person (kudos if you are!), you have some work to do. And you likely have some questions, like how many pages should it be? Does it need an objective? How many bullet points are too many bullet points???
Use your job priorities you listed earlier to guide how you present your resume, especially when you write a summary statement about who you are and what you want. Are you a marketing professional? A creative, fast-learner? A data nerd? Think of characteristics you have that align with the role you want.
As for how long your resume should be and how detailed to get, focus on the big stuff. Career coach and resume expert Liz Ryan writes on LinkedIn that “you don’t need to list every task and duty you performed at every past job. Tell us your accomplishments, instead!” She says “you don’t need more than three bullet points to describe your impact at each job. When it comes to resume writing, less is more!”
You want to include your biggest accomplishments that show off your skills tied to the role you’re applying for. Do you want to be a content strategist, and you created a daily newsletter that brought in $1 million in revenue? Hello!
Ryan also says to use your voice. “You don’t need boilerplate corporate jargon like “results-oriented professional,” she writes. “You can use a human voice in your resume now—thank goodness!” See Ryan’s full list of 10 resume tips here. And check out InHerSight’s complete guide to resume writing.
Career websites, apps, DMs, TikToks—there’s a long list of places where people share deets about their jobs! And if you don’t see what you need, don’t be shy about reaching out to ask about people’s experiences.
Also, don’t let one bad review among plenty of good ones make you say “hard pass” to that company. It’s possible one person’s experience doesn’t reflect most people’s. But it’s good to know what to look out for. If there’s a pattern in the reviews (“toxic management,” “no growth,” or “unhealthy work-life balance expectations”), be wary.
An excellent place to start: InHerSight’s anonymous company ratings. Look up companies and see what people who work/have worked there have to say. Also check out our “best of” lists: best companies overall, best companies for salary satisfaction, best companies for maternity and adoptive leave, and 14 more.
Other sources to try:
Connect with people
Being an active networker or community member means you’re more likely to hear about excellent opportunities, learn about great companies, and get career tips you didn’t even know you needed.
Luckily, it’s never been easier to reconnect with people you used to know, or connect to new people you want to know. And you don’t need a bunch of cheesy networking lines to do it.
Reach out and say “hi” to someone you used to work with—see how their career has progressed. Look for people who are active voices in the industry you want to work in and follow them. Comment on posts you genuinely enjoy (no need to force a comment if something doesn’t click with you). Join virtual groups within your industry to meet new people and hear about more companies. When places are hiring, there is always someone from that company who will post about it on LinkedIn, so you might be able to reach out to them instead of solely applying online.
How to get a job you love in 2023: Asking the right questions
Practice your job interview answers
You don’t know exactly what they’ll ask, but you want to be ready to talk about your accomplishments, how you’d handle certain work scenarios, and what you’re looking for in a workplace.
Practice saying these answers out loud—it helps you word answers the way you want and sound more confident when you’re not used to or comfortable talking about yourself.
Here are some popular questions you might get, and tips on what to say:
Practice your job interview questions
Remember what “they” say: You’re interviewing the company, too! Write down anything you know you want to know. Pull from your list of what you’re looking for. Don’t be shy—it’s better to ask questions now than be one week into the job and think “oh yeah, I didn’t ask them any questions about their training process, and they clearly don’t have one, and this is chaos.”
If you’re stuck on questions or aren’t sure how to word them, here are 93 questions to ask in an interview so you really learn about the job, company, and people who work there.
Ask for what you want
To get a job you love, you have to know what you want, and ask for it. There’s no good reason to say “I’m flexible about working on-site!” if your dream job is fully remote, or “I love working independently!” when you’re dying to be part of a collaborative team.
Salary negotiation can be intimidating, which is why many people avoid it altogether. But asking for the salary you want is just part of job hunting.
And just like with your other interview question answers, practice saying your desired salary out loud. Say it in a mirror, in the shower, while driving. Rehearse it, polish it, perfect it. You’ll feel more confident asking for it after you’ve heard yourself say it multiple times.
The more prepared you are, the less scary it will be, so check out these salary negotiation strategies and tips to try, shared by a career coach who’s been helping people get their desired salaries for years.
Read more: How to Start a New Job Successfully
How to get a job you love in 2023: Accepting only what you want
Don’t say yes if you’re conflicted!
One sure way to set yourself up for failure is to say yes to a job you have big hesitations about. Unless you’re in dire need of a paycheck, there’s little reason to give something a chance if it doesn’t feel right. If you’re not getting the pay you want, or you and the interviewer didn’t have the best vibe, or the company was disorganized with their hiring process in a way that drove you crazy—pass! Don’t settle when the goal is to love your job. Keep researching, messaging your pals, talking to recruiters—it’ll be worth it when you’re smiling on your way to work at your new job.
Take notes on what you learned
This is unlikely to be the last job you ever have, even if it lasts for a long time, or suits your current needs. Make sure to note how it went, what worked and what didn’t, what was the best prep you did, what you learned about yourself and if there’s anything you thought you wanted from a job and turns out you don’t care about as much… Maybe you realize you want a career coach, or your research needs to be more thorough, or you didn’t ask for something you really wanted. Each time you do this, you’ll get even better!
Good luck and let us know how it goes!
Looking for inspiration? Meet 23 Influential Women You’ll Want To Work With (We Know We Do!)