When you’re working in a job that brings out your strengths and matches your values, it can be empowering.

In fact, working in a job that’s a good fit for you can have a positive effect on your mental and physical wellbeing.

The right job can give you a sense of purpose and meaning, improve your financial situation and allow you to connect with other people in a meaningful way.  

Finding work where you feel fulfilled isn’t always easy.

It often starts with understanding your strengths, needs and interests, and taking a look at past experiences you’ve had in the workplace.

Speaking with an employment consultant can help with planning your next steps, finding suitable job opportunities and building your confidence as you look for work.

Here are 6 tips for finding a fulfilling job where you thrive.

1. Analyse your work history

Thinking about the jobs or work experience you’ve had in the past can help you make more informed decisions about employment in the future.

Consider the types of jobs you’ve worked in before and how you felt about these jobs. 

  • Were there any aspects of the jobs you really enjoyed? 
  • Were there any aspects you really didn’t enjoy? 
  • Did you feel supported and confident in your role? 
  • Why did you leave the job in the end?

2. Consider your ideal work environment

The environment you’re working in, and the workplace culture, can have a big impact on whether you thrive in your role or not.

Think about previous workplaces you have worked in, and where you felt like you performed best.

Your school and life experiences may also help you define what types of environments play to your strengths. When thinking about what types of work environments will help you do your best work, consider factors like:

  • Pace – Do you thrive in fast paced environments where something new is always happening? Or do you work best in a calm and slow paced environment?
  • Social factors – Do you work best in a team or when you’re collaborating with others? Or do you thrive with independent work and uninterrupted focus?
  • Space – Do you find open office spaces inspiring? Or are they distracting for you? 
  • Flexibility – Do you work best with structure and clear expectations? Or do you need flexibility and independence to feel good at work?

3. Focus on your strengths

Think about the skills, strengths and positive qualities you can bring to the workplace.

Your unique set of strengths make you an asset to particular types of jobs and work environments.

Sometimes it can be hard to see where our own strengths lie, so asking your close friends and family, a mentor or a previous boss can help you get a clearer picture.

You can also speak to an employment consultant about careers and job types that would be a good fit for you.

An employment consultant can also help you think through your strengths as well as ways to overcome your weaknesses at work.

When it comes to writing your resume and attending job interviews, focus on the specific strengths and skills you can bring to the role.

Being confident in yourself and your strengths is a great way to make a good impression with potential employers. 

4. Keep learning

Even if you’re in your dream job, it’s still important to keep learning and growing along the way.

This can include things like work experience, study, short courses, volunteering and mentorship.

Continually learning and working towards your goals can feel satisfying, and can open the door to new employment opportunities in the future.

Finding a job where you feel fulfilled can take time.

Work experience and volunteering are great ways to try out different types of workplaces to see what might be a good fit for you.

You can also include relevant work experience on your resume when applying for paid jobs.

This shows potential employers that you’re ready for the workplace, and proactive about improving your skills.

5. Ask for accommodations

Workplace accommodations are changes in the work environment, schedule or job responsibilities that help you do your job properly and confidently.

Accommodations can help you thrive at work by minimising your challenges and allowing you to work to your strengths. 

In Australia, any employee can ask for accommodations and employers are legally required to make adjustments that are reasonable.

If you’re living with injury, illness or disability, you and your employer may be eligible for funding for some types of reasonable adjustments through the Employment Assistance Fund.

Accommodations at work can include things like:

  • Working from home
  • Part time work
  • Flexible start and finish times
  • Time off for medical appointments
  • Specialised equipment, such as a hands-free telephone or ergonomic desk
  • Apps and programs to help with organisation and scheduling
  • Specialised software such as speech to text software
  • Assigning challenging tasks to someone else in the workplace
  • Workplace buddy
  • Breaking large tasks into smaller tasks
  • Rearranging your workstation, for example placing it closer to the bathroom facilities

If you’re not sure what types of accommodations will help you thrive in your workplace, an employment services provider can help by assessing your workplace.

6. Get support

Finding a job where you thrive isn’t always easy, but help is available.

If you’re finding it hard to cope with your current job or need support to plan your career and find job opportunities, it’s important to reach out for help. 

In Australia, you can get support at no cost through government-funded programs such as Workforce Australia and Disability Employment Services.

Local providers in your area can help you identify your strengths, plan your next steps, find suitable job opportunities, prepare for interviews, access workplace accommodations and more. 

Thriving during your job search

While the goal is to find fulfilling work where you thrive, it’s also important that you stay healthy and on top during your job search.

Setting realistic goals and breaking tasks into small steps can help make the process more manageable.

Searching for work can be a stressful time, so looking after your mental health is really important.

Be sure to take breaks where you can relax, stay connected to your loved ones and reach out for help if you need it.