How to Find Work You Love: 3 Tips for a Smart Search Strategy

How have you chosen your jobs in the past? Here are four of the top strategies people tell me they’ve used in the past…that aren’t working for them any more.

  • I wait to see what I’m offered.
  • I check what’s available and apply for what I think I’m qualified to do.
  • I wait for something more interesting to present itself to me.
  • I’m afraid I’ll never be as successful as this so I don’t even look.

Not the smartest strategies, right?! I’ve used several of them myself – we’ve all fallen back on what’s familiar and ‘standard’ – and they didn’t work well for me either.

Here’s what I learned: when you’re ready to freshen up your career and start doing work you feel more passionate about, you need a search strategy that puts you in the driver’s seat. Set direction and take the steering wheel, instead of falling into whatever comes along next.

Many of you have already downloaded the free Passion Discovery Worksheet and started getting clearer about what kind of work you love doing. Congratulations! You have the keys to the car in your hand already. You’ll be able to use what you discover to take the wheel and steer.

Here are three tips for how to do it smartly:

1. Broadcast clearly to your network. Tell others clearly what you’re looking for so they can help you find where and how to do work you love. Talking it up is one of the most crucial steps in the process of becoming a passionate professional; sharing your passions and process with your network will open up many opportunities you’d never thought of before.

2. Interview smartly.  Ask questions before and during your job interview to determine if your essential elements are there.

3. Choose wisely. When an offer comes along, check to make sure it matches enough of your most important elements before saying yes. You want to feel truly excited by the opportunity. If you’re just lukewarm (and can financially afford to), hold the creative tension and keep looking until you find just the right fit.

About Jane: Jane Cavanaugh is an internationally acclaimed business leadership and career coach who has helped more than 6,000 professionals develop their career and leadership skills. Jane is creator of The Passionate Professional: How to Make Your Ordinary Career Extraordinary, a guided career transition program, and a co-author of Breakthrough! Inspirational Strategies for an Audaciously Authentic Life. Contact or visit Jane at

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Success Stories

Anna Corbett, MS, LPC
Life Coach

Success Story: “Jane coached me during a transition time in my life when I was trying to decide what I wanted to have next in my life. She supported me in getting such clarity about what I wanted to bring forward from my various life experiences that I have, as a result, manifested exactly what I wanted to create.

Jane is truly an empowering, enlightening coach. She has a clarity and exquisite, precision questioning that sliced through all the unnecessary and extraneous to the core of what I was longing to get clear. The NLP techniques she used helped me powerfully anchor my insights in ways I continue to access and use. I’ve experienced a good number of professional coaches and my work with Jane is definitely at the top!”