Some people have always known what they wanted to do and have gone straight for it, while the rest of us have gone through the process of trial and error. If you’ve got new and exciting ideas for the next step in your career journey then we say go for it!

The process can be very stressful, and there can be pressure from family, friends and even the media to find a “proper job”, but make sure it’s what you really want. We spend a huge proportion of our lives working so it’s important to enjoy it….or at least try to.

Here, business coach Patrick Donoghugh shares his tips for finding the perfect job for you:

1. Don’t worry

Don’t stress yourself out if your dream job isn’t immediately obvious to you. There is potentially nothing more damaging to your confidence than inaction based on fear of failure. By taking some affirmative action, you’ll already start to feel better. Even if it doesn’t work out, you’ll have learnt a bit about yourself and it will almost certainly have led you somewhere interesting.

2. Focus on your passion

As a starting point, write down things that you enjoy in life, then write down things that you think you’re good at. You’ll probably find there’s a fair bit of overlap. Now try to think how you might get paid do some of those things.

3. Ask yourself what you want out of it

What is the job you’ve got in mind going to give to you? Think about how much you need to get paid, but don’t dismiss a job on the basis of money. Also, beyond the financial, determine what else you’d like from your new career, e.g. flexible working hours etc.

4. Be selfish

Remember, this is about establishing what you want to do, not what other people think you should do. The two can get confused at times. Friends and family are usually well intentioned, but they can hold you back as their opinion of you is based on how they see you now, not who you might be in the future.

5. Remember that it doesn’t have to be forever

Don’t stress about the long-term prospects of your chosen career. Just look at this as a process of exploration, about yourself and what is in the outside world. Before becoming a business coach, my career encompassed psychiatric nursing, stand-up comedy and making ads. I believe I’m a more interesting individual as a result of doing all those things.

6. Create a list of companies

When you’ve arrived at an idea for a career, draw up a list of who you’d like to work for. Then contact them directly to see if they can meet for a coffee or give you some advice. If you’d rather work for yourself, draw up a list of potential clients who might buy your product or service?

7. Exploit your network

Unashamedly lean on friends, family, former colleagues, and anyone who thinks well of you to gain introductions in the area you want to work in. This could throw up some great opportunities. Even strangers could be more willing to help than you might think.

8. Build an online presence 

Google your name and see what comes up. This’ll be the first stop for most prospective employers/customers. Create a LinkedIn account if you don’t have one already. If you do have one, update it and populate it fully. It might also be worth deleting those Facebook pictures of that stag/hen do in Magaluf…

9. Don’t be put off

If you get a few knock-backs, it can be easy to become a little despondent and start to doubt your ability; but you need to keep the faith if you want to succeed. As Winston Churchill put it, “Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm”. Try not to take a rebuff personally; treat it as some information that you didn’t have before.

10. Have a deadline

To avoid drifting, set yourself a reasonable deadline to get your job. If the deadline arrives and you haven’t got there, don’t feel you’ve failed. Use your deadline as a bearing to assess how far you’ve come, and think about what you might do next. Don’t be concerned about changing your objective based on what you’ve learnt.

Good luck!

For more advice from Patrick Donoghugh, head to