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I want to make a case for why you should NOT accept the first job that comes your way.


Related: How To Manipulate Your Mind To Discover Your Dream Job

Because here’s the deal: Sure… it may be a tough job market. The bills may be stressing you out. You may have sent out resume after resume, and you’re feeling exhausted from the job search. However, accepting the first job that comes your way - even if you KNOW you’ll hate it - does you no good in the long run. In fact, accepting that job essentially puts you back to Square One. Most people take the “old school” approach to job seeking - and the simple truth of the matter is that it doesn’t make you more money and it doesn’t make you happier. What I want to share with you in this article is the “new school” way of finding and getting a job you love. It’s faster, easier, and actually helps you create a positive change in your career and life. Here it is in three simple steps:

Step 1: Find Your “Big Problem”

What big problem drives you absolutely crazy in this world? Is it that the education system is ridiculously expensive and leaves you hilariously unprepared for the real world? Are you driven to protect the environment? Or maybe you’re endlessly solving technology problems... Whatever it is… starting with a “big problem” that drives you nuts is the secret key to finding out where you belong. Because hidden in that problem is your purpose in this life. It’s your calling to contribute to the world. And when you serve others in alignment with your purpose, you LOVE what you do… and you can make a great income doing it.

Step 2: Find The Organization Solving Your “Big Problem”

Imagine how happy and fulfilled you would feel if you could contribute to solving the problem that drives you more crazy than anything! You’d wake up excited to go to work, and actually WANT to talk about your work with friends and family. There will most likely be at least a few different companies out there doing a great job of solving your “big problem” in a variety of ways. So, I suggest getting on Google and starting a spreadsheet of every company you can find that peaks your interest and is solving your problem. You can also check out this dream job resource guide with 14 top websites specializing in showcasing “purpose-driven” companies that are doing good in the world while being profitable. Once you get a list of at least 10, try to narrow it down to your top 3-5. This is now your “dream job list”. And it’s time to get their attention.

Step 3: Use A “New School” Approach To Get The Job

Aside from getting people jobs they hate, the “old school” approach is also becoming less and less effective - and especially with the most inspiring “purpose-driven” companies out there. The best companies to work for are ONLY hiring people who fit their culture value-wise. They want people who are passionate about their mission, and who want to contribute their strengths and time to something worthwhile. That’s why Step #1 was to define your “big problem”. Because now you’re a fit value-wise already. So you just have to prove that you can contribute. So put together a unique cover letter and resume that showcases WHY you’re so passionate about what they do, and HOW you can add serious value to their organization. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box as well. YouTube videos, simple websites, and even FedEx envelopes or packages delivered to their office can be a great way to hook their attention and convince them to give you a shot. The “old school” resume approach leads to a job offer just 1% of the time. However, when you use this “new school” approach of focusing in on the top companies you REALLY want to work for - and then think creatively about how to get their attention and get the job… You’ll have a lot better luck. For more free tips on how to find and get your dream job as soon as possible, check out this short video I put together alongside the founder of The GameChangers 500 (a list of the world’s top “purpose-driven” companies.)

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About the author

Ryan Niessen is a keynote speaker and co-creator of The Gateway Method: a simple, proven way to gain inside access to the world’s best employers and get your dream job. Connect with him on LinkedIn or Facebook.      
Learn how to land a career you love


Everyone needs to feel their voice is heard and their contributions are important. Something as simple as sharing a drink the last hour of the day on a Friday with the team to recap wins and give praise can build camaraderie within the team.


All of the above are fairly simple to implement but can make a huge difference in morale and motivation. Have any of these tips worked well for young the past? Do you have other tips to motivate your creative team? If so, please share them with me!

Encourage curiosity. Spark debate. Stimulate creativity and your team will be better at handling challenges with flexibility and resourcefulness. Create a safe space for ideas, all ideas, to be heard. In ideation, we need the weird and off-the-wall ideas to spur us on to push through to the great ideas.

Sure, there are a ton of studies done on this, but here is my very unscientific personal take. When team members can make decisions about how they work on projects, they are more engaged and connected to the project outcome. When they see how potentially dropping the ball would affect the entire team, they step up. When they feel like what they are doing is impactful and valued, they are naturally motivated to learn more, and be even better team members.

Rarely does a one-size-fits-all style work when it comes to team motivation. I have found that aligning employee goals with organization goals works well. Taking time to get to know everyone on your team is invaluable. What parts of their job do they love? What do they not enjoy? What skills do they want to learn? Even going so far as to where they see themselves in five years career-wise. These questions help you right-fit projects, and help your team see you are committed to creating a career path for them within the company.

Most designers I know love a good challenge. We are problem solvers by nature. Consistently give yourself and your team small challenges, both design-related and not. It will promote openness within the team to collaborate, and it will help generate ideas faster in the long run. Whether the challenge is to find a more exciting way to present an idea to stakeholders or fitting a new tool into the budget, make it a challenge just to shake things up.

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