passionWorking for the government has its benefits: Stable work, decent healthcare, and most importantly – interesting missions.

But…what if you hate it? Or, you are bored and want a change, but don’t want to end up feeling the same way that you do now.

ARGGHHHHH. The agony.

But don’t worry: There are a few things that you can do before you apply to raise your chances of finding a job that you actually enjoy.

Write down your three “must-haves” in terms of your work.

These can be ANYTHING, but the most important thing is that they make you happy.  So, don’t just focus on salary or benefits, add something that relates to your day-to-day, like your commute, workspace, work flexibility, etc.

For example: If you are someone who absolutely hates working in a windowless area with the fire of 1,000 suns, then own it.  No matter how interesting your actual work is, if you hate your workspace then eventually you’ll probably also hate your work.

The same is true if you are someone who needs to be around people, and you end up in a position working alone from home.  The work could be fantastic, but the isolation may kill you.

Got your three? Great, rank them in terms of order, and then add a couple of extra “nice-to-haves” at the bottom of that list.  Why? Because once you know what you want and need from your next government job, it’s much MUCH easier to find it.

Think about the mission that most excites you.

The government is a world of opportunity to make an impact, at almost any level.  So daydream a little bit and think about the type of mission that you would find most fulfilling.

Is it working in law enforcement and keep people safe? (Department of Justice including the FBI and DEA?).  Is it working on cleaning up the environment and keeping the country beautiful? (That could involve the Parks Department, the EPA, or even the Department of Energy).  You get the idea.  If you need help, here’s a list.

Make a list of the missions you find most interesting, and use that guide as a place to start.

Warm up your network.

I know, I know! Networking can be a pain in the behind, but it’s an important way to get information (need help with your networking? Join us for a free webinar with tools and scripts right here.

Spending a few minutes reaching out to people who work in the places that you think are interesting, and pull out your three “must-haves” as a part of that conversation.  Do they stack up?

If they do, great – you can start applying and doing more networking to figure out how to land a job at that Agency. If not, that’s great too – you can move on to the next place that may be a fit.  Either way, you are off to a great start!

Need more help to land your dream job? Join us on February 2nd for a FREE webinar on the 3 Unusual Steps to Land Your Dream Job.  Sign up.

Christie Mims is the founder of the Revolutionary Club, a Forbes Top 100 website for your career.  She’s on a mission to make sure that you love your work, because frankly, it beats hating your job.

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