Today’s young people face many pressures and expectations to achieve success. But part of building a great future is finding a career and life that brings meaning and personal fulfillment. Boys & Girls Club Alumnus Mike Braxton knows a thing or two about how to find a job you love. As the senior manager of multicultural marketing at The Coca-Cola Company, Mike says he has found his dream job — but it didn’t happen overnight. It took many experiences and lessons along the way to get there.
Mike shares his top advice to help you find a job you love.
6 Tips for Finding a Job You Love
Know yourself and your values (and do your research). You’re more likely to enjoy what you do when your employer and role align with your values and beliefs. Before committing to a job, take your time to research the company and ensure it’s a place where you can truly feel comfortable and be yourself. Prepare questions for your interviewer that will help you identify whether or not the culture and people in it are a good fit for your skills, experiences and values. “One of the lessons I've learned is don't necessarily look at a person's title,” Mike says. “Look at their character and values to determine if these are people you want to interact and work with.”
Understand your skills. Think about what you’re naturally good at and what you enjoy doing. Do you enjoy relationship-building, or do you prefer focusing on how things work behind the scenes? When you connect your passions and innate gifts to your work, you’re likely to feel more fulfilled in your job. The Coca-Cola Company supports Club programs like Roadmap to Careers, which allows teens to explore career opportunities that align with their passions, goals and interests.
Try different jobs. “Find a nurturing environment that will help you be the best you can possibly be,” Mike recommends. Interning at various companies or organizations will help you learn about the different jobs and industries out there, as well as what you do and do not enjoy doing. Internships are also a great way to meet others who can help you learn, grow and connect to additional opportunities in the future.
Connect with mentors or leaders in your field of interest. Once you’ve identified your interests, contact professionals who work in those fields to learn from them. “Forming the right relationships in our digital age is important,” Mike says. “Young people should be intentional about managing their personal brands.” From having a conversation about what they do to asking to shadow them for a day, don’t be afraid to utilize your connections to grow your knowledge, experience and connections. Meet with people in roles you think you might someday like to have and can offer advice on how to get there. Always end your conversation by asking: “Who should I talk to next?”
Be proactive, but patient. Your first job (or first few jobs) may not be your dream job, but every opportunity is a chance to chart a path, get to know the right people and establish relationships to get to where you want to go next. By putting the work in and learning from every experience, you’ll be on your way to finding a job you love.
Don’t give up. It’s easy to put limits on ourselves, but anything is attainable if you put your mind to it, build the right relationships and have the right work ethic. Anything you love or want to do can become a job you love.
See more advice from Mike on how to find a job you love:
The Coca-Cola Company is a founding partner of Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s Workforce Readiness program, helping prepare today’s young people for the workforce and life.
Finding a Job You Love Starts Here
Boys & Girls Clubs help young people explore their passions and interests, develop employability skills, and apply knowledge in real-world settings, so they can become anything they can dream and find a job they love. Learn more about all the ways Clubs are preparing young people for college, careers and life and how we can help you.