Many of us are hunting for that “perfect job.” We love the idea of landing a position that matches our personality, uses our skills, and meets our needs.

But how many of us have actually stopped to assess our personality traits, outline our strengths, or consider our specific needs?

When considering a new position or career, we often don’t look beyond the tried-and-true “it’s a good salary with a decent benefits package with less than a thirty minute commute.” This is what gets is in trouble. Because a few months down the road – once the newness wears off of the job – we find ourselves unhappy because of a personality or skills mismatch that we didn’t look at ahead of time.

If you want to find your perfect job – and not be back at the hunt again a year from now – just follow these steps.

Step One: Know Yourself

First of all, in order to choose a career that fits your personality, you must know yourself.  This can be accomplished through a series of assessment tests that increase your self-awareness, and help you better understand the people you’ll be working with. While you might feel that you already know yourself quite well, most folks experience at least a few a-ha moments when reviewing their assessment results.

From personality, sparks your interests. This is what fuels your imagination, creates desires, and builds dreams. People who tend to be social and outgoing might have interests focused on interactions with other people, while those who tend to be introverted might find libraries and computers more interesting.

Your interests, combined with what you’ve learned about your personality and behaviors, combine into a picture of yourself, and the perfect job for you.

Step Two: Consider Your Skills

The next thing to consider is your skills. You might dream about being a singer, but if you don’t have the skills or talent, you might have to be realistic and choose another goal.

Understanding the two different types of skills will help with figuring out your dream job:

Inborn Skills refer to your natural talents. This might be an affinity for music composition, skill in drawing, being naturally organized, or such. These skills are often inborn and can greatly affect your work happiness levels and career success.

Learned Skills are acquired in school or training. Things like analyzing financial reports, the ability to play piano,  or knowing how to repair a car transmission.

We often take our own skills for granted, even when other people could be impressed by them. For example, a friend of mine has a lot of experience in PhotoShop. Most of us envy his ability to enhance a digital photo, improving the lighting and making the colors more vibrant. In his mind, “anyone can do that.” As a result, he underestimates his skill set.

Consider what your skills are in all areas, not just those you use in your current job. Ask a friend to help by asking him what you’re good at. You might be surprised at his answer.

Step Three: What Do You Really Need?

Often times, when we consider the perfect job, we are really just evaluating the financial offerings of a position. While salary and benefits are important, you also want to consider schedule flexibility, your potential team members, plus the mission and environment of the company, as your needs in your perfect job.

Finding Your Perfect Job

If you’re willing  to consider making a change from solely thinking “This is a job I could do well,” and instead also evaluate your natural strengths, interests & needs, you’ll be closer to finding the perfect job for you.

About the Author: Andrew Deen creates informative articles in the field of education. In this article, he describes how to understand your skills and and he encourages further study through an  Online Graduate Program in Education.