The Challenge of the Perfect Job

Did you know that more than 80% of Americans are unsatisfied with their jobs?  And I bet you are one of them.  I think it is fair to say that we all want to love our jobs, since we spend there on average eight hours a day five days a week. However, that statistic makes it seem like it is practically impossible to find the one.  So how do you find a job that you actually love?  How do you ensure that it is a perfect fit for you?    

I am guessing it is something along the same lines as “the only thing that predicts success in a certain job is the actual success in that job“.  Meaning, that the only way to know for sure that the job is a perfect fit for you is to actually do it.  However, there are other considerations that can help you ensure that your next challenge is not a complete fiasco.

  1. Your past experiences

What did you like and not like about your previous jobs?  What have you learned from your dealings with prior managers, employees, and colleagues?  What were the negatives?  What were the positives of each position?  Reflecting on the past will give you directions for leading your future.

  1. What you are good at

What tasks are easy for you?  What are you most effective and efficient at?  What are your strengths? It is important to know your talents.

  1. What you like to do

What are you passionate about?  Just because you are good at something, does not mean you want to do it all day every day.  For example, I am great with numbers.  But I don’t want to spend my whole day pulling reports and looking at data.  I love Excel, but I have no desire to be running vlookups and inserting pivots for eight hours straight.  I would much rather interact with that data to decide what action needs to be taken based on its story.  Think about what gets you excited and makes time fly.

  1. Personality fit
  • Are organizational values in alignment with your own?  Organizational culture and working environment are important hygiene factors in job satisfaction.
  • How do you work best?  Do you like your manager to be closely involved in your daily work?  Or do you work best independently? 
  • Are you looking for a constant challenge? Growth? New and exciting learning opportunities? Or are you simply looking for a spot where your existing skills will be utilized best? 
  • How much responsibility are you willing to accept?  Do you want to own the fruits of your labor?  Or do you just want to feel that you are contributing to the mission?
  1. Potential for growth

Where do you want to be in 5 years? In 10 years?  Can this particular opportunity take you there?  Will this position provide what you are looking for? Does it align with your goals?

Although you can find answers to some of these questions during your own research, seek out informational interviews.  I don’t think there is a better way to get information about the job other than the person, who has already done that job.  It might be helpful to get several perspectives.  Use your networking skills. Find the right people.  Ask the right questions.  Uncovering this type of value will help you recognize your perfect job.

Where do you fall on the spectrum below?



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