Sometimes a job is like that bright shiny object in the shop window that we want, we have to have it. We rush in, plunk our money down; secure our prize and a few days later ask ourselves, why did I ever want that? We can learn a lot about ourselves if we stop and think, why exactly do I want that job?
Sometimes we look for money, prestige, the allure of faraway places, excitement perhaps missing from our current position. It’s one of those fun fantasies, we imagine ourselves in the new role succeeding beyond our wildest dreams, impressing friends and loved ones, finally getting the respect we deserve.
Or do we? Six months into the job, all of a sudden things have lost their luster. The boss is a jerk; the coworkers are petty, boring, and incompetent. The honeymoon is over. It’s not what we imagined it would be. This is the single most dangerous aspect of job search. We choose the wrong job for the right reasons; after all, it seemed like the perfect job?
Well, it depends. First you have to get your mind around what is the most suitable role for you. That takes an honest self-assessment by you. If the job description contains all sorts of details, and you are a ‘big picture’ person, even if the job is located in just the right place, you won’t be happy. The sooner you understand that, the easier it will be for you. Read the description, several times. In fact make a chart of what is required with the skills you possess right next to each entry. Do your research on the company, the industry, and the people you will be working with. With Google and LinkedIn there is no reason to not gather the right information. If you have a trusted friend, you might show them the specification and ask them, ‘is this me?’ If you get an interview, try to focus on whether or not you like being at their offices, or are there signs you find troubling? For example, if you need to work in a quiet environment and visit a place that’s noisy, with loud conversations or music, how will you fit in? Sometimes you may not like the play where you are interviewing. You’ve just learned something about yourself.
My colleague Dave saw a very interesting international job. He would have to move to Europe and uproot his family. He’s ready to do that. There are some mixed signals, but Dave is happily going through the process. Some of the reasons that he wants the job make sense, but other reasons make it seem like Dave’s been looking at that shiny bright object in the store window. I can only hope he tries to motivate himself to dig a little deeper to evaluate if the job will correspond to his personal brand.