Finding the Right Job is About More than the Duties, Tasks, Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities
I was speaking with a friend recently about our career transitions and what we’ve learned from them. She was sharing how her dream job was a little too dreamy. It used her strengths too much. And she found herself successfully tackling a significant project (because she’s awesome!), but feeling burned out. Her life no longer had balance and she was getting some major kudos (because, again, she’s awesome!). She was over-committed and frustrated. Eventually another opportunity came up in a similar nonprofit—with what appeared to be a very similar job description.
This formerly perfect job led her to her best job. Why? Because it allowed her to learn firsthand where she needed balance and allowed her to define where she needed challenges in her life.
If we spend our entire day with others telling us where we’re great, we’ll never learn…which ultimately is unfulfilling.
Our conversation got me to thinking about my own path. I’ve come to learn that it is very difficult for me to work in an office surrounded by people all day, every day. I can see my friends saying, “WHHHHAAATTT?!?” I’m an extrovert; in fact, I’m an extrovert’s extrovert. People give me energy. AND I’m very sensitive to other’s energy.
When I’m working around lots of people I tend to be drawn to others during the day (I’m one of those wierdos who loves a great meeting!). My co-workers see me as flexible and adaptable because they can pop in my office at any time. I’m happy to have a spontaneous conversation about your projects, my projects, your pet Chihuahua, your love life, you know…whatever comes up. But then I fall behind on my own priorities. I’ve come to learn how very sensitive I am to others’ moods and energy. This makes me a great coach and facilitator, but not so great at managing my own workload when others’ priorities come up. (I once worked in an open space/open concept office with those half cubicle walls. Talk about sensory overload for me! Ack!)
I’ve learned so much about myself during those times when I felt my work to be incongruent with my own style. So with each career transition, I’ve sought to find a better balance. And I’ve learned enough about myself to know that I need to create my own thing.
What do you need in order to be your most compassionate, productive, present, and balanced self?
Take a few minutes today to answer these questions FOR YOURSELF based on what you REALLY want. This isn’t a short list of questions and they aren’t necessarily easy to answer. Your career is a significant part of your life. Take the time you need to really be honest with yourself. I did and it has made all the difference.
- What types of physical environments do you work best in? In what types of jobs are you doing this work?
- When you feel most energized, what are you doing?
- When #1 and #2 have been ideal for you at the same time, what did you learn about yourself?
- Reviewing your answers for 1, 2, and 3, what is most important for you in your career?
- What types of co-workers and what type of manager are best for you to work with?
- How are other parts of your life positively affected when you are in the ideal environment?
- Who else benefits when you are more fulfilled in your career?
After reviewing your answers, decide where changes are needed. Now here’s the hard part:
What are you going to do about it?
The world is waiting for you.