When we become so consumed in looking for work, applying for everything we can get our hands on, taking every meeting and networking until it feels like a full time job, we don’t often stop to think about what we are doing? It’s not just enough to follow our dreams, toss caution to the wind and pray for a miracle when we look for the next best thing. Finding out what we really want from what we think we want is the first step in finding our perfect job.
Just like dating, finding our perfect job match really starts with identifying what you want from what you don’t want. The eHarmony dating site aptly refers to this as “Must Haves/Can’t Stands”. I think when it comes to your job search putting a similar list together will help you to decipher what you want from what you think you want. Having the necessary vocabulary to articulate your career goals and desires helps you distinguish a good job opportunity from a bad one. Like finding a suitable mate, knowing what you want from not helps you weed out the good offers from the bad ones.
Putting your list together can be easy and I would recommend you start with 10 items for each list. I’ve set up a sample of what your list might look like to help guide you along the way:
Career Must Haves:
1- Creativity: The ability to work in an environment that will allow me to be creative and stretch myself to learn and explore new ways of working and creating.
2-Collaboration: Working within an environment of peers and colleagues where we can share ideas and co-create in a meaningful way.
3-Flexibility: Having the ability to work flexible hours so long as the work gets done and is on time.
4- Autonomy: Knowing that others are confident in my work to allow me to be free to work without having someone micro-manage my every move.
5- Pay: Knowing that I am compensated for my work fairly and equitably without having to constantly prove my worth or value to the company or justify my pay against my peers
6-Advancement: Knowing that I am considered a valuable employee and that I have opportunity to advance in my career through promotion, pay, perks, etc
7-Education: Knowing I am encouraged and able to take classes, training and seminars to help further my career and learning so that I am considered a valuable addition to the team.
8-Acknowledgement: Having my peers and superiors openly acknowledge my accomplishments and encourage me with positive feedback.
9-Stability: Having a stable and steady work environment without too much change or uncertainty about reporting relationships, job duties, changing priorities, etc.
10-Communication: Working for a company that has open communication both internal and external and values the views and opinions, suggestions and advice from it’s employees.
Your Career Can’t Stands can include many of the things you do not want or would not appreciate in a job following much the same format. This is just a sample list but there are many more areas where you can develop a list to include what aspects of your next job you want and what you can do without.
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