The Job Should Fit

Few of us can wear clothes off the rack and have them look like they were custom made for us. And so it is with jobs. There are few (if any) perfect fits when it comes to employment.

download-961797_640Some jobs chafe more than others. While there are lots of skill inventories and personality assessments that can tell you what kinds of things you enjoy, you don’t need a self-reporting test to tell you the things you know. You already know some of the things that you are good at. It’s not fun to spend days doing something you are not good at or don’t enjoy (these often go hand-in-hand).

Some things to remember when thinking about looking for a new job or career:

  • No one was born to do something. People who do well in their jobs are playing to their strengths. They have built upon a foundation of an existing talent. Be honest with yourself about what you do well and get feedback from others about both your ability and your potential for developing that ability.

  • Speaking of feedback – what are you hearing? If you are always receiving improvement feedback or are not getting any comments or reactions to your work, that’s a clue. If you are hearing the same information from everyone, it might be time to pay attention and listen. Look for folks who will be caring AND honest and ask them to be candid and kind.

  • If it looks, sounds, feels, and acts like a bad fit, then it’s a bad fit. A bad fit rarely gets better with time. If you have made a ‘deal with the devil’ and taken a job for the money, or a job for the short commute, or a position because the hours fit your lifestyle, remember that deal you made is getting you exactly what you bargained for. Be happy about that. If you want more that what the bargain was for, it is time to go find a new deal.

  • Is there love? You know when someone is in love because they beam, they talk about the object of their affection, and they are eager to share the feeling with everyone they come in contact with. If you aren’t eager to share information about how you spend your work day with others (other than to complain) you are not really hiding your discontent.

  • Pretending is exhausting.  It takes a lot of energy to try to be something that deep down, you know you ‘re really not. If you have to play a role or hide your authentic self when you are at work, you probably come home drained at the end of the day. That is simply not rewarding. Nor is it any fun.

Maybe jobs really are like clothing:

  • You may have loved it once but it doesn’t really fit well now.

  • Some aspects of it still work quite well (the color, the fit, the style) so it’s premature to toss it.

  • You don’t think it’s so great, but others really do — and they say so — which makes you feel a bit better.

  • If it is a bad fit, (out of style, uncomfortable, in bad shape, uncomplimentary, wrong) it’s time to go.

  • Don’t discard it if you have nothing to replace it – you’ll be either out of work, or naked!

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