You read correctly – if you’re looking for a job, then you’re missing out on the whole point of our twenty-first-century work world. By prescribing to the old-fashioned belief that a job is simply a means to a paycheck, then you’re undoubtedly still standing in the breadline, unfulfilled and going nowhere fast in your field. I know what you’re thinking: “But I need to eat, pay my bills, and support my family.” The problem is an outdated mindset will hold you back from achieving your full potential, no matter your skill level or credentials.
The only difference between the “Haves” (who are working for their dream organization doing what they love most) and the “Have Nots” (who keep taking crappy jobs) is that the haves only accept positions that move their career forward in a positive way. Instead of focusing on the present, they develop a career disaster plan to be ready for those times when they’re faced with downsizing, a terrible boss, or a company culture that just doesn’t work.
Job seekers. So instead of taking a job simply to take a job, start by identifying where you are in your career trajectory, what your purpose is, and goals to facilitate that purpose. Whether you have those answers or not, it’s important to embark on an exploratory journey in order to find out what types of company cultures and industries you thrive in. Don’t commit to a big career decision before you have all the facts. Volunteering part time, temporary work, or internships are great ways to experiment before accepting a permanent position.
People who are “career stuck.” If you think that you’ve already mastered your craft and have gone into “pilot mode,” you’re in deep trouble. Employers are looking for people who not only have a vast arsenal of work experiences, but are also committed to constant professional development. If you’ve already worked for a corporate monster, try a smaller company. But be sure to join an organization that believes in training its people and take advantage of learning new skills.
Professionals competing for that corner office. Are you wondering why you’ve been overlooked at your current company? Are you waiting for someone else to come to you versus approaching your superior with a plan? Don’t wait to be noticed. Even the confident introverts should be keeping tabs on their accomplishments.
At the end of the day, finding the right job should be a byproduct of a predetermined strategy. Employers want to know why you took a job and why you chose to leave it because they need a partner who makes sound decisions – decisions that make sense to their personal brand.