3 Reasons to Stop Looking for the “Ideal” Job
- It probably doesn’t exist anyway
- You can’t know everything before you take the job so there will be some surprises
- Things can and probably will change after you are hired
It probably doesn’t exist anyway
I have allowed myself to chew up many hours wrestling with trying to define the ideal job for myself. Perhaps I am too picky, not smart enough or whatever but I have yet to settle on a definition that will completely satisfy me. A huge percentage of the people I have coached through career transition have started their conversations with me around their aspiration to “use the process as an opportunity” to find that elusive ideal role. It’s largely a myth.
Don’t get me wrong. I am not suggesting that you should not invest a lot of time and effort in creatively working out what sort of work you want to do and the environment or organisation culture that would be a great fit for you. Just don’t expect perfection because you are setting yourself up for probable disappointment in the real world.
You can’t know everything before you take the job
No matter how much research you do before accepting the role, no matter what questions you manage to ask during the selection interviews, there will always be things you can’t discover until you are actually inside the new organisation. It is quite likely that while the culture may be great and you get along well with most of the people, there will be someone who is a little suspicious of you, the newcomer. It takes a while to build those new relationships. There may even be someone who felt they deserved the role and didn’t get it. There may be some practical aspects of the situation that were possibly presented to you a little more positively than is actually the case. You may have rationalised away some things that concerned you because you were really keen for other reasons – or really needed to start earning a salary again. Fair enough, but there are likely to be some things you will find more challenging than you expected. But that’s not necessarily bad, just real.
Things can and probably will change after you are hired
So picture this. You have landed a great role, all is going really well and none of the issues I mentioned in the last paragraph have happened. This is fantastic and you are really getting into your stride. Then around month 4, the wonderful person who is your new manager announces that she has been offered an incredible opportunity to take a promotion to an overseas division of the company. OK, you think, that’s a shame but there’s maybe a chance for you to step up too – and then the company decides to merge your department with another and you end up reporting to someone else. Your “new” new manager doesn’t know you, wasn’t involved in hiring you and sees this additional responsibility as something of a burden. If that sounds far-fetched, rest assured it is based on real situations I have seen happen.
So, what do you do…?
If this struck a chord with you, look out for another post, coming soon, with some suggestions for how to manage your arrival and setting into a new role and organisation.
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