As many of you may know, I’m currently working for a company that I’m not entirely fond of. I feel like this is something that happens to a lot of people. We spend months looking for the right job, powering through rejection after rejection, and then finally, something comes along, and we’re just so relieved that we accept the job regardless of how we feel about it.
Starting a new job is a lot like starting a new relationship, and similarly, searching for a job is kind of like dating. So how do you make sure you’re entering a professional relationship that you can see yourself sticking with for the long haul?
Take the first date seriously!
Okay, so more often than not, the interview process involves companies weeding out the people who aren’t a good fit. But that’s only half the story.
There are 2 sides to every relationship, so we also have to decide whether or not the employer is someone that we like.
You wouldn’t just jump into a relationship with the first person who asked you out, would you? You have to like the person too. You have to be able to see the relationship going somewhere.
So why on Earth would we just accept a job from the first company that’s willing to hire us?
Well tons of reasons actually. Number 1, we need money. Number 2, we need health insurance. Number 3, we’re tired of looking and we’re ready to just settle down already.
And that my friend’s is how you end up working for a company that you’re dissatisfied with. You may promise yourself that this is just a temporary thing; that you’re going to keep looking until you find the perfect job. But let’s be real, that rarely ever happens.
First you’re excited about your new position, so the job search falls on by wayside. Then you get comfortable, so why look for something new? Then there’s the whole “experience thing.” You start thinking, well, I’m already here, I might as well stay and build up my experience.
But sooner or later, the dissatisfaction starts to settle in and before you know it, you’ve joined the ranks of millions of people who are dissatisfied with their jobs, but don’t really know what to do about it.
At this point, you either stay and endure the dissatisfaction, or you start the whole process over, only to take the first job that will get you out of your current situation, again without thinking about the big picture. And the cycle continues.
So how do we change this? How do we find a job that’s meaningful to us? A job that we can see ourselves staying with for the long haul?
I have no idea, but I imagine it starts with that first interview.
I remember being in my interview for my current role, and they said something to me about overtime.
“We do work a lot of overtime here, and we’re looking for someone who doesn’t mind putting in the extra hours. Does that sound like something you’re interested in?”
I remember thinking, overtime, meh… but instead of voicing my concern (for fear of not getting the job) I said, “totally, that works for me!”
At the time, maybe I thought it wouldn’t be so bad. Maybe I thought the overtime would be worth it, because I needed a job with benefits. Maybe I thought that it would be worth the necessary experience I would be gaining.
Regardless of what I thought, I didn’t honor my feeling. I chose to be optimistic and hope for the best. I can guarantee you that if I was on a first date with someone and they said something about themselves that made me go meh… I probably wouldn’t have said yes to a second date.
So if you’re looking for a new job, trying to make a positive change to your life through your career, take this into consideration. Remember, you’re not the only person who is being critiqued in an interview. Listen you your gut, and trust your feelings. If there’s something that makes it feel like it might not be the right fit, it’s probably not.
Think you might have found your dream job? That’s great! I’d love to hear about what makes it seem that way? Did you have any doubts in the interview process? I’d love to hear all about your experience with job hunting. Share your story in the comments below, or link me to a blog post you’ve written about it.