I have “the list.” I’ve had it for over three years. It’s things I want in a partner that I created under the advice and guidance of a male friend. It’s the must haves and nice to haves. I’m an engineer and it seemed perfectly logical to me to approach a relationship in this manner. But a funny thing happen with my list. I found the guy that has every single must haves and more than half of the nice to haves and it did not work for me. Seriously, it did not work. What happened? Because, you know the engineer in me wants to analyze the lessons learned. I realized this same scenario happens career wise. People get the “dream job” and are not happy. What’s up?
Consider, we just missed part of the equation. Oh come on, follow me on this one. We’ve all seen that exceptionally cute shoe that we know will work perfectly with an outfit. The style, the color, the detail, every thing about this shoe is perfect. It glides on the foot like Cinderella’s slipper. You begin to hear that angelic chorus in the background, in that moment you feel your life is about to take on that magical transformation and all is to perfect until moment you try to stand and word and phrases banned from polite company start to strew from your mouth. The shoe HURTS! Oh no, this is not going to work, get this instrument of torture off my foot, banish it from my sight, oh what have I done to wrought such pain. In other words, everything was taken into consideration except feeling; true feeling.
For the career, the job, most certainly have the list of must haves and nice to haves. This can be things like large company, small company, work from home, flexible hours, how this job fits into your career etc. Then think about how you want to feel about the job. Do you want to feel valued, cherished, admired (oops wrong list).
Are you starting a job search or contemplating a move? Make a list. Consider things such as:
- Why do you want a job? Do you want a job in your field of expertise and you are building your career, or is this job a way to make extra money so you can take a vacation. Your list of must haves and nice to haves start here.
- How do you need to work? Do you need a flexible schedule? Do you need to see people face to face or can you work well remotely?
- What doesn’t work you for you? I don’t think so. Sometimes it may be hard to list things you want, but you may be able to list things you don’t. A long commute that requires 4 hours roundtrip may be just the thing
I know how to shop for shoes as do most of us. When I am looking for work shoes, my must haves are I must be able to walk and stand for extended periods of time. They shoes have to work with my outfits and I do not like wedge pumps, platforms or so called nudes shades to extend the leg and no flats. I know how to do this for shoes. After a selection of shoes are presented, the shoes are tried on for feel. Now, most likely there is no “try on the job for feel,” but there is a list of the way you want to feel on the job and about the job. Defining the must haves, nice to haves and how you feel will lead to a better chance of success and serve as a reminder of choice.
I did all three a for home purchase in a priority scheme I got from What color is your parachute years ago. http://workmatters.com/microsoft/prioritizinggrid.pdf You make a list and then you compare each item on the list to every other item on the list, indicating which of the two is more important. While I had great things on my list, hard wood floors, a view, peaceful, fireplace, secure and so on. Safety won out every time, and a fire place was at the bottom. So, while I had this vision in my head, a wall of windows that overlooks a verdant pasture with a fire going, the reality is, if I didn’t feel safe, none of that would matter.
The lesson learned? That job search is like a relationship, ha,it is a relationship. Consider how you want to feel about the job, how you want the job to make you feel in addition to the characteristics. When putting that list together, there are two things to consider, what you want for the job, like pay, location, proximity, type of work and how you want to feel, excited, in control creative, what ever it is. Of course, vision versus reality is an entirely different post, but, for now, not only consider the characteristics you want, but how you want to feel. It’s those feelings that will motivate you. You don’t want to dread putting on your shoes, you want to that thing to make you smile and think all is right with the world.