Have we forgotten something about job hunting?BY EVELYN QUEK
No doubt having a job pays the bills and if it is well-paid, buys that dream condo, car and holidays abroad. You may compete with a better MBA or show off relevant work experience, but in your chase for a better paid job, have you taken everything into consideration?
Can you stomach the politics of the new organisation where bosses play ’stab the other person to get ahead’ games which includes lower ranking staff like you, or war with other departments, staking out turfs in open plan offices, all affecting your daily well-being?
Do you just love the creative aspects of your job but hate the selling and negotiating bits that came with the higher salary and abusive clients? Are you a whizz at dreaming up complex ‘what if‘ scenarios but hopeless at solving day to day problems which somehow makes up most of your current strategic planning job?
Does selling banking or insurance products to old aunties make you wince, knowing that a nice chunk of it goes to line your annual bonus? Do you wish you are out there helping to make a better world for others who need help instead of trying to meet monthly profit forecasts for your publicly listed company?
Or did you simply sign up with a media company, find yourself a supervisor in production and now dread going to work but don’t know why?
People in wrong jobs throw in the towel
No matter if you have just joined the workforce, has worked for several years, or experiencing mid career crisis, or on your way to a silver handshake, people in ‘wrong’ jobs eventually throw in the towel. How long before is just a matter of tolerance thresholds?
As a career counselor who spent the last 20 years talking to job seekers and corporate executives from a wide variety of backgrounds and job types, I find that an inherent satisfaction and happiness with the work one does and one’s work environment determines how long a person stays in a job.
Much more than whether the job will pay more.
Doing work you like matters a lot
I think of the 35+ chartered accountant who left his father’s firm as he could no more face the drudgery of monthly P & L statements; the young graduate who left a prestigious international bank much to the chagrin of her cohort who envied her job because she could bear to make the nice old aunties lose money (she also missed out on the Lehman’s debacle); the 50’s CEO who left a 25 year career in the middle of a recession because his heart was in teaching and writing: or the hardened 62 year old expat oil trader trading up a huge top dog salary only after two years, to be a nature tour guide because “each day, you walk through the door, lying through your teeth and you leave lying through your teeth.”
One of the most poignant instances happened during a work-life training session of 25 male engineers in a high stress 24/7 environment when one admitted that he leaves his daily ‘easygoing attitude’ at work, taking out the day’s stress on his wife and son through violent outbursts.
Like athletes training for the elusive gold, your eight hour or longer workday should fulfill and balance your relationships with the world around you in a way money cannot. Is this work you would happily do, day in, day out, making additional sacrifices willingly when called for?
If some aspects of a job fill you with dread, it’s time to think again. Such tasks have a way of becoming the be-all of a particular job.
The key question about right fit is: ‘Would you look forward to going to work each day?’