On Day 12 of the #60Day Challenge, you are going to unplug. You are going to take a little time away from the devices and connectivity; you are going to grab pencil and paper and take advantage of the quiet time we hope you’ll find on a weekend day. Today, you will determine the ideal fit for you and your career goals. (Please, though, don’t unplug until you’re done reading this post!)
The shotgun approach to job searching is a tremendous time-suck. Applying for any job, at any company, is wholly ineffective – and a tremendous waste of your time and that of the recruiters where you submitted an application. If you don’t care about that job at that company, the recruiter knows it. How? Recruiters can smell apathy from a mile away.
So how do you set yourself apart from all the shotgun-carrying job seekers?
You determine your fit – the type of organization where your talents, style, personality and ambitions will not only be nurtured, but leveraged to the benefit of you and the company.
So today, using that pen and paper and without digital interruptions or influence, you are going to write down the kind of company where you won’t just survive, but thrive. Start by answering these seven questions:
- Are you more comfortable in an environment where you are a rock star, or would you prefer to blend in among the other employees?
- Do you naturally migrate toward a more stable environment, or might you need a professional rush to help you get out of bed in the morning?
- Do you enjoy working independently, without a lot of supervision, or do you enjoy more of a structured work environment?
- Is it important to you to believe strongly in the company mission, or is a “steady job” with average or better compensation more important to you?
- Is it more important to work for an established company – a marquee brand that will look good on your resume and business card – or would you rather start small and go big?
- How important are the concepts of mentorship, work-life integration and continued learning?
- Do you see yourself working 7 to 10 years with the same company, or do see yourself as a professional nomad ready to head in a different direction with a moment’s notice?
Important: while you are answering these questions – and completing this Day 12 task in general – try not to think of a specific company, or even industry (we’ll get to that tomorrow). For now, think only about you… and where you – given your skill set, personal brand, education, goals and ambitions – will excel. Don’t rely on input from anything other than your experience-to-date, what has worked well for you so far (and what hasn’t). If you get stuck, consider asking a mentor for input.
Go answer those questions… we’ll wait here…
<Insert thinking music from ‘Jeopardy’ here>
All done? Good.
Now, take a look at the answers. Where might you fit in best?
- If you desire to be a major contributor in a dynamic work environment that may grow quickly, enjoy a more independent workplace that will allow (even require) self-learning, and seek out mentors… a start-up, young company or a small team inside a larger company might be best for you.
- If you would prefer to take more time to learn the ropes, would prefer a steady paycheck from a well-established (even prestigious) company where you might climb the proverbial corporate ladder and want to lead your own life once your day is officially over… a legacy corporation or larger non-profit might be best.
- If you see yourself needing to believe strongly in the company mission to be engaged, understand your personal passions might change frequently and are not driven primarily by monetary compensation… a grass-roots non-profit or purpose-driven corporation might be the perfect fit.
At this point, your concept of the right fit for you should be far more clear. In fact, you may even say, “Wow, I didn’t know that about me!”
That’s a good thing… because in Day 13 you are going to use this vision to perfectly craft a target list of potential employers that need you on their team! Jump there now…