Posted on April 29, 2011 by Lee Weisser
Have you ever felt as if you should settle – for a job, for a relationship, for a lifestyle? I know I have. Most of us feel pressure at one time or another, from ourselves or from well-meaning family and friends, to just find something and stick with it. End of story. No need for others to worry about us.
When you settle for a job or career that is less than what you want, you give up the opportunity to be your best self at work. What is your best self? It’s you giving 100% commitment and getting 100% fulfillment.
Of course, there are all kinds of great excuses to accept a ‘less than best’ job (“This will look good on my resume”, or “I’ll just do it for a year”), but you will go to work every day with a heavy heart. That’s not good for your physical or mental health. In fact, it’s a recipe for stress and burnout.
Maybe you are settling to stay in a job environment that is no longer supportive, or doing tasks that you have outgrown. It may seem more reasonable to stay than to risk trying something new. But what if you are feeling really frustrated and unhappy? Or what if that job is literally making you sick? A change may be just what the doctor ordered.
There are steps you can take to find a job or career that will make you feel good. You need to identify your values, your strengths and your motivations. Then you need stand up for what’s important to you.
List 3 ‘must haves’ for your next job
To identify the 3 ‘must haves’, ask yourself some questions:
- Do you hold an important value that cannot be compromised?
- What skills or strengths must you absolutely use in your next job?
- Is there a social, physical or other need that must be satisfied for you to want to go into work every day?
- Will the job allow you to demonstrate competence in your highest skill?
- Will the work environment be comfortable for you?
Based on your values, strengths and motivations, make a list of 3 non-negotiable criteria by which you will measure each job opportunity.
It’s important to make this list based on what you really want, not on the latest statistics of ‘where the jobs are’ or how much money you can make. It’s not about finding the best job, but about finding the job that’s best for you.
Those 3 fundamental things are what you need to be happy in your work at this stage of your life. Does this narrow the field? Definitely. But it forces you to focus on what’s important to you – without focus, there can be no success.