Why you don’t want this job – and how to get the right job, part 1

My previous ‘career’ post was about leaving your job. On the flip side is getting a new job (hopefully). If you’re looking for a job, hearing me say “you don’t want this job” probably sounds balony. So – is it?

Do your homework, get a job

Your Career: Right Job Or Wrong Job

Right Job Or Wrong Job?
Only you can tell. Hopefully

This is what most of us consider normal nowadays: do some research into your potential employer. View a couple of LinkedIn profiles of people who work there – maybe you’ll find one of them even blogs. You’ll get to know a lot about the people who may become your coworkers. So far, so good.

But what if you’re so good at job interviews you land the wrong job?

Thanks to a comment I got thinking about this. Some of us are just too competitive. Landing a job becomes a sport in itself. Or you’re applying for every job you can think of just to get the money rolling in. Then you get an offer. One offer.

Your future employer maybe made the job sound a bit more glamorous than it really is. This happens to any job that contains a lot of routine work. Employers dial up the interesting bits, and dial down the days and days you’ll spend staring at a screen churning out numbers or client data.

How to get the right job

Start by getting a clear picture of what you want from a job – apart from the money. Even if you feel this isn’t the right time to be getting critical, you need a reference point to tell if a job is 80% your kind of job, 50%, or only 20% (you’ll probably spot that last one effortlessly).

Check if your estimate is right at your job interview. The match determines how fast you’ll be looking for your next job.

Questions to ask yourself:

What do I love to do?

In my case, I wanted to become an archaeologist when I was a kid. Leakey-style. Digging in the sand to unearth the most amazing fossils. As an adult, I dug around in archives and found some beautiful specimens 😉

I still enjoy combing the long beach of the internet for interesting stuff, and building sand castles on my blog. The nature of a specific job doesn’t change what I love to do.

What do you enjoy doing? What’s the common denominator in your life and career?

What do I have to offer to this potential employer?

How can you help this particular organization doing this job? What are your strengths? What knowledge have you already gained? Sometimes you think you have an answer and you’ll find that your future employer has different ideas of what you have to offer.

I was called “over qualified” so I depended on employers who would let me prove I wouldn’t run away screaming after a few weeks. Then one day I ran into an organization where affinity with art actually helped me get a job over several other candidates who had applied before me. And I didn’t know my background had triggered their interest until the job interview.

Tip: be careful what you leave out of your resume.

What does this job have to offer for my career?

Let’s break this one up into a few pieces:

  1. What tasks does this job entail that are part of the career I would like?
  2. How much time will I be able to spend on those tasks?
  3. What new experience will I gain doing all this?
  4. And a tricky one, do I have a specific goal for the next few years?
  5. If the answer to #4 is yes, how long (minimum) do I want to stay?

Tip for #4: At the organization that offered me an archiving job I could also do the research for my part-time study. That saved me an internship that would have meant little income for months. Did I mention this at my interview? Yes.

Tip for #5 (or 4B): Be prepared for this question. Your potential employer wants to know if you’re worth investing time and training – if you’ll stick around for a while after you reach your own goal.

Read more:

An article on Exertusjobs aimed at anyone over 50. But I’d say you can read it if you’re younger.

An earlier career post I wrote on this blog.

You may have gathered I got the job in spite of, or thanks to, my honesty. It was a what-you-see-is-what-you-get deal. It worked for me. What works for you?

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2 thoughts on “Why you don’t want this job – and how to get the right job, part 1

  1. I can’t believe how timely your job posts are for me at the moment – I am relishing them: thank you.

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