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I am often contacted by job seekers, wondering if I have heard of new opportunities that might be “a fit” for them. While I am always happy to help, more often than not I am not the clear path to employment I think they think I will be. I hate disappointing people, but reality is reality.
Job-seeking is hard. You scour the internet and job boards, email all your friends and tell them to ask around but not broadcast it (for fear your current employer will find out and fire you), and even post on social media profiles (again, discreetly). You send countless resumes and try not to go blind writing cover letters and interesting tidbits about yourself. If you’re lucky, you score interviews and traipse all over creation (and sometimes all over the country) looking for that perfect job, often to find – sometimes after a few months on the clock – that it, too, is “just not right.”
Maybe it’s not the job. Maybe it’s you.
That saying “Do What You Love, Love What You Do” is deceiving. It implies that, if you search long enough, you’ll find just the right Monday-through-Friday-four-weeks-vacation-per-year-fully-funded-401k-matching nirvana. Your creativity will be unleashed, your bosses will praise you and heap bonuses at your door, and you will never “work” another day in your life.
I don’t think that exists. Anywhere. I believe we have to create that space for ourselves.
Perhaps you’re looking for your perfect job in the wrong place. Maybe you are in the right place, and just going about your job the wrong way.
All kinds of things will affect your job satisfaction. Some are beyond your control, but more factors than you might think are right at your fingertips. Steve Jobs said it best in his famous 2005 Stanford commencement address. But read between the lines. He stopped doing things that didn’t interest him, so he could do the things that did. He re-prioritized the mundane so he could engage in the fun. He didn’t stop doing the work he needed to. He just made sure he didn’t get caught up in it.
“Seek, and ye shall find,” said the wise man. I’m betting he was an optimist. You go be one too.