Would you like to find a job you love? Too many of my clients quote their parents with the familiar, “If you loved it, they wouldn’t pay you to do it.” Or, “Nobody likes their job. What makes you think you can?”
Oy! This conventional wisdom also suggests that we make ourselves into what the job wants. In other words, fit your oblong peg to the round hole. If we don’t fit into the hole, shave off our sides. It’s our job to mould ourselves and meet a certain need. However, this is not the right approach if you want to find a job you love.
Find a Job You Love; Fitting In Doesn’t Fit
When we try to blend in, we lose our uniqueness. We lose the best parts of ourselves. The quirky bits — quite literally, our edge. We don’t “fit in” as people. It’s better to show up as yourself, and belong, authentically. Instead of trying to meet others’ needs, perhaps the opportunity can shift to accommodate us. I’ve seen my clients at their happiest when they work with an employer to co-create a job they want and their employer needs.
Finding meaningful work is key to a fulfilling career. For any job seeker out there, fitting into someone else’s expectations means there may be less of an opportunity to highlight the gifts you bring to the work environment as an individual. At times, it can mean less innovation, less creative thinking, more conforming.
When looking to find a job you enjoy and can grow with, the focus must be on belonging, not fitting in. Fitting in means adjusting yourself, whereas belonging means accepting yourself.
When searching for and interviewing for a job, (or clothes for that matter), you want to find an opportunity that fits you, not one you need to squeeze into. Thus, it is essential to show who you are rather than hide your uniqueness. Look for a place of employment that can celebrate, embrace and foster you. If they see the benefit in you (the real you), they will be a better place for you to truly contribute.
You are not an interchangeable widget. You are not plug and play. Uniqueness is a benefit that will assist an innovative company. And if you can be yourself, and not have to laboriously get yourself into “costume” every day, then you save your energy for your contributions, not for theatrics.
How To Co-Create the Job You Want
The world changed in the last six months as COVID-19 forced companies to shift from their standard way of doing things. This shift has created new opportunities to work with companies that have had to think outside the box with little time to adjust. There can be some great opportunities to co-create a job in this new world of business dynamics.
The idea of co-creating a job is based on the concept of interdependence. There is a focus on what you want and need from your career, the roles you play and how they can impact an organization.
And of course, the organization needs you to show up, ready, willing and able to work. When you are working from an authentic place, you work harder; you give more. You’re more invested in your job.
Everybody wins. Smart companies know this.
Working based on interdependence means finding a potential employer who is willing to co-create a job with you and is interested in finding the right person to add value to their organization, not the right cog for the wheel.
Identify The Skills You Have
Employment through co-creation is a new way to approach a job search. To begin the process of co-creating a job, you have to know what contributions you are bringing to the table.
Search deep and learn what you have to offer — your skills, talents, and interests — and find out what you can contribute. You may have a skill or some experience that is of great value to the employer that you may take for granted; you’re so good at it, you don’t even realize how valuable it is!
The interview process with a potential employer can help you both connect the dots — highlight your strengths and skills, while shining a light on their needs. This will help them see your employment potential.
To learn about your talents, listen to what people say about you. Reread your performance reviews, and discover your skills. Find out what you love, and what people love about you to find a job you love.
Similarly, hear your weaknesses. Accept some, while you can bolster others. Play to your strengths, follow your skills and interests and build out what you’re good at! You may end up partnering with something who is really good at what you lack.
And remember, a successful job search ends in a role that feels like collaboration. You’re both excited about the present and the future. It’s about being able to compliment a business’s needs and goals while being yourself. Belong, don’t just fit in. Bring skills and abilities to support the company, and get excited to show up to work and make your unique contribution.
While you and the potential employer work through the process of co-creating a job, allow yourself to be influenced by their needs while also positively influencing the direction of the organization.
There has to be room for morphing and changing on both sides. Be open to altering some expectations and make sure the company can do this as well.
Co-creation involves interdependence. Working together means creating something that works well for both parties. True success is in balance; both sides feel that they’ve gained.
The Benefits of Co-Creating a Job
Finding success and co-creating a job will leave you excited to go to work, do your job and make an impact.
The Japanese call it Ikigai. Simply put, you get to do what you love, what you are good at, what the world needs, and get paid to do it!
Ikigai literally means “a reason for being”. While it may or may not be career-oriented, or work that you are paid for, it does describe the feeling of deep fulfillment one has when one has found their place of meaningful contribution. Find a job you love, and you fulfill you ikigai.
The sum of the small joys that life offers is powerful and your work life can be part of that. The goal of finding fulfilling work, enjoying putting your skills and talents to work and wanting to grow and evolve, while working for a mission-driven company that shares your values can and does happen! It happens in my office every day, in fact.
Find The Job You Love
Now is the time to be creative, as companies shift and reorient with COVID. Search for and find the opportunities and organizations that appeal to you and might just need your skills and talents. Be in it for the long haul; hold out for the right job (not the “right now” job). Find a person with whom you can work to create a role that will let your gifts shine and bring both you and the company great returns.
Be flexible and aware that your dream job may not even exist yet. I know this from living it — the field of coaching didn’t even exist when I was in college. It didn’t exist. Neither did YouTube, Facebook or Google for that matter — and think about what considerable employers they are today. Know that both you, and the employment market will change as your career evolves.
The world is always an influx and so are you. It’s your responsibility to know yourself and pursue growth. That right job is evolving as you are. Be ready to not fit in but to belong. You can find a job you love; I help clients do this all day long.
As always, I welcome a conversation with you to discuss how I can support you in your job and life.