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The secret to selecting the right job for you

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There are days when you start singing the “any job will do” blues but really for most people, that is a really bad solution. With as many years as I have as a career marketing strategist / resume writer, I can tell you that every job you are qualified to do (which already limits the field) is still not the right job for you.

Let’s pretend for a minute that I am looking for a job.

If I am being honest, I will reject any job that is a “cubical job.” I’m not going at staying in one place for long periods of time. Even though I work on a computer most days and work longer hours much of the time than your typical 8 hour shift, I would go stir-crazy in a cubical.

Large spaces

My office is 25×15 with windows on two sides and my glass patio door leading to my deck on the other side. It opens into the open concept living room / dining room… not many walls around me.

Work outside or inside

Then you have to consider the fact that if it is 65F or warmer, I start aching to move the laptop outside and now that I figured out how to do it, the last three posts, and my most recent resume have been written at my table on the deck. Not only do I need large spaces to work in, but I need the flexibility to be outside if it is warm. I have always been drawn to the outdoors ever since I was little. I was quite the bookworm when I was young but I brought my book outside to the corner stoop, the top balcony, or the front porch depending on where the sun was when I wanted to read.

No wonder I didn’t struggle too much when I spent 30 days a year on the river operating the computer doing registration – usually under a tent, but nonetheless, I was OUTSIDE!

Minimal Supervision

In addition, I really like being in charge of me. Every job or position I have had since 1981 has either had a remote supervisor (think 150 miles or more away) or I have answered only to me. Ultimately, of course, I also answer to the client but that’s a different kind of relationship than someone telling me specifically what I need to do when. I am fairly self-disciplined. You kind of have to be if you are going to work for yourself or in situations where you are the one in charge.

Geography

As much as I whine about winter lasting too long, Wisconsin is my home and I love it here. But if you are considering a position in another part of the country make sure you do love where you are going or are willing to change your attitude. I have moved several times but all lasted very short times (6- 13 months) and I finally realized that wanderlust aside, I have a strong desire to be close to family and the majority of them are in Central Wisconsin so I stopped moving.

The right job for you

  • Do you like wide open spaces or work well in a cubical or perhaps manufacturing type environment?
  • Do you like being outside or inside?
  • Do you like physical or mental work?
  • Do you like close supervision or do you want to be in charge or at the very least work with minimal supervision?
  • Do you like the geographic place you are targeting?
  • Most of all, do you like the work you will be doing?

If you do enough homework on each job or career to understand the answers to each of those questions, you will end up loving what you do. I do! How about you?

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6 Responses to The secret to selecting the right job for you

  1. Julie, I agree it’s so important to understand what kinds of situations/environments a candidate prefers: there’s little worse than being in a job that makes us miserable.

    • Yes, and when desperation kicks in, the temptation is to grab an anything and then you can be so miserable and not have options or if you decide you need to move again, your options may be minimized and your resume will start looking fragmented.

    • Hi Gee, so good to see you back in my comments! I have missed you. Yes, I am in my happy spot here on the deck. 73F which is very nice. Can’t translate right not but believe me it is the perfect temps. Yes, I think everyone should carefully consider where they are going before they get moving.

  2. Great post, Julie!

    I love the term “fish fever”. Sometimes people dive for what’s popping up at the time.

    Although it’s great to look for interesting opportunities, it’s important to be discriminating about those right for you individually. And I think it goes beyond the job description.

    Hiring folks expect that you’ll have self-knowledge about that, including your motivators and passions.

    You have found a great fit and it’s wonderful that you share some of the reasons why. I bet many others will be inspired to figure out what they love and how that might happen!

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