By Susan Guarneri
Looking for your dream job? Ready to try something new? Helpful tips and tools to move you from one career to another.
Career Likes and Dislikes
What is it you really want in a job? When you are frustrated/bored/angry with your job, the impulse to job search and take the first job that comes along is very tempting. But, as the saying goes, you may be “jumping from the frying pan into the fire”!
Evaluating what you have liked and disliked in your previous jobs is an obvious place to start. Be honest in your assessment. Then look to see if there are patterns in your responses. For example, you may abhor being micro-managed, and yet find that was a common thread in every job you have held.
This is a huge insight! It means you need to do more research about the company and team you are thinking of joining. Ask relevant interview questions about the degree of independence you will have in your job function. Look for indications (proof) that the responses you are getting from hiring managers and recruiters are accurate.
One way to do that is to get feedback from others who have been supervised by your potential manager or supervisor. It’s not all that difficult anymore. We used to get these meaty tidbits about the team and company culture by spending time at the water cooler.
Now we can reach out to folks we do not yet know via social media. For example, using LinkedIn to search companies, employees, and former employees can yield critical information that you would not find published anywhere!
To aid you in assessing your career likes and dislikes in your previous jobs, consider these elements:
- Motivated skills – These are the skills you are good at (perhaps even expert at!) that you really enjoy doing. Burnout skills, on the other hand, are those you are good at that you really dislike doing. Consider your current job function. What percentage of your time do you spend doing your motivated skills, and what percentage doing your burnout skills? If you are swamped with daily tasks involving your burnout skills, then it may not be surprising that you dislike your job.
- Interests / passions – Do you find your job interesting enough that you are excited to go to work? If not, how could you make it more interesting? What would constitute interesting industries for you to explore? One place to research industries is at the Bureau of Labor Statistics Career Guide to Industries (http://www.bls.gov/oco/cg/home.htm).
- Values – What are your personal beliefs and top values? Money? Prestige? Competency in your job? Social interaction with your team? Recognition? Advancement? Influence? Does your current career and company culture sync up with those values? While a good match with your values may not be the reason you do not accept a job offer, it often is the reason you will want to leave a job.
- Work Environment – This includes your commute, work location, office space (where you actually do your work), co-workers at all levels, clients/customers, company culture, team culture, and more. What workplace elements are invigorating, inspiring, relaxing, or productive for you? Which ones bother you the most? Sometimes even small things, repeated often enough, evolve into big dislikes on the job.
Establish benchmarks for your ideal job and work environment based on these career likes and dislikes. Prioritize these benchmarks by determining which are non-negotiable for you. The non-negotiable items will be at the top of your list. Become aware and act on your new-found insights when considering your next career move. It might save you from making a potentially disastrous career decision.
Susan Guarneri, Career Assessment Goddess and Reach Master Branding Strategist, can guide you to your best-fit career options and help you land your Dream Job.