I am looking for work and although I have not had any luck so far, I insist on waiting for the perfect job that I know will provide me with happiness, a sufficient income and satisfaction. My friends, family and Employment Counsellor disagree with me. Based on their experiences, there is no such beast as a perfect job.
Is it a mistake to want the perfect job?
Signed: Waiting for Perfection
In an informative article on this issue, Folker Wrage, an advertising consultant, suggested that “most of us keep looking for the perfect job for almost all of our careers, and never find it.”, suggesting that if we are set on such a position, perhaps we need to create that job or business ourselves. Gwen Knowles covers this topic as well, stressing a need to take action, open up your options and “dip in before you chose which route to pursue”.
Do not limit your search for that perfect job or career that closely match your skills and experience, advises Knowles; instead, she advises to aim for companies who might hire you, and not companies where you’d love to work.
Knowles presents four suggestions that will hopefully help you change your thinking and be more successful in your job search:
1. Embrace Exploration.
Instead of picking a single career path, why not sample a few? Consider this your invitation to the career ‘buffet’, where you can have a taste of an assortment of options available.
2. Try new things.
Take a risk rather than feel like your choices are all or nothing. Often job seekers have a feeling that they shouldn’t explore a career option unless they are sure it’s the right one, because they don’t want to make another mistake. This pressure can stop you before you start. The opposite is true. You aren’t committing to anything yet; you’re just exploring for a while, in a new direction (or ten!). What roles would you love to explore? What would be really fun to find out about? Some actions to consider might be job shadowing, create a basic website if you have an idea for a new business, and use friends as tester customers; participate in a relevant workshop or course to see if you really enjoy it; volunteer or conduct an information interview.
3. Don’t be afraid and learn from your failures.
There is tremendous pressure that you put on yourself to find that perfect job, especially when you aren’t sure what “right” looks like. Does the fear of failure hold you back from experimenting? Treat your career search as an experiment or creative project. Give yourself permission to try new things and delve into new areas.
4. Explore your passion and values.
Identify those hidden values, passions and skills. What are your hidden values, passions and skills that drive you? You’ll know them as the urges you have had throughout your life; fascination with a field of work, a desire to build particular skills, or a sense of joy at the thought of following a certain path. Your unique personal values stay with you throughout your life. Ask this question: If you give yourself permission to explore your heart’s desires, what fields of work would you be looking at now? What are the roles that you are really drawn to, no matter how far they are from your previous training and experience?
Allowing yourself to explore work that matches who you crave being inside is a huge leap towards finding work that fulfills you, instead of focusing on that perfect job.