The start of a new year is time when folks are fresh with enthusiasm and ready to take on changes to improve their lives. From advice on how to spruce up the old CV to ten questions to never ask in an interview (or was it ten questions to always ask, I always get confused which it is) to if I should be wearing a blue suit or black.
In 2017, disregard all of it.
As the traditional job market becomes more difficult to land a job, it simultaneously becomes more crowded with candidates who may or may not be more qualified than you. The questions many people continue to ask themselves is how do I distinguish myself from the masses? The answer is nothing if your CV looks like everyone else's.
This line of reasoning should make you ask the questions...How do I prepare for the future? How do I ensure my skills are valuable but also that I understand the breadth of opportunities available to me in this new day and age? I spent my entire life never fitting into any job I had. Pretty sad actually. What was even more sad was in my heart I knew I didn't fit. Somehow I convinced myself the reason I didn't fit was actually why they needed me. So the more I followed my own drum beat, the more difficult I was making if for myself.
Meanwhile all the while I desperately wanted to be accepted. It was a vicious circle and the mere fact that I was trying to be 'me' would in the end be my ultimate demise. I have realized both directly and indirectly that the majority of population are unhappy and unfulfilled in possibly what they do for a living and or where they do it. Evidenced by this report and this report.
You see, it's not your fault, I repeat it's not your fault.
We have been raised all of our lives with the world trying to suppress who we are and telling us who we ought to be to fit in. How bizarre is it that we try to change who we are, to try and fit, versus just being more of ourselves and finding the opportunity that actually fits us? It's just as bizarre as cutting up jigsaw puzzle pieces to fit the puzzle as opposed to looking for the matching piece to fit together. Using the latter means the puzzle would never be completed and you would be left with numerous pieces that you have been rendered useless.
So, is there anything we can do to save ourselves?
As Howard Beale cried out in the 1976 movie, Network, "...open the windows and shout out 'I am mad as hell and I am not going to take this anymore.'" Why don't we all begin a revolution based on the fact we are mad as hell that all of our skills are not being fully utilized? We are being forced to work on things we don't enjoy and are never going to be good at despite numerous performance reviews repeatedly telling you what you're not good at.
Reviews should praise you for the things you do well and find more ways for you to do what you do best. In turn, this would make employees feel more energized and productive. Imagine against the backdrop of doing what you do best, your company could probably do away with annual performance evaluation because by definition if you love what you do and are good at it your evaluation has to be great, right? Who would not want to go home from a day's work and feel energized by their work and productivity was the best they had to give? They not only got to utilize the best of themselves but their effort was also fantastic since they were doing what they love most.
I know it's different for each of us but yet we all know the answer to the one question. If I asked you, what would do you every day if you could do what you love doing, what would it be? Secondly, if I asked what you would you drop that you dislike most from your daily work routine? I am sure it would be right on the tip of your tongue way faster than the former. The reason being is all of us have far too many things we have to do in our job that not only don't we enjoy but we are not good at doing.
Do you want to keep living and working doing something you dislike? Of course not. So be brave and bold. It's time to embrace a new approach to finding the right fit for you professionally, not selling yourself into a job, but focus on yourself, about who you are first and what you have to offer. Then educating those around you to find your match and true fit -- a place where you are both needed for your skills and wanted for your personality too.
Read about this trend and real-life, relatable examples of how the smartest people can land the wrong job in my new book, True Fit: How to Find the Right Job by Being You.
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