Finding the Right Job
Let’s imagine that you’re a participant in the board game, “The Game of Life.” You’re sliding along the board until you roll a five and your piece lands on the tile that says, “Pick a Career.” In the game, another participant presents a handful of possibilities and you select one blindly. Each card has the title of the position paired with your annual salary and a picture of your fictional character busy at work. In reality, we know that an array of cards isn’t immediately presented before you when you receive your degree. Fortunately however, you still have a selection of careers. How do you know which one is the one? Which one will make you happy and increase your well-being for the duration of the game of life?
First things first, when you’re looking at your many cards, don’t look at the salary. Look at the details of the various positions. Which jobs fit your interest? What will you be doing every day? What strengths of yours will you be able to pull in and take advantage of in this position?
Happiness is your end goal. That which makes you happy is the means to achieve that end goal. So for some, money, materials and possessions may be a means to the end. But those things are not the goal. Since they are not the goal, they should not be what you look for when you’re job hunting. So…
What do I look for?
Doing your job should make you happy, rather than having a job that provides you with things that could lead to happiness. As you know, by taking our assessment you can learn your signature strengths. From there you can find a position where you can use them on a day-to-day basis. One of the best ways to find an engaging job is to ask yourself, “If I didn’t get paid for this job, would I still want to do it?”
When you’re applying for jobs and undergoing interviews, make sure you ask them if, why, and in what ways your strengths will be used in the position for which you’re interviewing. Don’t accept a simple “Yes” or “Sure” as an answer. If the employer gives you detailed answers, then you know that these traits are valued in the position. If the position does in fact utilize your strengths (and the company offers you the position), it is safe to consider accepting the offer! If your strengths are not needed, it would be wise to accept a different option.
Here is a checklist to help you decide if a job is right for you:
☐ Stop to quest if this is what you want to do or just what you think you should do.
☐ If you didn’t get paid for this job, would you still enjoy doing it?
☐ Ask the hiring team what daily roles you will be asked to perform to discover if your strengths will be an asset in these tasks or not.
☐ Ask to speak with an employee in the current position to get a clear picture of what soft skills (i.e. teamwork, relating, creativity) will be required of the job and in what ways will you be rewarded for using those skills.
☐ Remember, the interview process is not just important for the employer it is your chance to understand the position. Ask behavioral interview questions. If you know that humor and creativity are essential for your engagement at work, ask the employer if they believe these traits would be advantageous in the position.
☐ Know how to describe your soft skills (your positive traits) as well as your technical capabilities. Explain in what ways your strengths and psychological resources give you an advantage over other candidates that might be equally technically qualified.
☐ Sell your passion for the job. Explaining why you have the will, drive, and desire to succeed helps prove to the employer that you cannot only succeed but you will succeed.
Molly McShea works at StrengthsInsight as a Marketing Strategist. A former varsity athlete at Georgetown University, she has a passion for linguistics, learning new things and discovering more about the world.
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