Nailing the Right Job

Getting the right job is everyone’s dream, the question would now be, how does one do that?

Strengths and Weaknesses

First of all, you should begin by doing some ground work… Start by mapping your strengths, weaknesses and financial goals.

It’s very important to know what you are good at and what you enjoy doing, as well as think about what you’re not so good at or what you don’t like doing. Subsequently, think about career opportunities that are going to lend themselves to the former (what you like), and of course you need to weigh those against your financial goals. In the process of mapping your strengths and weaknesses, you get to think deeply about tasks you’ve enjoyed doing, courses you excelled at in academics, extracurricular activities, tasks which people have asked your help on and people naturally looked to you to help them solve. These thoughts cause you to further establish your interests and identify areas you are likely to do best at.

It’s usually easier to point out your weakness if you decide to be honest with yourself, however, we often aren’t. Unappealing tasks are very often tasks that fall within our areas of least skill so they take a little more effort to complete than we’d like and hence become a drag. Another way to gain insight into your strengths and weaknesses could be through conversations with a mentor or boss. Tell them you really want to know what they think about you and your work, request genuine feedback. If you give people the opportunity to both sing your praises and give you constructive feedback, they’ll often be more honest with you.

Candidates often tend not to think about their weaknesses and end up reciting “perfectionism” as their weakness in interviews. This is often a turn-off to the recruiter because they can see through this. Nevertheless, the early knowledge of both strengths and weaknesses are invaluable to getting the right job for you.

So now you know what you’re good at what you’re not, next step is to think about your financial goals, interrelationship with your strengths and weaknesses and how your job options fit into the mix. A big challenge could be when your strengths and weaknesses don’t align with your financial goals. Say for example, you want to make millions of dollars and think Wall Street is the way to get there or making some huge smart investment is the way to get there, but you don’t have a great appetite for risk or you don’t know anything about finance, well those two things probably aren’t going to happen.

So you need to be realistic about how much money you want to make to support your lifestyle and then be realistic about the strengths you possess that can fuel the career options within you skill-set to get you there.

Your skills on different Jobs:  Now that you’ve identified your skills you need to look at them in a way that they are transferable across different job descriptions. This will help one in moving from one industry to another.  As opposed to thinking about your skill set based directly on the role “I’m great at Accounting”, or I’m really good with Project management, take a second and think about the particular skills that make you great at those roles.: Is it your ability to manipulate numbers? Is it your ability to communicate your vision? Is it your ability to come up with efficient processes or with multitasking?

Thinking about what makes you good at a particular job or role and what skills used on that role are transferable helps you consider a wider variety of job options. I know computer scientists who are into human resources and are successful and love what they do, likewise Physicists who are into operations management or photography because they align their strengths, interests and their financial goals into their careers.

The Job Search: Often, people use job boards to find jobs, but there’s a trend brewing and that’s social media and networking related job finds. If you’re good at what you do and your resume speaks for itself, you have the likelihood of being headhunted (the job is the one hunting you down this time around!) Also you can get wind of a job through your network of colleagues or friends who know someone who knows someone in a company that requires a certain skill (which you just happen to have). One or two phone calls are made and bam!!! You have an interview next week!

Preparation: There’s a saying which I believe goes; Success is Opportunity meeting Preparation (or something like that), and like the Boys Scout motto goes, “Be Prepared”. Many people out there have skills which companies require, as well as the experience, but because the jobs come with caveats like “Must be PMP certified” or Must be a chartered Accountant”, they often find that they are either put off from even applying for the job, or even if they apply, they aren’t shortlisted for an interview because they lack those certifications or skills.

So as you build your career, or even as you search for that job, try looking for professional courses or training in line with the job roles of interest, which will prove that you are skilled in that field and make you more appealing to employers.

So, getting the right job is not impossible, it’s summarily about identifying who you are, your strengths, weaknesses, and financial goals. Then preparing and aligning same to the employers’ opportunities.

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