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How “Perfect” Jobs hurt Careers

Have you ever fantasized about the perfect job? Maybe you imagine being in a leadership role (VP, CEO, etc.) or creating an innovation that changes your industry. Or perhaps your perfect job is simply to live on an island in Australia getting paid $150,000/yr to play in the water (this actual job can be found here)! Whatever your perfect job is, you might want to reconsider turning down a "better" job while you wait.
 
The problem with waiting for a perfect job is that a perfect job is simply a dream and dreams are not goals. I am not saying don’t dream! Dreams are powerful and necessary. Dreams create a vision to instruct goal setting. Goals are the incremental building blocks of a dream. 

SET A GOAL OF GETTING A BETTER JOB. 

Think about how a collection of better jobs will incrementally lead to your perfect job.         
                                                                                                                 
So what is a better job?

Let’s start with what a better job is not. A better job is not a job that simply pays more (given that your basic needs are currently being met). It is not a job that necessarily has more time off. It is not a job that looks and feels like your current job. In short, a better job is not about compensation or benefits or what is already familiar.
 
A better job is a job that will help you to grow. I would define a better job as a position that will positively challenge you at first, but over time will become easier as you develop competency and familiarity.  A better job might include one or more of the following criteria: 

  • Helps you to develop new skills.
  • Improves on an existing set of skills.
  • Moves you into or closer to the field of your choice.
  • Surrounds you with colleagues that will challenge you to excel.
  • Is dependent upon one or more of your personal strengths (not sure about what are your strengths? I recommend taking the Gallup StrengthsFinder assessment).

We have a saying at our office, “Perfect is the enemy of better.” Starting tomorrow, break down your perfect job into a collection of requisite skills/experiences/etc. Objectively look at how your resume compares to what is required for your perfect job. There may be a few gaps or there may be many. Regardless, look for a better job that will specifically serve as a building block for your career and then bravely step forward. If worse comes to worst, I hear they are hiring in Australia!


Written byAustin Meyermann, CEO and Founder, TalentCMO

Links and Other Interesting Stuff:

There are variety of platforms and tools to syndicate your jobs. We use Jazz (which is also our ATS). Good stuff. 

Want to give your resume a boost to increase call backs from recruiters? Check out this one trick that could double your success.

Check out this sweet Career Showcase (a standalone microsite built for candidates….compare it to the Career page on most corporate sites!) that we just built for one of our clients. 

Ana Filipovic Windsor