In Search of Mr. Goodjob…

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Aug 28th, 2010

Among my closest friends, a “good job” is a coveted position. I’ll admit, on occasion, I’ve succumbed to the banal desires of a “good job”, too. But, as I mature, I realize that the holy grail isn’t merely a good job or great benefits. Oh no, please don’t set your sights so low.

Wanting a career to complete you, a la Jerry McGuire, isn’t totally insane. Our careers our extensions of ourselves. Age old, conventional wisdom tells us that we will spend more time at work than we will with our families. If I’m going to be giving more of myself to a career than to my family, you’d better believe I’ve got to LOVE what I’m doing.

Instead of searching for a good job, I encourage my friends (and myself) to search for great opportunities at fun, progressive, exciting companies. Though, in turbulent times, we sometimes forget that these opportunities exist. We settle for the here and now and assume that what we’ve got is as good as it’s going to get. If you’re currently in this boat, or you feel undervalued in your organization, there are a few things you can do:

Begin at the Beginning

    First, I recommend speaking with your immediate supervisor. Let your supervisor know what your career goals are and that you’re either ready for more responsibility or ready to explore other roles in your organization. Assuming you’ve proven yourself as solid employee, a good leader will help you reach your organizational goals.

    Now, if your initial conversation with your immediate supervisor doesn’t yield the results you anticipated, you can always go up the chain of command. I’d run this idea by your immediate supervisor first, though. You might ask the following simple question: “Would you mind if I spoke to other senior leaders about my career opportunities in this organization?”

    If you’re getting a bit restless in your current organization, try to re-invent yourself within your current organization. After all, this is where you have built a reputation, and have the most goodwill.

On the other hand, if you know it is time for you to move on, start looking at other companies. Don’t restrict your search to local companies. If you’re at a loss where of how to start your search for an awesome company, I suggest starting in your kitchen.

Start in the Kitchen

    The “Kitchen Job Search” has helped me on several occasions. It sounds silly, but it’s pretty helpful. Take a look at the products in your kitchen – your food, your appliances, your silverware. Who makes these items? Kraft, Ben&Jerry, Proctor and Gamble, Maytag, Oneida? Well, all of these organizations need people and they must be pretty good at building, motivating, and retaining a strong workforce. After all, they have global market share and they motivated you to purchase their product. You know what else, these companies have career websites that you can use to build a job search agent.

Don’t be afraid to think out of the box when it comes to your job search. Think of all the rooms in your house. When you’ve exhausted your kitchen supply, move on to the living room. The possibilities are endless!

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