The glorious day has come. You clutch that precious piece of paper in your hand which signifies three (or more) long years of study and dedication at university. It’s now time to find your perfect job!
If that thought fills you with trepidation, then I’d like to offer a few thoughts to help make your transition from student to employee a smooth one. However, you may well need to take a few steps backwards to make sure that you’re pointing in the right direction to find your perfect job.
Your Perfect Job Starts With You
Why is it, do you think, that some people can be supremely happy and content in a position or a company, and others are actively looking to leave?
Indeed, finding the perfect job is not about the job, rather it is based on your strengths, your perceptions, and your values.
What Are Your Strengths?
If you have been fortunate enough to have access to any form of psychometric or personality assessment, then it’s possible that you may have already identified your key behaviours and strengths.
These can take the form of the ability to self-manage, to engage others effectively, to focus on systems and details, to motivate others to action… any number of innate personality traits which can be leveraged in a work setting.
But what does that have to do with finding your perfect job?
Consider this example: a young girl had carried the dream of becoming a professional singer from the time she was eight-years-old. As she grew into a young woman, she dedicated herself to learning everything that she could about singing, music and stage presence. She studied the technicalities of how to hold the microphone for the best sound, and she sang. Every. Single. Day.
In high school, this talented young lady watched her fellow students with a degree of envy as they signed up for talent competitions, having fun, singing and dancing their way into a possible contract with a record label.
Despite her incredible talent, this young girl had one debilitating problem: she was incredibly shy. She hated being the centre of attention and the thought of standing in front of a large group of people and singing out loud, made her physically ill.
This beautiful girl with her angelic singing voice had dedicated years of her life to excelling in something that she may never achieve. Her abilities were more than sufficient, but her shyness was stopping her from following her dream career path.
This story highlights the critical importance of understanding who you are when trying to find your perfect job.
Finding the Right Job
Understanding your personality traits and where your strengths lie will immediately put you on the right path to finding the right job.
As a graduate, you may have a career path in mind and a set road to follow, but even within these parameters, you can work to your strengths.
Do you enjoy working with people? Can you get the best out of them? Do interactions within a team fuel and motivate you? If this sounds like you, then a position in a laboratory analysing data for seven hours a day is going to be your worst nightmare.
Are you a family orientated person, something of a homebody who enjoys routine and a certain quiet rhythm of life? If so, choosing to interview for a position which involves an erratic travel schedule, unsociable hours or overtime would be a very bad idea.
The key takeaway here is that, if you understand who you are and what’s important to you, you are in a far better place to start looking for your perfect job.
What About The Interview?
So much has been written online about how to crack the interview, how to answer the “what is your greatest weakness” question, and how to present yourself, so I don’t want to flog that topic.
However, there is one piece of advice that will hold true no matter who you are or what position you are interviewing for:
Yes, that may sound trite and something of a cliché. But there is innate wisdom here which you may not have considered as you prepare for the interview.
Certainly, you need to dress in a professional manner, be on time, be friendly and honest. But – and here’s the point – don’t try to be something that you’re not.
Because if you are hired based on a persona whom you have dreamed up during the interview process then that is who you are going to have to be for your entire time in this role.
“Are you good with people?” they may ask, to which you wave your hand dismissively and say yes, you love being around people. The introvert in you is silently screaming for you to stop talking at this point, but you plough on regardless. You get the job however, six months later, you’re exhausted from all the ‘peopling’ you have had to do, and you leave – burned out and demoralised.
Grads in the Workforce
As a graduate, there’s probably a certain level of ambivalence when it comes to finding your first job. Excitement? Yes, but also uncertainty and doubt.
However, once you have identified the elements that define you, your core personality traits and strengths, then you will find both the interview and the job itself will be a smoother and more successful process.
That young girl who dedicated herself wholeheartedly to something that she may never be able to succeed in can serve as your guide when searching for your ideal job.
Do you need some guidance as to your key strengths, and how to leverage them? It’s easy to see how this knowledge can be an enormous asset in finding your perfect job.
Please feel free to contact Tanya for more information on this fascinating topic.