Want a perfect job? Stop looking
If I could write the marketing material for a cool new job-search website, I’d borrow a line from leadership expert Simon Sinek: ‘‘Finding a great job is not like a scavenger hunt.’’
OK, so it wouldn’t be the catchiest tagline ever. But it would be some refreshing real talk. As in: There’s no one perfect role for you on this site – but any of these gigs could potentially become the perfect job for you.
Sinek is the bestselling author of multiple books, including most recently, Leaders Eat Last.
In an interview in July, he compared finding a fulfilling job to finding a fulfilling relationship.
‘‘A great career, a fulfilling career, is like a great relationship. You don’t find love, either. You don’t look under a rock and be like, ‘Oh, I found the person I can love.’ That’s not how it works,’’ he said.
‘‘You find somebody who really loves you for you and you work hard every single day to stay in love. It’s not something you can take for granted.
‘‘After you fall in love, you still have to keep working at it … Careers are the same. You have to work hard to find it and be like, ‘Oh my god, I really love it here,’ but then the work continues to stay in love [with your job].
‘‘It’s not something you find; it’s not some miracle thing.’’
What Sinek’s essentially talking about here is ‘‘job crafting’’, a term psychologists use to describe the process of moulding your job to become more meaningful to you. You can do that by changing up your daily responsibilities, or by changing your perception of your role.
Sinek’s insights also recall the words of behavioural economist Dan Ariely, who has said that people mistakenly believe they need to find the ideal job.
‘‘Look for a job that is in the general direction of your skills and passion,’’ Ariely said, and then make it fit better.
These ideas are worth repeating because most of us have been guilty of either looking for the perfect job and getting frustrated because we can’t find it, or taking a job and then getting frustrated when it doesn’t turn out to be as perfect as we thought.
Sinek said this kind of passive attitude can contribute to feeling lost or unsatisfied in your career.
‘‘If you think it’s that way then you’re going to keep going from job to job to job to job, and unfortunately you’ll never find what you’re looking for.’’