Your job is what you make it
Follow your passion! Don’t follow your passion! Maybe, follow your passion? I often think to myself what is the right answer here. I know that we would all love to have our passion or purpose align with some kind of ability to live from it.
Finding a career or even your next role is a job in and of itself. Searching is a challenge and requires a fair amount of research for actual job responsibilities, salary, potential company policies (cough, remote work). The search starts before all of that I would say. Setting yourself up for future success all depends on taking an introspective look at yourself and what you want to accomplish.
For me, this began a few years back. I realized that every job posting had the basic “this job can be anything” clause. We all have seen it, “must be able to work in fast paced environment, with extremely ambiguous responsibilities and ever changing direction, any minute now you could be doing something different, happy to help when headcount is low”. This is all pretty prominent in the world we live in today. I have joked with many people over the last few years about how they are not sure what their actual job is. They are busy, and do a lot, but it doesn’t actually match the Job description, or it is a combination of four or so roles. Another truly fun one is something along the lines of “must have 10+ years of experience in this 3 year old technology.”
Anyway, the message I received from this action on the part of these employers comes down to many factors. The role might be new, could be the company is evolving, just a cut and paste hoping to see what turns up. Who knows. But for me, I think it shows flexibility and opportunity.
Not the raise your hand and say yes to every task thrown your way of course. But it gives you the chance to tell your own story and to continue writing it.
The last few job roles I have applied for have all used some or all of these formats during my process. The challenge is how do you set yourself to succeed in an interview or even look to a job role that the Company might not have fully thought out yet? I give this information just to share that in the day and age we live there is room for interpretation, there are also chances to come in, be you, and win that role.
Are you able to tell your story?
For me, this became much more clear when I decided on a purpose for my work. I know I need to work for my bills, responsibilities, to fund the experiences I want to have. But I realized that I need to have something behind that, passion, purpose whatever you want to call it. I want what I do to make a difference and I feel most of us do.
Before you start your prep for that new career or promotion I recommend having a few items ready to answer.
1. Be able to have your Mission Statement. Let it represent what you hope to achieve. Who are you? Why do you work? Most all of us have the necessity part of course. But I would guess you can think of companies you would never work for. Is it because of their culture? Their lack of Work From Anywhere potential? Whatever it may be let your statement be your guide.
I use my description during Interviews, Trainings, and many other circumstances. It may seem cheesy, but it is a part of my brand, people know what I would like to accomplish. It is a differentiator.
2. Your Work History is Your Work History. Experience can be transitive. Just because you have worked in a different field does not mean you can’t show your ability to learn or add your experience or outside perspective to a new career.
One thing I do is make sure to look at my job responsibilities and see how I am changing the pace of the business as a whole. Find some of your outside the box specialties that set you apart and build your story there