Have you ever gotten the perfect job, or client, or gig, and after doing the work for awhile, found that it was not anything like you imagined?
A good friend moved all the way across country for a job opportunity that sounded like a dream on paper.
Only after working there for a few months, he quit, jumped on a plane, and moved back home.
“The CEO was a lunatic,” he said. “It was a crazy experience.”
It can be so disheartening to get really excited about an opportunity, only to find that it is nothing like you thought.
Why does this happen and how can you avoid making the mistake the future?
Very often, we get romanced by the what of our work (a great job title, exciting client, cool opportunity) but forget that great work also includes whom, how and where.
As you are evaluating different work opportunities, remember to research the following areas:
Whom are you working with?
- Do they share your values? (Ask them)
- Do they do what they say? (Ask someone who has worked with them in the past)
- Do they understand your genius skills? (Ask them why they are interested in working with you)
- Do they push themselves to grow, personally and professionally? (What is their body of work?)
- Do you feel energized and alive when working with them, even when they are pushing you?
How are you working?
- Are you in your optimum work mode? (Employee, Entrepreneur, Contractor, etc)
- Are work expectations communicated clearly?
- Are you able to create in your peak performance time zones during the day?
- Are your communication style and personality profile respected? (do you need lots of quiet, reflective time, or lots of brainstorming and discussion to do your best work?)
- Do you make the money you need to live the lifestyle you want?
Where are you working?
- Does your physical environment allow you to do your best work?
- Are you living where you want to?
- Does your work environment support your health? (Chance to go outside and walk, good lighting, good ergonomics)
While it is tough to check off every one of these questions, you can identify some areas of your work life that can lead to greater satisfaction.
Great Work Pop Quiz
Answer Yes or No to the following 10 questions in this non-scientific test:
- I enjoy the content of my work
- The people I work with know my genius skills, and give me work in this area
- My manager (or client) trusts my judgement
- My physical environment makes me feel creative and focused
- My personal life is respected at work (time for health, family, etc)
- I respect the people I work with
- I know what is expected of me, and what is required to be successful at my job
- I love where I live
- I am challenged to grow and develop on a daily basis
- I am content with the amount of money I make
10 Yes’ = Wow, can I interview you? I would love to hear how you made this happen.
7-9 Yes’ = Congratulations! You have made career choices to bring out your best work
4-6 Yes’ = You are well on your way to doing your best work. Negotiate upgrades in the areas
0-3 Yes’ = Are you tired and frustrated? I am sorry! Time for a serious work overhaul.
Your best work will come from doing work you love, with people you respect who push you to do your greatest work, in an environment that allows you to do your work with the most focus and ease.
Do you think it is impossible to find the perfect work situation? Why or why not?
Of all of these questions on the list, which are most important to you? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.