Career Tips

The Perfect Job

The Perfect Job

By Mary Walters, Resume Editor

If you have been through the job hunting and interview process, you know how hard it is to find the absolutely perfect job.

I used to tell my children that there was no such thing as the perfect job. I explained to them that if in your lifetime, you were able to find a job which contained certain qualities such as the ones listed below, then give up the search! You must have the perfect job!

The money is right, and there’s a chance of advancement.

Let’s face it; most of us take a job because we need the paycheck, so money matters. Back in the ’70s, I took a job paying fifty cents more an hour! The new employer gave me more money per hour and more hours, so I was rolling in the dough! But guess what? I hated the job and quit as soon as I could find another job which leads to the second characteristic of the perfect job.

You like the work and find it satisfying.

If you like what you are doing at your place of employment, it makes it easier to get up, get ready, and fight traffic to get there each day. Whereas, if you don’t like what you’re doing, then you hit the snooze button too many times, or move slowly getting ready because you dread facing the tasks that await you. You have to enjoy, even love, what you’re doing to make a career out of it. Otherwise, you’re a heart attack waiting to happen from all the stress.

You like most of the people you work with and find the workplace harmonious.

A harmonious workplace is another contributing factor as to why people leave jobs, run continuously late, or call in sick. When you work with people (maybe just one person) who raises your anxiety level, your blood pressure and prevents you from being your very best person at work. It is amazing how even just one person can have that much influence over another, but it happens. Often it’s a boss/employee dynamic that has a dominant personality clash. Been there, done that. The boss, especially if they are also the establishment owner, may not realize the pressure you feel, but they may even realize and relish the power. Get out! Life is too short to stay in a job that makes you miserable!

Lastly, how is your commute back and forth to work?

If you have to get up at 5:00 a.m. to be on the road by 6:00 a.m. to be at work by 8:00 a.m., then that’s pretty tough to take five days a week especially if you’re not getting home until very late because of traffic.

Scenario One:

Sally’s very happy in her current position as an investment banker at XYZ Corp. However, she’s been passed over once already for promotion, and the job was filled by someone who in her opinion, was not worthy. She hasn’t had a raise in two years, and she’s commuting one hour each way each day to get to this dream job. She wants to start looking for a new job, but she likes working with the Assistant CEO, who has been her direct supervisor over the last five years.

She feels a certain amount of loyalty to her supervisor, who has been exceptionally lenient with Sally whenever her kids have been sick, she needed to go to their school for a program, or if her mother needed help getting to a doctor’s appointment. Not everyone would be so understanding. Sally considered this one of her job perks, not to mention the excellent benefits XYZ Corp. provided. Should Sally stay longer and hope the next promotion comes her way or hit the job market in search of the perfect job?

Scenario Two:

Bradley has decided to start looking for another, a better job! He’s sick and tired of getting all the work dumped on him, especially the nasty jobs that nobody else wants to do. Okay, so having been with the company a mere five months, he is still considered the newbie and barely off his probationary period. He understands that, but it’s outrageous the way everybody brings stuff to his desk and just drops it.

Although he had to admit, it actually worked out pretty well and made for some impressive paychecks since he was an hourly employee. It was just the way they treated him; like a nobody; like a dumping ground. Good thing he lived only three blocks away. It sure made the commute easier primarily on those days he kept hitting snooze. Should Bradley keep plugging away and hope his circumstances change or go down that long and winding road looking for the perfect job?

So, if you are making decent money at a place that has prospects, if you enjoy what you are doing and can see yourself doing this job for a while, and, if you about halfway like the people (or most of the people) you are working with each day, then count it all joy! You have the perfect job!