Land the right job and keep it

Last Updated 06 January 2010, 12:37 IST

You are nearing the end of years of formal education. Now, you have the tough task of finding the job you love — the ‘right’ job. If you always knew what you exactly wanted to do and have worked towards it, it’s perhaps much easier. But, that’s hardly ever the case. For many people, it takes a lot of time and a lot of searching —  maybe even a couple of wrong jobs — to find the right job. But be careful to not settle for the wrong one.

Make your passion pay
The first step is to want to find the job you love. Most times, what prevents us from getting what we want in life is not knowing what we want. Naturally, that applies to finding the job you want as well.
It is easy to get carried away by company reputation, high compensation and other visible factors and give in to the temptation to take up a job that perhaps doesn’t suit you. If you haven’t yet thought about it, then you better start now. Going through the process mechanically will also get you a job. But it won’t get you satisfaction. Analysing your personality, goals and skills is an essential part of preparing to find a job.

One size does not fit all
Some of us may like work that involves interacting with people, while others may like to work on their own. Some may be inclined towards research while others may prize freedom and prefer open-ended work, where they have the opportunity to contribute their ideas. Those who are process-driven may want to work in a structured manner. Some people want to work at a broader level, where they can understand how systems work, while some people prefer to focus on specifics. If we look at the other aspect, there a vast number of domains and each of us may prefer one to the other. These are some points we need to keep in mind before making any career decision.
Think about your long-term goals before deciding to take up anything. If a job doesn’t connect to your goals — specifically, your long-term goals — it will not do you much good in the long run. However, it may give you many short-term benefits.
Think about what you want from a job and write it down. Prioritise the points and decide what you won’t compromise on and what you can do without, if the need arises. The important thing is to put it on paper. Doing so makes things clear. We often think we know what we want, only to be confused later.
Once you know what you want, it becomes easier to see if a job suits you. It goes without saying that if you want the kind of job you like, you should have worked towards equipping yourself with the required skills.

Proactive search
Campus placements do account for a lot of fresher jobs. But, do not limit your choices by depending solely on campus recruitment. Once you have analysed what you want, you should prepare a list of companies that may have roles that suit you. Unless you are very lucky, the right job rarely lands in your lap; you have to be pro-active to find it. If you have made the effort to know what you want, there is a good chance that you will get your dream job because genuine interest is a very important factor.
An interview process is two way. In the process of trying to do well in the interview, it is easy to forget that you also need to find out whether it is the right firm for you. During the course of the interview you have to ensure that you find out whatever you can about the job profile. Of course your interviewer(s) can give you a rosy picture about your job. So, it’s imperative that you talk to people working there in similar positions and make sure that the role fits your needs.

Of course, after taking every precaution you may still end up in the wrong place. Once you realise that, you should immediately try to find something else that suits you. As I’ve said before, you may have to go through a wrong job to find the right one. There are some jobs which serve as stepping stones to something bigger and better. Perhaps, the job is not exactly the one you wanted, but you know it’s not something that’s totally out of the way. It is something that can lead you to the right job. Once you realise that, you should give it some time. Finding the right job is not only about finding the right company, but it is also about being able to work your way to the right position.

Dream jobs are few and far between
Of course, not everything can be perfect about a job. There will always be some concerns. Perhaps, the attitude of some people you work with is not great, or perhaps you are not getting enough benefits. But if you think that you can still build a good career and do good work which you enjoy, you should overlook minor issues. There are solutions to every problem if you care to discuss them and sort them out. If you quit a job for what are possibly trivial reasons, then you may never find the right job.

Start-ups hold promise
The other big discussion point is about working in start-ups. Ten years ago, this may not have been relevant. But lately a lot of start-ups have sprung up in India and many of them are built on brilliant ideas, offer great work and carry the promise of a rewarding career. Finding the kind of work you are looking for may be easier in a start-up because of the flexibility to take up any work and responsibility. You may have to do all kinds (and a lot) of work! And perhaps somewhere along the line you will think about starting something of your own.

No Monday blues
The process of finding the right job  can help you discover yourself and what you want from your career and  from your life. If you are in the right job for the right amount of time, success and money will eventually follow.
More importantly, it is the satisfaction that you are doing enjoyable work, enhancing your skills in the process and perhaps contributing to building something good and worthwhile that will keep you going. That’s not something everyone can say about their career. Make sure that years from now when you look back on your  career, you can be proud and satisfied about it. Finally, there is that deciding factor — can you get up on a Monday morning , eager to go to work? If yes, you’ve got your dream job.

(Published 06 January 2010, 12:37 IST)

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