Have you ever gone on a date, met a man, and then immediately felt a spark? That delicious feeling of "ooooh, he's cute...and funny...and sweet...and fun....and I want more!" that runs up your back and down your neck and makes you giggle just a little too much?
Have you ever met a job that makes you feel the same way?
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If you haven't, then maybe ask yourself why, and focus in on what might be holding you back from job-love (couch addiction? "staying put" syndrome? Settling too early?). And if you have, then think about if you still feel that way now. Are you still in love with your job, or are you just rubbing along comfortably; not talking, passing each other the remote, and wondering what happened to the passion that you used to have to go to work each day?
We all spend a lot of time wondering if we will ever meet "The One" - that perfect man or that perfect job that will lead us to a Disney fairy tale "happily ever after" ending. It's easy to spend a lot of time day-dreaming in your free time, while essentially just coping in your real life. You know, those moments where you tell yourself: "Oh, I used to like this work - so....I guess I'll stick with it!"
"Things aren't SO bad...I guess?"
So the question is - how do you know if you have met the one? That absolutely PERFECT job for you?
Well, I'm here to share a big secret, one that may cause you to want to sit down. Are you ready?
Yes, you guessed it: There IS no "The Perfect Job." There are only shades of "really really great jobs that are perfect for me right now!" I say that because as you go through life, things change. You start a family, you move across county, or something else happens. And a job that seemed like fun no longer fits your new life. Or you have stopped growing, or you are just staying somewhere because it is easy, not because it is good for you.
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There is a way around this little problem - one that may help you figure out a better way forward. My suggestion: each year take stock of your work and life values. Those are the things that really matter to you most in terms of your work, and spend some time focusing in on how your current job is meeting those values. (Financial freedom? Respect? Being able to control your own schedule? Working with a team? What are yours?)
For instance, a client of mine really valued creative freedom, so she left her company to start her own event planning business. Her business took off, but when she decided to start a family she realized that financial security and personal time had become a HUGE value of hers...one that trumped creative freedom. Given that, she decided that the new perfect job for her needed both of those things...so it was time to go back to corporate America, but to a firm that had some creative freedom, as well as a great salary and flexible environment. For her, at this stage in her life, that is the perfect job. Does she occasionally hate it? Yes. Does she pick a fight with it just because sometimes? Yes. BUT - it's right for right now.