Goldilocks had major boundary issues and made quite a mess of the Bear family’s house, but she was expert at knowing exactly what she liked and needed. Couldn’t we all just use a bit more of that?
We grow up with that question of what we want to be when we are grown and working – a ballerina, a fireman, a teacher. How do we really land on our profession? Sometimes by random narrowing – this class fit into the rest of our schedule better than that one, a charismatic person talked about something and made it sound really good, a friend of the family knew about a job opening. And a career was born.
Even more haphazard might be the place where we work and practice our profession, the last department we were part of, the team, the boss; how did that culture suit us, and how well did we fit? Was it too hot, too cold, too hard, too soft – too demanding and intrusive or too loosey-goosey without clear parameters? How well did we fit, which begs the question do we know the environment and culture where we will fit best?
Have we each asked ourselves some important questions to define our ideal fit? Such as:
- What team roles have we held successfully – leader, idea person, detail person, etc.?
- Where do we feel comfortable – cubicles, open concept?
- What sort of boss best suits our needs – authoritarian, collaborative, etc.?
A friend was recently relaying a story about an intense job interview cycle. Each person that she spoke with made it clear that there was a strict, authoritarian structure at this company. Clearly they had learned the hard way to be quite open about the culture so they didn’t wind up with someone who didn’t fit. Plenty of other companies could learn from this method and we could all be saved some grief. There are dangers on both sides if someone who is a bad fit fills a position.
While few of us can afford to forego that paycheck for too long, we can still channel our inner Goldilocks to make sure that we land somewhere that is just right.
Beth Anne Reed has a background in Customer Relations, Process & Project Management and a deep interest in Written Communications.
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