How often do you take a good long look at your job? Once a year? Once an hour? Once a never? It is really easy to stop evaluating your job and simply accept it as your reality. Then years go by, and your job search muscles atrophy to the point where you can barely lift your interviewing suit off the hanger.
Many of us accept our jobs as necessary, but not special. Your job provides the money you need for critical things like food, clothing, shelter and a mobile phone. However, the ‘necessary evil’ mindset leads many of us to jobs that are just… fine.
But life it too short, and the workday is too long for fine.
I have reevaluated my job-love frequently throughout my career. But instead of job-hopping I have used my evaluations to tailor my jobs in ways that kept them feeling enjoyable, dynamic and growth-oriented.
A New Lens
A couple of years ago, while mentally jogging, I began thinking of my job as clothing. It made me consider my personal style, the image I want to show the world and my personal comfort. In that context it was clear to me that my current job didn’t fit me. The size, style and cut of the clothing was nice. But it just wasn’t for me. Clothes are highly personal that way.
So I decided to do something about it. I got all idyllic. I thought a lot about the perfect job. I thought about the perfect place to work, the perfect kind of work and the perfect culture. I even started a blog about it. Maybe you’ve read it.
I concluded that the specific place I was looking for didn’t exist, yet. So I started the advertising and idea agency, The Weaponry. Today, I couldn’t be happier. Everything about it seems to fit me. It seems the people working at The Weaponry are enjoying their experience too. Perhaps because we set out to make this a really enjoyable place to work. Perhaps this is because, like fashion designers preparing for a runway show, we have been able to pick people for our team that we knew would look good in our jobs.
Now, back to you.
Today I want you to think of your job as a piece of clothing. It could be a dress, a suit, a pair of jeans, a t-shirt, a blouse or jacket. I want you to think about the fit and feel of your current job. Think about the style and the silhouette.
Now, let’s evaluate.
14 Questions To Ask Yourself About Your Job, If It Were A Piece Of Clothing.
- Do I like wearing it?
- Does it fit me well?
- Do I choose to wear it as often as I can?
- Would I only wear it if everything else was in the laundry?
- How would I feel if an old boyfriend or girlfriend saw me wearing this?
- Is it out of style?
- It is well-tailored to me?
- Does it make my butt look big?
- Am I excited that I own it?
- Do I get compliments when I wear it?
- Does wearing it make me feel stronger, more attractive or more fun?
- Could I really benefit from removing it from my closet?
- Is it the right style, but too big or too small?
- Do I cringe when I see the types of other people who wear what I’m wearing?
Here’s the reality: Your job really is like a piece of clothing. You wear it more than anything else you own. Yet many people would be better off donating their jobs to Goodwill. You may think your current position is better than nothing. But I know many people who would look better wearing no job than the one they currently have.
You have more career options than you realize. You have the ability to create your own job, perfectly tailored to you. Don’t ever forget that. The more you enjoy your job, the more you enjoy your life. As far as I know, we only get one shot to get this right. So find something you love to do and a place you love to do it. If you find it doesn’t exist, make it yourself.