When in the market for a new job, you often hear references to finding the right job or a good job. While very subjective overall, the right job and a good job are not the same thing. Finding the best fit for you and your life requires thoughtful planning and the ability to look beyond the current moment to where you want to be in the future.
You might wonder – what’s the difference between a good job and the right job? The answer is pretty simple. A good job focuses on the tangible benefits on the position to include compensation, paid time off, flexibility and health insurance. The right job is about fit, above and beyond the compensation and benefits package. The right job is a job that challenges you, allows you to grow, aligns with your interests, experience and goals. The right job provides fulfillment, whereas a good job pays the bills and meets the needs of your family.
While compensation and benefits are important, today more than ever, they are not the be-all and end-all. Without a focus on job fulfillment, on what you enjoy doing and want to do more of, eventually a good job is just a job. The novelty of the paycheck wears off and you are left with a job that leaves you uninspired and wanting more. As you dig into the job search process and seriously consider what will provide lasting happiness, here are a few things to consider:
1. Your interests and passions. They say the American Dream is doing something you love and getting paid for it. So, as you consider what’s next, consider what you enjoy doing and how that translates to your profession. Talk to others and connect with a career consultant. Sometimes you don’t even realize that something you love can easily be more than a hobby or side gig.
2. Your priorities and values. Part of identifying the right job for you is first knowing what matters most. A role that aligns with your priorities and values is more likely to provide lasting fulfillment. This is also impacted by the culture of the organization. A company with similar values ensures balance in work and life, as well as a good overall fit with the organizational culture.
3. Glam is temporary. Often times, when pursuing something new, you get caught up in the glam of the title, company, industry or salary. In the long run, these things don’t matter as much as fit and happiness. Eventually, the novelty of a new title or salary will wear off and if you don’t like the position or organization, you will find your way back to a state of discontent despite the flashing title or salary you initially coveted.
They say that the right job comes at the intersection of what you enjoy doing and what you do well. So, do yourself a favor the next time you are on the hunt for something new and shiny… take a step back and consider what is most likely to provide lasting happiness. Fit and culture matter more than a flashy title or impressive salary. The only person you should want to impress is yourself.