Why do I care so much about career fit? The simple answer is that it is because we have the opportunity to have careers that make us happy. I am not a dream chaser. I am not someone who will tell you that you can do anything you want, but rather a realist who says that with self awareness we can all have careers that meet our values and needs and allow us to apply our skills and capabilities which will bring us happiness and satisfaction.
Only we truly know what brings us, as each individual, happiness and satisfaction. We hold the powerful key which will unlock the door to a career that is fulfilling. But in order to turn the key to unlock it, we must be aware of the complexities that must come together.
How Does ‘Career Fit’ Fit In?
That’s where career fit comes in. It is a synergy between you and the company you work for. Your values, your strengths, and your goals plus their values, their purpose, and their offerings. Together, when in harmony, you can find the career that gives you the ability to be more effective, productive, and successful.
I recently met with a client who is very conflicted in her current circumstances. She is working in a position with a company that she feels could have a lot of growth opportunity. The company culture, however, is incongruent with her values and does not meet her needs in terms of allowing her be successful in her role. She shared that she felt guilt at wanting to go ‘because it’s such a cool company’ and others covet her position. What she failed to recognize is that this discord is impacting her actual chances for growth at the company. She is not able to be as productive and effective in her role without the support she knows she needs in addition to the growing stress she is experiencing that is impacting her personal life.
As we examined what is important to her, her view shifted to an understanding that while she was on the right path job wise, she needed to re-evaluate the organization as a fit for herself. The more these incongruences became evident, the layers of stress began to peel away as she envisioned a new path for herself; one where she was happy and excited about not just the job, but about a company that aligned with her values and needs.
Poor Career Fit Impacts Your Daily Work
This client is not an anomaly. A look at the employee engagement stats in both the US and Canada show that disengagement is at an all time high, hovering around 60%. Employers are scrambling (ok, some employers) to solve this employee engagement problem to help improve retention, productivity, and profits. While all that effort is wonderful, what about the actual individual employee? Where does their responsibility for their engagement come in? In the case of my client above, she self-identified her disengagement and has begun to take action to solve this problem.
If you are working in a role that is not a career fit, whether it is due to the company, the position, or the industry, you are never going to be an engaged employee and will continue to be part of that alarmingly high statistic. True, there are several cases where efforts by employers to improve employee engagement have been successful and workers truly became more satisfied, but does that mean that every single employee in the organization shifted? Not likely. There were still those who were experiencing a bad career fit due to other causes and continued on in the disengaged category.
Who Is Responsible For My Career?
We are responsible for our own careers and our own happiness. Why give that power to someone else? Finding a true career fit is not something that everyone can do on their own though, which is why the value of career coaches and counsellors should not be overlooked. We are a dedicated group of individuals who want to see a highly engaged and happy workforce. We, in essence, all care about your career fit.
I invite you to spend a few minutes now to reflect on your current career. Are you in a position that allows you to utilize your strengths and skills? Do you feel valued in your role and within the company? Do your values align with that of the organization? You know the answers to these questions best. Take my Career Fit Quiz to help you along. If you feel compelled to talk about your career and explore the opportunities to help you find a successful career fit, drop me a line, I’d love to chat with you.