I have often talked about finding a job you never want to retire from and the impact that can have on your life, personally and professionally. I was fortunate enough to stumble into an opportunity that gave me that job, right out of college. I thought I wanted a job that would give me a large paycheck so I could retire early, but what I got was worth so much more. For most people, finding the right job is a little bit like dating—you need to figure out what you want, what aligns with your values, and you may have a few that aren’t the right fit before finding “the one.” So, what are some things to look for in finding that perfect job match? Here are four ideas to consider when looking for that job you never want to retire from.
Find a leader you want to be like.
One of the easiest ways to figure out if a job is the right fit for the long haul, is by looking to your boss and the company leadership. Look for leaders who have traits or qualities you admire or align with your values. Remember that we become like those we surround ourselves with, for better or worse. The people you’ll be surrounded by at the organization will heavily influence who you become in life, how you perform at work, and what your future will look like. So, find a leader that will help you grow to your full potential, and serve as a role model for you to emulate.
Find a company you’d be proud to work for.
The first question you’re going to get asked almost everywhere you go is, “What do you do for a living? Who do you work for?” When you answer, is the name of that company one you’d be proud of? Are you excited to tell people where you work? It is easy to fall into the trap of just chasing a paycheck when looking for the right job. And don’t get me wrong, everyone has their own value and should be paid accordingly! But if all you are focused on is the paycheck, you might just end up in a job that doesn’t actually make you happy. In fact, Truett Cathy taught me that “a good name is rather to be chosen than great riches.” And working for a company with a good name can be worth more than a paycheck, and you’ll enjoy it more along the way. If you look for a company you are proud to work for, your work will have more purpose and you will ultimately be happier.
Find something you’re uniquely gifted to do.
I believe we all have unique talents and strengths that make us who we are. Being able to bring those strengths to a job will not only make you a strong employee, but it will also help you feel fulfilled. There are always going to be aspects of a job that you may not enjoy as much as others, and it can be easy to focus on the job you can do, but what about the job you should do based on your talents and strengths? If your overall experience at work is one where you can bring your talents and expertise, then you will find your work more enjoyable. An environment where you are encouraged to learn, grow, and ask questions will enable you to build on your talents and gifts and help you become an even better version of yourself.
Find a job you’d be passionate about.
On Sundays, do you find yourself saying “I can’t wait for Monday because I get to do something I love,” or do you find yourself having a case of the ‘Sunday scaries,’ where you are dreading going back to work? If you’re excited for Monday, then you probably have a job you are passionate about, one that energizes you and helps you feel fulfilled. However, if you dread work each week, you may be in a job that is actually draining you and leaving you feeling empty. That feeling of being drained can impact aspects of your life outside of work and create a domino effect of just feeling stuck. But the opposite can happen when you have passion for your work — you create a ripple effect that impacts other areas of your life in a positive way and can help make you a better, more productive person even outside of work.
A job that meets all four of these criteria can be a rare find, but the more of them you can cover in your job, the happier and more fulfilled you’ll be. When the focus switches from finding a large paycheck to finding an opportunity that leaves you fulfilled, challenged, and utilizes your gifts, you just may end up at a job you never want to retire from.
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Together, we can Spark a Revolution of brands more defined by meaning than money, brands that achieve success in a manner that redefines it.
Founder, Spark A Revolution