Job Search: We're NOT Just Looking For a Job

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I recently posted a question in various Linked In groups and posed the question "What are your Career goals for 2011?" Among the many things I heard about, a common theme among the job seekers was, of course, to get a job. It didn't stop there. We're not just looking for a job; we're looking for more. I'd like to discuss some of the comments people made because I think these people are on the right track. Here are some of the things we're looking for.
  • We want to be valued. Not just for our pretty face. We want to be valued for our skills, experience, education and abilities. We're not interested in filling up space and breathing. When we are valued in the work place, it is a sign of recognition that you have something to contribute. There is a reason for you to be there.
  • We want to feel passionate about our work. When the lines of work and play blur, we are in complete bliss. It can happen and it's great to see people out there recognize that it is possible to feel passionate about our work. You should settle for nothing less. I read that someone had studied a group where some millionaires emerged. The one most defining characteristic of those millionaires was the fact that they were deeply passionate about their work. Money follows passion. Good for us. Turns out we also feel good about ourselves when the work we do is a passion.
  • We want growth or the ability to grow. An interesting thing about this is the fact that when we stop learning, we get bored and depressed. We are in constant motion of learning even though we may not realize it and not just on the job. We're looking for opportunities where we aren't going to be doing the same thing year after year. Even if we're doing the same job, we want to learn new process or new tools to do that job. Growth is not just defined as a promotion. Growth is learning.
  • We're looking for stability and good company hygiene. I don't know else to call it. Our economic downturn has caused us to think more about how a company is run that we used to. Our experience with the downturn has taught us that at the drop of a hat, we can be out on the street. We're looking for companies that are well managed, financially conservative and less prone to economic impact. Nice thought. I'm not sure any business, including the government, is bullet proof. I do think employees are raising the bar on flaky business practices. The day of the dot-com's, dynamic growth is gone, at least for a while. While it was fun, the crash has been painful. Also, for those working, they are paying much more attention to the finances of their companies. We're looking for any sign the ship is sinking.
  • We want something bigger than we are. I was surprised by this one. Usually I see this sort of perspective out of boomers or people who have been working for a number of years and are ready for a change. It would seem there is a slice of the job seeker population that is looking at their contributions to be for a cause. They want to think that when they go to work that the work they do will somehow have a positive impact on other people, community or environment.
Certainly, there were a few comments about pay and benefits but it was heartwarming that those comments are much rarer that the ones above. These people were really thinking about the important aspects to a job. Growth, passion and contribution are the nourishment we need from our work, it's what feeds us. If you are a job seeker or even in your job right now I suggest you think seriously about this list. You will be happier, less stressed and feeling like your life is going well. Are you in love with your job? If not, learn how.

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  • Melissa Kennedy
    Melissa Kennedy
    Thanks for the comments!@Nicky - Being able to get paid is a very important consideration.
  • Lyndee
    You really found a way to make this whole process easier.
  • nicky
    definitely with the stability and value. i need to know that you can pay me for the work you hired me to do. all are good points though. its no surprise that people are looking for more than just a paycheck from their job.
  • Guest
    Is it really so surprising that people want to enjoy their work, rather than spend their days wage-slaving towards no real goal?

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