I did get my degree in Criminal Justice; gave birth to one son but have two step-sons, a step-daughter and many adopted sons; and I have a pack of dogs.
Had I held out on these childhood dreams I would have missed the wonderful blessing in my life.
I worked in the legal field – it wasn’t for me. As I grow older I want water rather than mountains. Not only because to me it is a more peaceful view but let’s face it – sharks stay in the water, mountain lions and bears come out of the woods!
In job searching I find there are two quandaries that many choose – waiting for the perfect opportunity or jumping on the first thing that is offered.
Getting that interview after a long dry spell can be invigorating and make you feel like you are back in the game, that someone sees value in you again. But what if it is the wrong job? You know it isn’t right: the work isn’t what you want to do, nor is the pay, location or hours yet it has been so long since you have been offered a job. The fear of never finding the right job creeps in and takes over.
The other extreme is not applying for jobs because they miss one element or do not meet every single one of your requirements. You want the perfect job in every way and are not going to waste your time applying for anything less.
What is a person to do?
Find your balance. Not just in the job searching, but in yourself.
You should have certain criteria in that next position but that list should be a guideline not an elimination checklist. Sometimes it is easier to have a “no” list rather than a “must” list. That way if the job does not contain your absolute nots than you will be more open to receive it and apply.
A bit of honesty and truth here: you may not be ready for your perfect job just yet. Perhaps you do not have enough experience or acquired the skill set necessary to succeed. Keep your eye on that perfect job but allow other opportunities to serve as stepping stones to getting there.
What you might find is one of those stones takes you in a whole new direction which is even better than your perceived perfect.
Let’s face it – we don’t always know what is best for us!
In finding that balance you also give yourself permission to accept the fact that you are worth a good opportunity, not just what is presented to you. If you know it is not the right job do not take it unless it is extreme measures. If you need income now and that will help you family than yes, you do what is best for your family – while you continue to be open to the right opportunity.
The ironic thing is when job searching it is most beneficial to be flexible in your thinking and opportunities. However more often than not people are instead paralyzed by fear or unrealistic expectations that keep them confined in the job search hell.
Find your value, what you ideally want, what is acceptable, what you do not want, create a balance and let this be your guide. Remain open to all sorts of opportunities and believe that each step is taking you to just the right place – and it will.
Lisa K. McDonald, CPRW