The Right Fit…
After thirty years of coaching people on finding or creating work they love, I’m convinced that the key to happiness at work is a good fit – a good fit with the work you love, a good fit with the company, a good fit with your colleagues, and a good fit with your talents and values. Barbara has been looking for that fit for a long time.
She’s trained as a lawyer and discovered pretty quickly that a traditional job was not a good fit for her, although she did it for many years. She branched out at one point and held a marketing position in a financial corporation but still felt something was missing. For a while she worked happily for a small company that placed lawyers in temporary and nontraditional jobs and out of everything she did, she loved best helping lawyers find their right work, knowing firsthand that they can do a variety of things with a legal background.
After being riffed from this job in the wake of the recession, she’s been looking for a job for the last two years. When she heard about a job with a university helping law school graduates find work, she thought it would be a perfect fit for her. She interviewed at the school, loved the atmosphere, the job description, and the people who would be her colleagues but did not get an offer because they felt she was overqualified for the position. Instead, the Dean met with her afterwards and promised to help in any way he could and encouraged her to apply within the university for other jobs. He also said he would get back to her if anything changed.
It hasn’t been easy to keep her spirits up in the meantime and she’s been tempted to take a job, any job. That’s when I reminded her to hold out until she found what she wanted. She wrote a job description for herself to clarify exactly what she wanted. Finally, out of the blue, she got a call from the university asking her to come in to talk again. They had created a brand new position and she was the first person they thought about. They offered her the job and she accepted.
I think it was good that she kept in touch with the Dean all along the way and used his offer of help when she explored other positions. It kept her on his mind. The job is not perfect because it’s a one-year project but it’s definitely where she wants to be and it’s the work she wants to do. It will put her in the right arena and give her the experience to move on if she has to, but I’m betting she’ll make herself indispensable. It’s worth waiting for a great fit.