Tuesday, May 13, 2008

The importance of finding our "right fit" work

I talked with a young woman today who is in a job she really doesn't like. Her problem is that she doesn't really know what she wants to do. So we are exploring those activities she does enjoy, to delineate their attributes. Those attributes will be the very same attributes of a job she will like and even love.

Right now, she's taking an art class that is the highlight of her week. We identified the reasons she loves it: she is seeing herself grow and develop more skill, she really likes the teacher who promotes a positive learning environment, she enjoys watching her classmates progress and express their personalities, and there is a finished product at the end of it - a specific art piece.

When we compared that to her current work environment, we saw that it is the COMPLETE OPPOSITE of what she likes and thrives in. No one works together, she’s essentially alone working on her computer, she's not really learning or developing herself - nor is anyone else seeking to develop or mentor her - and there is no finished product at the end of the day.

Until now, she’s been trying to make herself good at something she doesn’t like, instead of finding what she likes and then going toward it. It's as if she's a square peg trying to fit into a round hole - no matter how much she tries to shave off those square edges, she resists it. She thinks she's supposed to adapt herself to this environment because this is the job she's in.

The truth is she really doesn’t want to shave off any more of herself or adapt to work that is profoundly dissatisfying. What she really wants to do now is get more understanding of what she does like and go toward that in her work life.

Yes, we have to adapt ourselves to the world as it is, for it's more pleasant to accept life on life's terms instead of constantly fighting things I cannot change. This is far different from passively accepting our position in life. If we are unhappy in work, it's possible to change that. It's possible to find work that really makes us happy, that uses our talents and abilities, that allows us to feel and express love and satisfaction.

Our "right fit" work is the place where we love what we do and do what we love, and are more in harmony with the world around us. We feel rewarded and we are able to give to the world from our strengths and passion.

I look forward to continuing the journey with this young woman and to sharing it here.

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