I was on a radio talk show out of Minnesota and one of the hosts, Patty, told a story about a lady she knew that quit her job because she hated it, and then turned down two other jobs, took the third offer, and is now in a job she loves. Patty wanted to know what I thought about that.
I said I think that’s exactly what someone should do, and if more people did what Patty surely had done, there wouldn’t be so many job seekers still unemployed or finally employed but miserable.
The woman in Patty’s story, because she hated her job and quit, obviously had given a great deal of thought to what she was looking for in her next job. It might have been defined by what she didn’t have, but she was clear enough and determined enough to resign, and trust that what she wanted would eventually turn up.
She’d envisioned her environment, knew the management style under which she worked best, given thought to the location of the company and what their mission was. This is exactly what led her to turn down the two offers. They weren’t what she was looking for, and she wasn’t going to settle.
In today’s market, that doesn’t happen often. People are so desperate they want any job and will take any job. As a recruiter and as a career coach, it’s common for me to hear, “Well, I knew I shouldn’t have taken it…hindsight being 20/20 vision and all…..” These people knew intuitively they should pass, but took the job anyway. Others don’t even hear their instinct in order to ignore it. They just blunder blindly into disaster.
But like in Patty’s story, a funny thing happens when you push away what you don’t want. What you want shows up. It’s happened to several of my clients, too.
I use a little trick I know from recruiting that cuts through any doubt or confusion and clarifies the answer very quickly and easily. When I take a client through it and the answer is no, they’re often uncomfortable coming full on, face to face with the realization they won’t be happy at the company that just extended them an offer.
One who comes to mind was a student in my Perfect Job University class. She was an architectural consultant and functioned as a liaison between clients and contractors. Prior to that she’d worked with an in-house design firm on salary. What she wanted was sales for a building supply distributor or wholesaler.
Despite having no experience in sales, there were several companies interested in her background and one of them made her an offer. There were aspects of the opportunity she didn’t like, but there was enough there that she vacillated a bit. We went through the exercise, and the answer indicated she should pass it by, which validated her instincts.
My advice, based on both factors, was to pass it by. She was nervous, but she trusted me. About a week later, two offers came through, both exactly what she was looking for and now she had a difficult time deciding which one to accept!
You have to know what you want and be willing not to settle. When you refuse to settle, your intention becomes that much clearer and paves the way for what you want to arrive. Settling happens out of nervousness and desperation and usually does nothing more than perpetuate the existing circumstances – only now you’re miserable with a pay check.
If you’re looking for a new job, set your intention, know what you want it to look like, and keep moving forward until it shows up. That’s what it means to take control of your career. That’s how you end up in your Perfect Job.
- Judi Perkins
Judi was a very successful recruiter for 22 years (15 contingency, 4 agency, 3 retained) and has now been a career coach for 3. The recruiter background, especially having been all three types, gives her deep insight into both sides of the hiring process. Now she teaches job seekers both the skill and psychological aspects of job hunting.
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