mercredi 1 janvier 2014

Should we stop chasing dream jobs?

You will definitely find lots of literature about job hunting approaches, tips and tricks. Social media is still all the rage out there, and it's been enough proven that those new channels can facilitate connections and amplify messages.

It all starts with assessing skills, precising aspirations and going for the most relevant positions. The goal is to find dream jobs and dream companies. By doing so, it is acknowledged that all the very best conditions are being gathered.

What if chasing dream jobs appears to be a waste of time and energy? Could we think the same about dream companies?

Let us stop dreaming and keep our feet on the ground. While pushing the envelope and aiming for the best options are still important, all steps should remain as concrete as possible.

From 'looking for a dream job' to 'making a meaningful impact'. It comes down to avoiding any perfection-like kind of thinking. We all experienced the disadvantage of being perfectionists. It usually leads us to inaction and, unfortunately, to higher opportunity costs.

Operating the switch from 'looking for a dream job' to 'making a meaningful impact' is all about defining a satisfying situation first:

.What are the core assets and responsibilities? (The core zone)
.What are the peripheral ones? (The flexible zone)

The dream job thinking encourages us to put both zones in the same basket. Then, frustration could happen if there is no possible association.

'Making a meaningful impact' is much more intrapreneurial and creativity-driven. It begins with a 'good enough' situation and about getting through a series of transformation by effectively using all the available leverages (influence, data, etc..). Measurement is also central, as growth and improved outlooks are more concrete ways to understand how value has been generated.

What about 'dream companies'? In my own opinion, it's impossible to talk about dream companies without any insider experience. The iceberg metaphor illustrates this. From a candidate's perspective, you only see the visible part. And, with the rise of employer branding, companies are challenged to create useful, targeted content and deliver on their promise. If not, the talent management chain ends up broken at a certain point (example: a good-looking career site, a very friendly and pleasant recruitment process but a poor on boarding/90 first day program).

Here, we are partly talking about cultural fit and things that matter. We are all driven by a set of values, a purpose, and there are certain behaviors that we warmly appreciate.

Though, human behaviors are not fully controllable. We could notice micro cultures into a very same company, geographical area or department. Those kind of elements make it harder to target dream companies, as a couple of disparities could be existent. A valid solution would be to define a mantra (a single sentence that highlights a work philosophy). Then, it is not about seeking for a perfect situation, but minimal conditions to express ourselves.

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