September 24, 2015
Here is another exclusive Talent Talk employment column by Glen Esnard, the executive vice president and principal of 20-20 Foresight Executive Search. He contributes to Connect Media regularly.
Often job seekers ask us: “What is the right job for me?” Usually, they are seeking a job description or a compensation level. Those are good data points, but there are far more relevant questions to ask.
In an early career, the operative question is: “What will this job prepare me to do next?”
However, as careers mature, the operative questions change. I advise job seekers to challenge new career opportunities with three criteria.
Will this role utilize substantially all of my developed skills and talents and still challenge me? If you are underutilized you will eventually get bored. If you are unchallenged, you stop developing and growing. Are you willing to be satisfied with either?
Is this role relevant to the organization? This is a bit subjective and very relative to one’s career level and the size of the organization. For some it means a seat at the “strategy table.” For others it is a role in which a look-back will show meaningful change in the organization. But ask yourself what the alternative is to “relevant.”
Will I wake up every day pumped to go to work? This question speaks to people, culture and purpose. Is the work itself relevant? Is the culture reflective of your values? Do you see the people in the organization as “eagles?”
I acknowledge satisfying all three conditions is difficult, and few have the opportunity to sustain all three over time. Yet, consider this. If you saw an opportunity to achieve all three, what concessions would you be willing to accept?
This leads to a final note. The closer a job candidate comes to satisfying all three of these conditions, the easier the compensation discussion. Candidates are willing to sacrifice more for the position. Employers are willing to stretch further for such a candidate. Compensation becomes the easy part of the discussion. But, more on compensation in our next post.