Use Street-Smarts to Avoid Jobs You May Hate

Have you ever driven down a road and realized you are at a dead end?

Some dead ends are clear based on the sign, slow down or else. To travel is in my blood.  Regardless if it is a road trip, take off for months with a back pack, or take a 3 year stint to see the world. Having a slight wild streak in me, you run into numerous dead ends, usually when you “think” all is right.

Some dead ends are so close, just one more step and say good bye Some dead ends have signs to slow us down, beware of what lies ahead. Other times it is much more dangerous, such as a path which ends at the edge of a cliff. Just one more step and you can kiss your back side good bye.

 Use your sweet spot to help avoid landing in a job you may hate.

One of the first things I try to do when somebody is in a job they clearly do not like is to ask them. “What are the 3 things you would enjoy doing in a job”. My objective is to get them talking about what they “want” to do, not “what” they are doing.

This is not always easy to do, being human, misery loves company and we all like to sit around and rag about bad situations. Worst yet, “us guys” like “to tell” others how to fix their problems. If you are male, listen up, in sales training we advise.

God gave us two ears and one mouth, use them in this ratio.

Side bar : There are numerous studies of the typical behaviors between male and female.  Using street-smarts I have observed how my behaviours help define and accent my strengths and weaknesses. I encourage you to do the same.

Focus on what you “enjoy doing” while reviewing business careers.

The normal reasons individuals end up hating their jobs can be grouped as:

  1. The business beliefs of the company do not line up with the individual.
  2. Their direct manager is not somebody they respect or trust.
  3. Daily duties on the job are 50+% of things they do not enjoy doing.
  4. Peers within those they must work with are not respected or trusted.
  5. No advancement opportunities exist today or in the near future.

A dead end to approach with caution many times includes a sign to slow down These are the road signs to watch for and be asking the right questions at the right time during the hiring process. Debriefing a client one day he said something while we were discussing how to have better business conversations with potential customers:

“When ever I attend a meeting with a new customer, I have a list of 3 main topics I’m going to make sure come up during the conversation.”

“It is not a generic list, it is unique for each customer I meet. I am not always sure how the topics will come up, yet it is my objective to make sure they do. Based on the customers responses to these topics. I will have a much better understanding if my companies capabilities can help them solve their business needs.”

Let’s use street-smarts and dissect these words as they relate to the hiring process. In a previous article, we reviewed how the “hiring process is a buying process” .

  • This client has 3 topics on the top of their mind to discuss which directly relate to the customer’s potential needs, (the buyer) and the capabilities they,(the seller) can provide.
  • The objective is to have a business conversation and “steer” it towards the chosen topics, (the “how” includes open ended questions and/or the use of story).
  • Based on the responses provided by the customer,(the buyer), they, (the seller) can determine if there is a fit between the two parties.

Bad news early is good news.

Take control over your job career or others will do it for you.

Avoid ending up in a dead end job by using skills like the client above embraces every time they visit a new potential customer. Be prepared to have a business conversation around  the hiring companies “needs” to fill the open position and “how” your “sweet-spot” can help achieve their needs.

Always go in to the hiring process with all of your senses in high gear. Watch for “dead end signs” if there is “no fit” between you and the hiring company.

The good news, the hiring manager is going to do everything they can to avoid picking an employee who does not fit the job and/or the company. However, back to the truth, which I always say is in the middle. You have more at stake then the hiring manager.

What are the 3 most important topics you want to know about before you would even consider accepting a job offer from a company?

The answers to your personal questions will help you decide how well you may fit with a potential company and/or the job under consideration. These topics come out of your sweet-spot and will help you thrive in your chosen career.

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