What Do You Need in a New Career?

My millennial friend Lexie* recently decided to change careers and, in keeping with her all-or-nothing personality, applied for 80 jobs in one week! In spite of having a job-hopper history, she immediately landed several interviews, which was a testament to not only her persistence but also her well-written resume. Having known Lexie for a long time, my hope was that she wouldn’t just settle for any job that would pay the bills. For this job to stick and become her new career, Lexie really needed to be selective enough to only accept a position that was a good fit for her.

We both knew there were a few crucial criteria Lexie needed in order for her new career to succeed:

1. Past job experience had shown that Lexie thrives under a boss who is a cheerleader–not a micromanager, but someone who frequently comes alongside her and acknowledges what a great job she is doing. Lexie needs someone to set high goals, hold out high expectations, and then praise her up and down for achieving them.

2. Lexie has always felt happier when she is serving and accountable to a team. She is highly motivated when her performance is tied to her coworkers’ success.

3. Being extremely intelligent, Lexie enjoys a challenging, fast-paced environment to keep her mind from drifting. What might exhaust some people actually engages Lexie!

4. Dealing with ambiguity is not one of Lexie’s strengths, so a structured, organized environment is a good fit for her.

Having been in the labor force in various capacities for nearly a decade, Lexie now better understands herself and her needs. This worked in her favor when she went on her first interview. As soon as she learned more about the job being offered, she realized it was not a good fit and didn’t pursue the job.

Fortunately, the next employer offered almost everything that Lexie knew she needed to be happy in a job–a great team to work with, a challenging environment, solid structure and training, and even a boss who is full of both high expectations and praise. Because she had been intentional up front about evaluating what she needed in a career, Lexie recognized that this was it. After an intense series of interviews, Lexie ultimately landed the perfect job for herself.

Are you contemplating a switch in careers? Finding a position and organization that are a good fit will make all the difference, but first you have to take stock and evaluate what it is you need in a new career. Talking with your recruiter can help you pinpoint what is most important. Pete Cashmore, Founder and CEO of Mashable, asked his readers to tell him what they needed most to be happy in a career. Maybe you’ll identify with the top ten things that made the list.

What makes you tick? Are you energized by working with others, or do you need to be in a cubicle all by yourself? Do you thrive on being managed, or do you perform best when left alone? Thinking back on your previous job(s), what have you learned about yourself that doesn’t work? What have you found is imperative to keeping you satisfied and engaged?

Remember, that first interview is your chance to learn whether the organization and its open position will meet your criteria. Before you ever go out on an interview, it’s vital to understand what you personally need to succeed in a new career. Only then can you be selective, like my friend Lexie, and accept only a job that is a good fit.

By Marcianne Kuethen

*not her real name

Amtec Bitz Newsletters

Essential industry highlights & expert insights every month.

Latest Posts

View all posts