Finding just the right “fit”

I was recently talking with a family member about her fairly new job – she’s been there 8 months, and had been with her prior organization for 8 years.   We discussed the many ways in which her two experiences have been different – in her previous company, she had made deep friendships and many partnerships, she felt that she was a valued part of a team, she was allowed to innovate, her suggestions were heard and contributions recognized both privately and publicly.  She changed jobs to help advance her career…but it turns out that this new position is lacking so many of the things that felt so important to her before.     

As we finished talking, we focused on developing an action plan – determining what she could do to adjust her job and find new opportunities that helped her to contribute, feel valued and make partnerships.  After talking with her boss, with whom she has developed a great relationship by clarifying his expectations and exceeding them, she will be taking the lead on a new project and developing an affinity group amongst her peers to forge relationships across the company. 

It is so hard, when interviewing for a job, to figure out if you’re the right “fit” for the organization, and so easy to get frustrated – or immediately start looking for a new job – when you begin to realize that perfect “fit” isn’t there.   Now, I am not one to advocate for making yourself miserable if you’re truly unhappy and unfulfilled in your work – by all means, use your energy to begin planning your next move.  But, it is so important to have these conversations with someone you trust – a mentor, a friend, your sister – so that you can begin to figure out what you like, what you dislike, what your values are and how you can find a position that plays to your strengths, helps you to grow and “fits” you.  I think of career paths as an accumulation of knowledge, experiences and decisions, as well as something unique to a person.  What do you like about your current role?  What do you dislike?  What are you able to change?  How can you find your best fit?  If a Career Services advisor can help you in thinking about this, by all means please contact us!


Author: Jamie Grant

Jamie Grant is Associate Director of Career Services for the School of Engineering and Applied Science.