Updated: Feb 5
Many people fantasize about their "dream job", and a few years ago, I was one of them. This line of thinking caused me a lot of disappointment, but it didn't make me quit or lose my passion for my work. Instead, I reprioritized what I was looking for in a job offer and got rid of the vague luring concept of “success” - here’s how.
Working hard since I was 16 years old, paying my tuition on my own, and doing a bunch of marketing internships for free to gain experience, made me feel worthy of getting a seat at a nice high-tech company, all benefits included. The thought of promoting top-edge technologies alongside the brightest minds in the industry made my eyes sparkle.
Looking to advance my tech-marketing career, I set my eyes on three major high-tech companies, by which I thought getting hired, would make me feel like I "made it". Thus, I submitted my application and managed to get a call-back from all three companies and go through long hiring processes - which ended up with me not getting a job offer from any of them. What a roller coaster!
However, this experience didn't make me quit or lose my passion for marketing or innovation. Instead, my bumpy career road made me realize that I was blinded by the concept of "success" and didn't take the time to understand what it truly meant for me. Therefore, I took the time to think about what makes me happy and fulfilled and then reorganized my priorities.
After doing some soul-searching, I decided to focus on finding a job that will fit my personal values and drive for excellence instead of my need to impress others. I chose self-care instead of people-pleasing and got back to my job search with my eyes wide open. This made me feel more confident of my professional worth and capable of landing the most luxurious job opportunities because it made them seem completely reasonable and not so out of reach as I used to think of them.
Here are the standards that I set for my job offers to make sure they align with my life goals, which I also recommend you look for in your next realistic career opportunity.
1. A Manager Who is a Born Leader
Undoubtedly the most important parameter when looking for a job. Your direct manager can dictate how you feel about your position and have a big impact on your career path, especially in its early stages. Great managers make you flourish: you get up in the morning eager to prove yourself and look forward to their feedback. Your relationship of trust and respect makes you feel confident in your abilities, and when the time comes, you know you can count on them to be your reference for your next career opportunity. This is because they see your success as their own. However, great leaders are not easy to come by. So if you wish to have a successful career, remember to examine your potential manager's leadership skills and confidence level in your next job interview.
2. Great Team Spirit & Company Culture
People are what make or break companies. In the competitive high-tech world, your team needs to make you feel energized so you can push forward innovative ideas and try new things. Therefore, your teammates should be collaborative, ambitious, smart, and fun to be around. A great team is one where everybody feels free to contribute and work together towards the same goal. Not only does this help the company, but your health and overall life satisfaction improve as well.
"Surround yourself with only people who are going to lift you higher." - Oprah Winfrey
3. Interesting and Valuable Product
Intelligent people usually find it hard to feel truly satisfied, but working to develop and promote a product they don't believe in, is the best recipe for dissatisfaction. Therefore, when you look for your next role, you should ask a lot of questions about the product the company is offering. Ask about the company's vision, the benefits of the product and the problems it solves, the development plan, and the competitors the company is facing. Then ask yourself if the product aligns with your beliefs and values and if it would make you feel proud to talk about and fulfilled while working on it. If the answer is yes - go for it. But if you feel conflicted about it, find another company whose product ignites your imagination and motivation.
4. Rewarding Salary
The final parameter is, of course, the salary. This discussion is so delicate that it can either land you the position or make you lose it, even if you made a great first impression. In this stage, it's important not to sell yourself short, nor to overprice yourself. Therefore, you should consider two important facts while evaluating the right amount to ask: on the one hand, people like to pay for something they feel is worth it (and sometimes it even makes them feel like they are getting a higher value), on the other hand, people don't like to feel cheated, and asking for too much will drive them away. This is why you should always know your worth and give a salary range that you'd be comfortable with. In any case, the money is important, but if the parameters above don't apply to the position you are after, I suggest you look for another career opportunity.
In conclusion, searching for the right job is hard, however, being stuck in a job that doesn't motivate you to be the best version of yourself is much harder. Stay dedicated to finding the right career path for you, and you will succeed.