Unless you’re one of the exceptionally rare and fortunate individuals who has always landed in the right job, you’ve had at least one job that didn’t fit right. Like a pair of shoes three sizes too large or small, it always felt poorly aligned with who you are and your unique set of talents. Maybe you’re in one of these jobs right now. If so, let me ask you a few questions:
- Do you often question your own personal value?
- Do you sometimes feel a distinct lack of confidence in your abilities?
- Do you feel marginalized and demotivated?
- Do you wonder if you’re professionally valuable not only within your current organization, but possibly in future organizations, as well?
When we talk about job fit, at least on a surface level, we may understand its importance. But there is a deeper level to job fit which affects us psychologically. Here, we begin to form stories about ourselves. If the fit is wrong, then it’s much easier to create stories that the reason it’s wrong is because of what we’re doing. We tend to pin the blame on ourselves. If we’re not getting it, then it must be because of a deficit of ours, rather than the actual job or even the organizational structure supporting the job.
I’m not suggesting that we should throw personal responsibility out the window. But all too often, we take a bad job fit and assume all the responsibility for not doing well, not feeling content with our work, not feeling that we’re bring our best into the world everyday.
Instead, let’s take a breathe, back up, and consider a bigger perspective. Let’s get curious about whether we’re doing a job or in a position that uniquely fits us. Let’s think of how our work can create a healthier livelihood for ourselves. Let’s hold true to the knowledge that we do have choices about how we live each day.