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The Ideal Job Fantasy
Megan Tough





   Most people would agree that the concept of a job today is vastly different from that of 20 years ago. Organisations are changing at speed, technology has changed the face and pace of work, and globalisation is pushing every business to examine it's operations in a totally different context.

How do we, the people that work within this changing environment, manage our own needs and wants.

Over the last 10 years I have had contact with many individuals searching for their place in the working world. For many, a growing sense of dissatisfaction with their work, or a general feeling that things aren't as they should be, has left them with two questions to answer - "Why am I here?", and "What would I really love to do for a job?".

The concept of the ideal job is, I believe, fraught with danger. As long as we believe that there is a single job that will make us truly happy, then we are immediately limiting our actions and beliefs in searching for it. We set ourselves up for failure with expectations that the answer will "come" to us, or that a job needs to be perfect.

The truth is that there is rarely a single outcome in the search for the ideal job. A career is only a part of a lifestyle - a lifestyle encompasses all aspects of our life. Those who consider their career in isolation of their desired lifestyle may end up making less than ideal job-related choices.

So is it really about planning a career, or is it more about planning a lifestyle, of which work/career is one component?

A clearly structured process will help you to define the parameters of work that are important for you, rather than specific jobs. For example, preferred industries, work type (full or part time etc), working hours, travel, level of autonomy or team work, desired income, responsibility, skills you want to use, location and so on. Once you are clear on your parameters, perhaps have even prioitised them for their importance to you, you can evaluate your career options against them. With this approach, the weight of expectation is lifted, the burden of finding the "one and only right answer" is gone. You have the freedom to consider a large number of roles knowing that you will make a choice based on your personal criteria.

At the end of the day, career decisions are about making choices not finding right and wrong answers. Give yourself parameters, and put the power of choice firmly in your hands - where it belongs.

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About the Author :
Megan Tough is director of complete potential, a leadership and HR consultancy based in Sydney, Australia. At complete potential we understand people - what engages them, what encourages them to perform, and what drives them away. With over 20 years experience working on HR issues in business, our job is to help you make the most of your investment in people. To learn more visit www.completepotential.com

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