30 Career Management Tips — Know why you work where you work

By Scot Herrick | Job Search

Sep 04

This month, I’m providing a career management tip-a-day (along with other posts) to help you trigger your own career management activities.

Today’s tip: Know why you work where you work.

If you look over your career, especially early in your career, do you notice how seemingly random the changes to your job were?

Early in my career I followed a co-worker of mine from job to job and company to company. I didn’t break from that pattern for about seven years. It wasn’t like I thought a lot about where I was going or exactly what I was doing, I was simply going to where the work was rewarding at the time. Even though I went through three different career changes in the seven years!

Today, though, it’s a bit different. There are few paternal corporations any more. The competition is just too much.

Instead, we need to understand why we work where we work in order to know if what we are doing is right for us.

It’s what Toby Lucich of More than a living speaks to in “Happenstance,” where he is recruiting for a company in an “out-of-way town” and is seeing some of the “best hires he’s seen as of late.”

He notes that “these are people coming from Fortune 500 companies to work in this quiet corner of the world” and when he asks about the attraction he gets some interesting answers:

  • I’m from the area, and have wanted to get back, closer to family
  • I have been looking for an opportunity where I can make a larger impact
  • I’m excited about what the company does
  • I liked the people when I started into the interview process

These may not be your reasons for working where you work. But not knowing why you work where you work will leave you rudderless while shooting down the corporate rapids of layoffs, buyouts, and corporate changes in direction.

  • […] Know why you work where you work. Unless you know why you are working where you are, you won’t be able to evaluate opportunities. […]

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