Your career journey can be highly satisfying, productive and filled with value when you find roles that allow you to match your skills and abilities with your sense of purpose and drive.
February is Heart Month—a perfect time to think about not only physical heart health but your heart for the work you do as well. After all, finding your place at the right organization, in the right position for you, is fulfilling. It also equips you to grow in your role and develop the career trajectory you’d like to achieve.
One way to feel connected and enthusiastic about the job you’re searching for (or even the role you have now!) is to intentionally align your sense of purpose and your skills to your position. Check out these tips on matching yourself and your role at work — so you can “heart” the experience and make the most of it.
Why care about finding a good fit at work?
Great question, right? After all, most of us have to work for practical reasons, like paying our bills. But still, isn’t finding a good fit worthwhile? The answer is yes. The more you and your skills and your passion align with your work life, the happier you’ll be and the easier it is to stay motivated to grow in your role.
Employers care about finding a fit for their open roles
Just about any job interview you go on is going to bring up the question: “What makes you an ideal fit for this role?” Employers care about finding employees who are a match to the position’s skills and daily activities. They also want someone who fits the culture of the organization, someone who will be a great addition to their existing team. This question is how employers assess who will be productive, dedicated, and committed to sticking around — as well as how aware they are of what they have to offer.
As an employee, a great career match matters to you too
What job seekers may overlook (but shouldn’t!) is how this interview question benefits them too! Knowing why you’re a fit for a position helps you to work with purpose, find meaning in your role, and set yourself up for greater career growth. This is just as true for the role you have now as for future jobs you may seek out.
What should you do to find and develop your dream job match?
Imagine “swiping right” on a job offer and discovering over time that this relationship you have with your role is a good one. Now, that’s a dream worth fighting for. Here are some practical tips to help you make that dream come true.
Identify your personal values
Finding a role (or an entire career path) that fulfills you and allows you to make a difference starts in one place — your values. What do you believe in? What matters most to you? What are the non-negotiable, big picture principles that drive you, inspire you, and get you energized to go about your day? A satisfying career blends practical work tasks with the impact you can make by doing those tasks.
When you know what you believe and value, it’s a lot easier to ensure you’re employed by an organization that shares those values. Taking time to identify what matters to you is an effective way to find a heartwarming alignment at work.
Lean into your passion as you build out your role
Every job has tasks that must be done, whether you feel passionate about those tasks or not. Your current career position may only partially align with what you love, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have options for greater alignment. Many people expand their current role to one that is more fulfilling by finding ways to integrate their passion at work.
For example, you might currently have a role manning your company’s technical help desk — which makes an important contribution to your coworkers’ ability to do their jobs. You may be happy to do it, and good at it, yet you also care strongly about volunteering for community organizations that are helping people live better lives. These parts of your life may be separate right now, but perhaps they don’t have to stay separate.
Why not join your company’s volunteer programs — or if needed, start one? This will give you stronger satisfaction in an area that matters to you now. It’ll also give you experience that will benefit you when a role opens up in tech support at a local community organization — leading you to an even stronger alignment of your purpose and your skills in the future.
Focus on your unique skills
Take an inventory of your current talents and abilities, keeping in mind what you are capable of doing and what you can add to your organization. Start by brainstorming a list, and then ask coworkers and your manager what they consider you to be uniquely good at. If you get stuck, take a skills assessment test to learn more about yourself. Remember that you have a combination of hard skills (like knowing how to code an app, and understanding the ins and outs of your company’s project management software) as well as soft skills (such as a good sense of humor, flexible thinking, and the ability to learn quickly). Both are important to use in your career.
Next, consider whether you’re leveraging all these talents in your role right now. If you’re not, yet you could if you applied yourself, then push for ways to use those skills. Take on new challenges, or champion a project that would showcase your skills. If your current role doesn’t allow you to use your skills and build on them, that’s a sign you may be ready for a career move. Growing in your role is a vital part of feeling that sense of alignment between your purpose and your talents.
Shift your perspective
Career frustration sometimes arises when our focus is on things that don’t encourage us to feel positive about where we are. And let’s be realistic — we all have times when we’re in the midst of changing roles that we feel that frustration deeply. The feeling of misalignment can be so strong that we don’t enjoy the favorable aspects of where we are as we’re moving toward someplace new.
If that’s you, own that you’re feeling misaligned, and then begin to shift your focus away from what’s not so good — and look for the positives. In times where you are making a career move, lean into what feels purposeful and fulfilling. That may be strong relationships with coworkers, one project you are particularly proud of, or the overall impact the organization is having on your community. Shifting to a positive perspective will protect your energy for what matters most, whether that’s family, volunteering, or your job search.
Summing It Up
Your career journey can be highly satisfying, productive and filled with value when you find roles that allow you to match your skills and abilities with your sense of purpose and drive. Remind yourself of the value that you bring to your role right now, and remember — there are always options when you’re ready for a change.
Our Talent Network is here for you when you’re looking for your next career move. We encourage you to sign up, and let us know how we can help you find your new career match!