Saturday, October 4, 2008

Searching for the perfect job?

Are you tired of your current employment? Do you feel like you aren't making a difference? Are you looking for new opportunities? Let me suggest a great search engine. Try using your imagination.

Does that sound trite? Certainly. But is it correct? You bet. There are two reasons why. First, there is no perfect job (remember, we live in a fallen world), so your imagination is the only place you will find such. Thankfully my second suggestion is more constructive: your imagination can become a tool to help you reshape your current job. Two particular skills will help.
  • First, think about what you actually like about your job. What are its positives? What part of it energizes you? Think about where you can maximize these opportunities. Admittedly, if there is nothing about your job that energizes you, then you probably should think about finding something else to do.
  • Second, think about where you can make a difference in your current position.
Middle-management readers may think, "Yeah, right. My job is all responsibility and no freedom. There is nothing I can do differently without my bosses permission." I sympathize. I've been in middle management. Yet I did find one place where I could make a difference - I chose to treat people like they were human beings made in God's image. The amazing thing about that was how most people seemed to really appreciate it. (I had a supervisor once tell me that I had to make a choice between being a nice guy and being an effective leader. I rejected that dichotomy - and I left that job.)

From my first formal job (at 16) until today, I've worked for non-profit organizations. There were times when I focused on what I wasn't getting in benefits, and those times were miserable. There were times when I focused on how I could make a real difference, and those times were much more enjoyable. The difference: to what end I used my imagination.

IDEA LEADERS: (1) What role does imagination play in your life? (2) On what part of your job do you focus? (3) How can you make a real difference at your work?

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