You: “Yes, it would be nice to find the job of my dreams. Yes, it would be wonderful to feel inspired, happy, connected, and passionate at work. Of course I’m dying for more meaning and purpose. But I just need a job, fast!”
Does this sound like you? Does finding the job of your dreams sound great in theory, but, getting back to reality, you just need a job – any job, and fast?
I get it. It’s something I hear over and over again, and I empathize with the situation.
And you may be surprised about this. I agree.
If your finances say that you need a job now, that’s what you need.
So here’s my recommendation for you, as a coach: Settle.
Yep. Settle for the job that’s lack-luster, that you know you’ll be dissatisfied with in 6 months, once you get over the panic-stricken terror of the thought (or reality) of being unable to pay your mortgage, your kid’s tuition, or your credit card bills.
Settle for whatever job you can get. Because if you really are terrified about your finances, the best thing you can do for yourself is to get a job.
Now that’s not the end of the story, it’s only the beginning.
You may remember from psychology 101, Maslow, and his hierarchy of needs. Basically, his theory was that if you’re starving to death, you can’t be bothered to worry about being a better person. All you can worry about is lunch. And it’s true. I know when I miss a meal, I can get hangry fast (that’s a combination of hungry and angry – the kind of angry that comes from being too hungry 🙂 ).
Anyway, the point is that you won’t be able to focus on your higher aspirations or the higher level ideas of seeking happiness and fulfillment if you’re scared about not being able to pay the bills. So the first priority is to get out of that situation. Fast.
If things aren’t quite so dire, and you have a cushion (and some extra time provided by virtue of unemployment) then now might be the perfect time to do some soul-searching.
And if you already have a job that pays the bills but that you don’t love, then you are also in a good position to do some internal excavation.
But if you are in full-out panic mode, by all means, do what’s necessary to get your feet under you again and get some breathing room. There will be time for you to come back to thinking about what you love and moving towards it. If now is not the right time, don’t worry too much about settling for a job that’s less than ideal.
If that’s what you have to do, though, keep these things in mind:
1. Go into this less-than-perfect job without a mindset for long-term commitment. If what you want is work that gives you zest for life, don’t get too comfortable. Get comfy enough, and then start pushing yourself to understand what’s next for you.
2. Do a good job. You never know where life will take you, who you will meet, and what opportunities will present themselves. Being excellent at what you’re doing, no matter what it is, will give back to you in ways you can’t imagine – from new opportunities to just feeling great about yourself.
3. Learn what you can. This experience will undoubtedly shed some light on your life in some way, even if it’s only to illustrate what you don’t want. Learn what you can from the experience so you can use it when it’s time.
Taking a job doesn’t have to be the end of the road for finding or creating THE job. It may just be a step on your journey.