Changing job expectations

Job Search

Recently, I started looking for a new job. As I updated my resume, I reflected that job hunting is very different from when I first looked for a job.

More and more, we are not satisfied with just having a job to pay our bills. We want more than a career – we want a calling. We want to work for ourselves instead of someone else, to have more control over our time and projects. We want our job to mean something so that we feel the satisfaction of not just a job well done, but a job with purpose.

In college, my job search criteria were convenience and opportunity. Without a car, my choices were limited. Is it close to where I live? Will they hire me? Without work experience, I expected to get an entry-level, minimum wage job. I expected that I probably wouldn’t like it. I expected it to be temporary.

Right out of college, my job focus was on value – the highest salary I could get for my skills, even if I had to commute farther or work longer hours. I was willing to put in the time to gain experience. Will I enjoy my job most of the time? Can I work with my boss and my co-workers? Do I trust the company and believe in its products or services? I expected to have to prove myself. I expected a minimum level of benefits. I expected some opportunity for a promotion.

In later jobs, my goal was challenge. It was about taking on more responsibility and planning as well as doing. It wasn’t necessarily about a promotion or pay increase (thought it helps). What can I learn from the job? How can I contribute to the company? I expected to work longer hours. I expected to have some fun and room for creativity. I expected that my efforts would be acknowledged, if not rewarded.

Now my perspective has changed again and service is a higher priority. I know we often take the jobs we can get, but a big part of finding a job is where we start looking for a job. How does the company help the community? What does the company value? I expect the company to have local ties. I expect a corporate philosophy of giving back in some way.

Many college students and recent graduates seen to have jumped to a realization that took me years to reach: people are more important than a career.

What values are important to you when looking for a new job? What values are important to your business?

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