How do you know if a job will be “perfect”

I’ve been thinking a lot about Jennifer’s comment on last Friday’s post about The Perfect Job:  “the perfect job” doesn’t exist for 90% of the population.”  According to CareerBuilder, 1 in 5 people love their jobs and about half are satisfied.  So it seems that most people aren’t miserable, but it still begs the question of how to find a job that you’ll love.

A little more than a decade ago, I was living in Spain, slogging through my third year of working 80+ hour weeks as a management consultant.  Late one night, my face bathed in the cool glow of a spreadsheet on my laptop’s screen, I noticed that I was spending much more time with my work colleagues than I did with my someday-to-be-spouse (let alone non-work friends).  Looking forward to the many decades of my career still to come, I realized that if I was going to spend so much time and energy at work, I should do everything within my power to find not just a good job but a great one.

But deciding to do this and getting it done are two very different thing.  Landing the right job takes a combination of determination (to find what you’re looking for), skill, luck and a whole lot of good timing.

But occasionally, when everything lines up, you get that chance.  And then it’s worth asking: how do you know if this job is the one?

Here’s a thought:  in each interview, ask the interviewer, when it’s time for Q&A, “Do you love working here?”  Not “like.” Not “enjoy.” Not “value.”  Ask if they love their job.

Because the question you really want to answer for yourself is: “Will I love working here?”  And no one really knows that for sure.  But if no one loves working there, what are the chances you will?  And if a place has so much mojo that most people DO love working there, don’t you think the odds are pretty high that you will too?

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