If you had to write the description of your perfect job, what would it look like?
This year I haven’t made any goals or resolutions.
I have deliberately decided to keep things open to see how what I have been openly sharing over the past few years around new skills, networks, relationships, connections, and knowledge of workplace learning will serve me to undertake the one ‘fuzzy focus’ for this year which is to:
If you ask me what type of work I am looking for, believe it or not, it’s hard to define.
For the first time in my life, I’m thinking that my perfect role is not found within the Learning and Development team of any current organisation working within a traditional hierarchical structure.
If anything, my perfect role would be the white space between the Learning, Marketing, Customer Experience and Change business units working with multi-faceted, diverse and cross-cultural teams that solve complex problems that will help make the community, society – and the world – a better place.
It may not even be in a corporate company or a vendor business? Who knows…
A role that blends inspiration and new thinking from people who are inspired and who inspire others with their ideas and projects. One that trail blazes and inspires people to continually build their own learning capacity. A place where I can have the freedom to express myself in my own quirky way through social networks, blogging and video. If it’s focussed on ethical industries that help support community and society – then even better! If it pays then that is a bonus because frankly, I’m OVER doing things for free.
Trust me, there ain’t any jobs like that on any online job boards.
So I’m stuck scratching my head.
After all, looking at the jobs online, I’m struck at the “sameness” of them. I often let out a big sigh when applying for many of them.
For Learning and Development roles, most ask for e-Learning courseware design and development on Articulate, administering Learning Management Systems and creating content. None mention anything about how to build their organisational employee capability for personal learning and to provide them with the skills that enable them to collaborate with others, share their work and provide them with skills to face a modern future workplace.
Meanwhile, in Marketing jobs, it’s all about building and pushing out social media profiles, search engine optimisation and advertising of the company bombarding people with content hoping to build following and interactions.
Change Management roles again are about pushing strategies and tactics around the latest IT or Service transformation program or heavens forbid, motivating and engaging staff around this change.
Everything seems to be about “push”…
Push the change. Push the learning. Push the marketing. Push everything and hope that somehow, somewhere you solve your business problem.
Therein lays my problem. How do you find work within this type of system? It is quite difficult because people will need to take a big gamble with recruiting you into a fully-defined role that you may not have skills or networks for but you have the open attitude for learning and connecting. Ultimately it requires a risk-taking approach from both the job holder and job seeker.
So where am I going with all this?
I’ve been thinking about this all and it’s come down to the fact that my job hunting is in effect, a learning journey.
There are many elements of the process which don’t sit well with me (writing and re-writing CVs and cover letters; interviews and recruiters) but the best thing I can do for myself is to approach it as openly as I do my own learning.
Be curious about the jobs. Ask questions. Be open to meeting new people at interviews. Be interested. Be interesting.
Every single time I worked out loud through a new idea, it has opened doors and taken me to places that I’d never have thought possible. This is no different. The opportunity will come and my gut will tell me when it’s the right one.
So what’s your perfect job? Do you believe there is one? Are you doing it already?