Fit Test

I just don’t see the fit.

If you’ve been in recruiting for any length of time you’ve heard this maddening phrase. Under the guise of protecting the “culture” managers often use gobbledy-gook like this to say “I don’t like someone” in a politically correct way.

Yet there is a time to think of your own fit: when you have outgrown your role.

Few things are as challenging as to know when to stay and when to go professionally. Especially early on in our careers it can be difficult to differentiate between a momentary lapse of enthusiasm and the growing signs of disenchantment. How do we know when our roles no longer fit us?

  • The single-most telling sign to me is the front-door test. If you begin to have apprehension as you open the front door every morning that is your body’s way of telling you something has to change. Now, maybe you don’t need to leave your firm altogether but if the job isn’t getting you excited in a positive way, pay attention
  • If you find over time the nature of your work is becoming far too routine and predictable its important to shake things up unless you like working as a toll collector. Again, you needn’t leave your firm (or even job) but you’ve got to find some new tasks and responsibilities to enthuse yourself. At the same time, if you’re asking for more responsibility but not getting the chance, that is definitely a sign to rethink things
  • Should you find opportunities for new learning becoming less and less that is not a healthy sign. One of the things we have to do for ourselves in invest in our own career growth. While all those opportunities can’t come solely from your employer they should help support you. If not, think about what you get out of the relationship
  • Finding that you are throttling yourself back in discussions around the office is another sign that your work isn’t sufficiently engaging you. This is going to require some quick attention lest your self-governing turn into apathy or worse, cynicism. Regardless of media portrayal, no one enjoys cynicism in the office: heal thyself
  • Finally, while there may be many things you can do to improve your job and career within your current company, at some point you will have to leave. You will know this moment has arrived if your are unenthused about a promotion opportunity in your firm: if that happens its time to go

We use the word “fit” a lot in the workplace (at least in America) and as noted earlier, its oftentimes just an excuse to deny or get rid of someone. Applied to ourselves however fit is a vital tool in our career toolkit. We have to enjoy a good fit between our values, needs and aspirations and the environment we’re in.

Just as we did growing up, we have to recognize when our garments no longer fit us, and move on to the right suit.

Fit is important: and we have to mange our own.


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