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How to Mold Your Job to Fit You, Not Vice Versa

How to Mold Your Job to Fit You, Not Vice VersaLess than half of women are happy with their jobs, according to a Conference Board report. Only 46.3 percent of women say they’re satisfied at work, compared to 47.8 percent of men. Just 21.4 percent of women are happy with their promotion prospects, compared to 26.1 percent of men, and only 34.3 percent are satisfied with their wages, versus 38.3 percent of men. One reason many women aren’t satisfied with their job is that they’ve fit themselves to their work rather than mold a position that fits their career goals and work preferences. Here are some ways you can position yourself to navigate more satisfying career opportunities, whether at the company you currently work for or elsewhere.

Know What You Want

It’s hard to find the right job if you’re not sure what you really want. One way to help you find out what types of jobs would fit your personality is to take a career aptitude test. School counseling centers and employment centers administer aptitude tests. You can also find tests online, including shorter tests such as the 5- to 10-minute test at What Career Is Right for Me? or the Princeton Review as well as more comprehensive tests such as the 40-minute test on the website of Psychology Today. Taking this type of test will generate some career ideas that will help clarify your thinking on what type of job you might find more satisfying.

Communicate Your Job Goals to Your Supervisors

After figuring out what you want, it’s a good idea to communicate your desires to your supervisors at work in case they are open to helping you advance your career goals within your company. Career coach Lindsay Broder suggests that you schedule a specific time to talk to your supervisor and craft a pitch that emphasizes how helping you will help the company. For instance, instead of complaining that you’re not happy with your position, you might point out skills you have that could benefit the company but are not being fully utilized in your current position. This approach can be particularly persuasive if your company faces a skills gap that has been keeping a position from being filled and training you would make you qualified to fill it. Make your case to your supervisor, and then be prepared to listen for their response and input. They may have ideas you haven’t thought of or know of resources within the company that you’re not aware of.

Request Training for Career Advancement

If your job goal requires additional training, you might consider asking your employer or a prospective employer if they’re willing to sponsor you. Many employers recognize that training employees and potential employees can be an effective way to fill company skills gaps while building employee loyalty. For instance, Starbucks recently instituted a College Achievement Plan in partnership with online career college Arizona State University. Training magazine publishes an annual list of the 125 best employers offering career advancement training opportunities.

Use Tools and Gadgets that Empower You in the Workplace

If using your favorite technology is part of what makes a positive work experience for you, you might ask your employer or prospective employer if your desired device fits into their Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy. Or if you’re starting up your own company, you might choose your own preferred device. For business purposes, you will want to select a device that has the desired functionality as well as strong security features, such as the Samsung Galaxy S7 edge with its defense-grade KNOX security and ability to separate personal and business data. You might also feel more empowered using certain apps, such as your favorite cloud-based office suite or accounting program. Being able to use your preferred device and apps may also open up opportunities to be more flexible about your working location or schedule.


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