Is Your Job a Good Fit, or are you a Square Peg in a Round Hole?

So much of what I do is to help companies select the right candidate for the role… or right ‘fit’ for the task… or right person for the promotion. Unfortunately, I have lost count of the number of times that I have been called in to assist with performance issues, when in actual fact the problem wasn’t the person, but the system used to hire, place, or promote him or her in the first place.

I am a strong believer in uncovering the talent and desire in people and leveraging that in a role for the benefit of them and the organisation. So often I see evidence of people being expected to perform in areas that are just ‘not them,’ and then being coached or mentored to change when the only thing such intervention achieves is the development of strong weaknesses. My preference is for organisations to find the right motivational fit for each role and then build teams of people with complementary talents and patterns of thinking.

It was particularly interesting for me to read these set of questions that were forwarded to me by Maggie Kelly, CEO of Successful Executive, a company devoted to helping businesses find and develop workplace champions. I believe the original source was the Australian Financial Review, 22-23 January 2011 edition, so I thank both Maggie and the AFR for some of these gems I share with you. You may find these questions useful in assessing your own current career situation.

Your answers to the following questions can help determine if you’re in a job that combines what you like to do, what you do best, and what adds value to the organisation. If you aren’t, consider shifting some of your responsibilities or even finding a different position or career.

  1. What are you best at doing? It is amazing how many people spend years trying to get good at what they’re bad at, instead of better at what they are good at.
  2. What do you like to do the most? This is not always the same as the answer to Question 1. Unless it is illegal or bad for you, do what you like. If it is also productive and useful, it ought to be your career.
  3. What do you wish you were better at? Your answer may guide you to a course you should take or a mentor you should work with. It may also indicate a task you should delegate.
  4. What talents do you have that you haven’t developed? (And don’t say ‘none.’)
  5. Which of your skills are you most proud? This often reflects obstacles overcome.
  6. What do others most often say are your greatest strengths? This question helps you identify skills you may not value because they seem easy to you.
  7. What have you got better at? This gives you an idea of where putting in extra effort can pay off.
  8. What can you just not get better at no matter how hard you try? This tells you where not to waste any more time.
  9. What do you most dislike doing? Your answer here suggests what tasks you might want to delegate or hire out.
  10. What sort of people do you work best/worst with? Do you love to work with highly organised, analytic types? Do creative types drive you crazy? Make up your own categories.
  11. What sort of organisational culture brings out the best in you? It is amazing how many people won’t leave a culture for which they are hideously unsuited.
  12. What were you doing when you were happiest in your work life? Could you find a way to be doing that now?
  13. What are your most cherished hopes for your future work life? What could keep you from realising those hopes and dreams?
  14. How could your time be better used in your current job to add value to the organisation? Your answer here gives your manager valuable input he or she may never have thought to ask for.

My advice for you is to spend far more of your productive time doing the things you love and the things you excel at, and less time wasted on the things you just shouldn’t be doing, because your time is the most precious commodity you have, so you don’t want to squander it.

Next time I will share with you a specific example of how important it is for both the executive as well as the organisation, to work within the rules of ‘best fit’ and stop trying to fight natural preferences.

Until next time… Let’s seek to understand more and judge less.   Have a great week – Brian

Precision Profiling – What Makes You Tick?  Through ‘Motivational Fingerprinting’ we uncover what you do, how you do it and why you do it, and most importantly, the hidden patterns that lead to your success, and that of your staff.

About Brian Clark

Brian Clark is the principal director of Precision Profiling®.

He is a renowned practitioner, writer and speaker on building total customer cultures; values driven leadership and world best practice strategy and implementation.

He has been a guest lecturer on world best practice for the executive management programme at Monash University’s business college (Mt Eliza campus); an adviser to and key note speaker for the Singapore Productivity Association and a consultant to many major Australian and overseas corporations and government departments.

Read more about Brian Clark Here

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