The Key to Job Satisfaction

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The excitement of starting a new position, especially after a hard fought job search, is exhilarating.  To assure long-lasting job satisfaction, it's important to have a clear and well-articulated view of your ideal opportunity prior to starting your search.  

In our last blog, we discussed the value of a focused and targeted job search and now you now have a job offer - congratulations! As you contemplate the opportunity, there are some key things to consider:

  1. What's most important to you about the organization?  Is it large, small or mid-size?  Is it in a specific industry or geographic location? 
     Is it private or public, or perhaps a private equity firm? Is it high growth or ready for a transformation? Weigh each of these as they may play into your interests, skills and key contributions.  And don't forget to identify the key components of the culture where you thrive.
  2. What’s most important to you about the role?  What skills, experiences, and contributions are most important for you to leverage?  What do you get the most satisfaction from doing?  A career consultant can assist you in putting together a Career Profile that represents your ideal company and position, and ultimately the best fit for your growth and satisfaction. He or she can also help you evaluate job offers and negotiation strategies as needed.

Armed with this information, the next step is to conduct a thorough due diligence evaluation of the organization, the function you’ll be responsible for, and the boss.  The purpose of this evaluation is to confirm: 

  • The business is as it appears to be. 
  • The job is what it appears to be. 
  • Your boss' style, philosophy and decision-making approach will fit with yours.
  • Others have positive things to say about working for the organization. 
  • The pros of the opportunity outweigh any cons.
  • Whether the strategy is a good fit for you - high growth, maintenance role, change agent, etc.
  • The likelihood of success in this organization (who succeeds in this organization?).
  • The job will be a good fit for your career and you’ll be satisfied in the role (is the opportunity a good match for what you have to offer?).  

Due diligence is a disciplined process of research, networking, and self-reflection that provides a framework for evaluating positions and job offers against a set of measurable and qualitative categories. It paints a clear picture of the organization, the skills, and the boss. Populate the chart below with factors identified in your Career Profile, those things that represent the best fit for you.  Apply a rating factor to these components to assist you in determining overall fit and highlight any areas of concern.  When an opportunity is a 75% or better fit, the likelihood of satisfaction and success are greater.

Organizational Factors - The structure and performance of the organization (examples):

  • Industry
  • Size
  • Location
  • Stage
  • Strategy
  • Performance
  • Business Plan
  • Executive Team
  • Customers
  • Competitors
  • Infrastructure
  • Organizational Structure


Job Option 1

Job Option 2

Skills and Contributions - Key areas of best leverage for you (examples):

  • Leadership
  • Team Development
  • Functional Leverage
  • Growth Focus
  • International Strategy
  • Degree of Scope and Complexity
  • Big Problems to Solve




Boss Attributes - The attributes that help you perform your best (examples):

  • Smart
  • Collaborative
  • Risk Taker
  • Track Record of Success
  • Strategist
  • Disciplined Approach – Metrics, Scorecard, Continuous Improvement
  • Doesn’t Micromanage



In the course of a job search, we sometimes become focused on the offer, not the overall job fit.  Take time to fully understand what you’re signing up for, not just the position but the entire opportunity.  Use this chart to help you conduct in-depth interviews that will assist in evaluating the opportunity.

Your due diligence efforts can lead to better decision-making with fewer surprises. This ultimately sets you up for a successful career transition; one that will build your skills and add to your marketability both now and in the future.

What factors did you consider when starting your last job search and evaluating the opportunities? 

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