Like shoes, the fit makes ALL the difference.
Finding a role that marries your skill set strengths in an environment that compliments your work style and personality will increase the likelihood of your long-term commitment, motivation and success in your future role.
When you begin the search and throughout the interview process, look backwards first. Critically evaluate your past employment history, the good, bad and even ugly, yes we all have something that we can learn from our past when looking to our future. Think about your successes and failures. Be honest with yourself when evaluating the positives and negatives of past jobs. Understand the prospective new environment measuring it against what worked and didn’t work for you before. Take the time to get to know your self. Are you an extrovert or an introvert? Do you work well in a high pressured fast paced environment with heavy metrics and expectations? Do you crave quiet space to get your work done? Can you really motivate yourself in a work from home or remote situation? Self discovery will be an invaluable tool as you move towards finding the “right fit”.
In addition to looking within, don’t forget the key step of assessing your potential employer with the same critical eye. Do your research and get to know them. How do they brand themselves? How are they positioned in the market? What is the tenure of their staff? Does the environment match your energy? Ask questions. Review their website. Understand who is successful in their company and the characteristics and personalities that fit in their culture. Knowledge is power and the more you know the greater your chances of finding the “right fit”.
While a higher salary, shorter commute and additional benefits are all key criteria in making a job change, don’t forget that without the “right fit”, much like with the wrong pair of shoes, you won’t be able to dance the night away.