Guess what?  The secret doesn’t lie in sitting around waiting for it to come to you.  But then again you knew that, maybe.  Having just navigated the waters of a major transition over the past year I have witnessed two types of job seeker:  the professional and the lazy.  The secret lies in what the former category are doing.

Laziness Will Get You Nowhere

It’s a foregone conclusion that waiting for the right job to come to you won’t work nor will only applying to jobs that you find on line.  But this becomes the default position for the majority of engineers driven to finding a new position.  This is the lazy way out of where you are right now and it is highly unlikely it will result in getting a job that matters to you.

You can choose getting a job simply to make money or getting a job to make money and matters to you.  I’ll take the later, thank you.

The Job That Matters Exists

First, the job that matters exists.  Five times over my twenty-year career I had specific concepts of what I wanted to be doing and where I wanted to be doing it.  One massive challenge, however, was that I was an officer in the U.S. Air Force and I wasn’t in control of where and what I did.  I could voice what I wanted and ask, but that didn’t guarantee that I’d get the position I wanted.  But I did.  How?

I did the best I could in the job I was already in.

I knew specifically what I wanted.

I knew what was feasible (timing, my skills versus job needs, etc.).

I put my network to work.

That’s it, just these four actions to get the job that mattered to me.

You Get What You Ask For

How many times have you heard this phrase?  A lot, but it is entirely true in what we do in our professional pursuits.  Aiming at only the jobs you find on line or limiting yourself to what you know you can do will not get you the job that matters, it will get you a job that’s comfortable.  The job that matters is the one that you have to pursue, the one that requires you to learn a new skill, talk with people, and has a risk of you not getting it.

If anyone could land a certain job, would that make it worth getting?  No.  The job that matters to you is the one that you were tailor fit to fill.  When you’re specific on what you want to do, you’ll work to make it happen.  And it will.

“Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, difficulty… I have never in my life envied a human being who led an easy life. I have envied a great many people who led difficult lives and led them well.”  Theodore Roosevelt

 Christian Knutson, P.E., civil engineer

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Kenya Engineer is the definitive publication of Engineers in East Africa & beyond and the official journal of the Institution of Engineers of Kenya. Kenya Engineer has been in publication since 1972.

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