When we graduate from college, complete our military service, start the workforce right out of college, or come to the job market some other path, we look for a full-time professional, technical, or skilled position that will challenge us, fulfill us, and pay us well. Sometimes we don’t get all three at one time or in one place.
Regardless of how old we are or were when we started looking for that first “real” job – after taking many part-time stints, summer jobs, and other types of temporary employment – we had certain aspirations. Sometimes, those were overshadowed by the money and we took a good-paying job primarily for the money – not really being thrilled about the company or the workload.
As with many relationships (and a job is a relationship with the employer) that are a good fit or that are entered into without the complete story or for the wrong reasons, we continue looking for a better situation for ourselves and eventually move on. Some people take years to move on, however.
We want something challenging, somewhere where we feel appreciated for our abilities and what we can contribute, a nice working environment, and of course, good compensation. Not everyone has the same order of priorities, and there are others, but we look for a certain sense of satisfaction and self-actualization in a full-time position, We are going to be doing this, or something like it, for a long time.
As we are starting out with what we hope will turn into our lifetime work, although we may have many starts and stops before arriving at this as well as various employers or businesses of our own along the way, we may just take the first thing that is available that looks reasonable. How are we going to know if it’s a good fit for us or us for it until we give it a little time?
Eventually, we will find a position that we feel we were called to be in and where we can make a great contribution. This we could label as our forever job or position. Some people might find the job that meets their needs and checks all (or most) of their boxes the very first time while others are going to move about often in search of that position which will do this.
People will still change jobs, join new companies, take new career paths, and leave what they are doing to start their own business, but along the way of earning a living many people find that job they were just meant to have – the one that offers a sense of fulfillment, gives them a chance to serve the public in a meaningful way, and contributes to the self-esteem and feeling of self-worth. This is where they are supposed to be, regardless of how many other positions they have held (and even if it’s the very first one) or how many organizations they have been part of until this point. They now are in their forever job and can stop searching for other positions to apply for because this is where they are supposed to be.
Finding our forever job in today’s world is a little different than it was several decades ago when people found a job and stayed there their entire working life – even if they didn’t particularly like what they were doing or other aspects of it. Job security was the key at that time rather than personal fulfillment.
Now, take this description of how we look for a job that meets our needs, allows us to shine, gives us a sense of belonging and worth, permits us to feel that we are making a real contribution, and provides a decent wage for us and compare the similarities between this and finding our forever or long-term home. The process is much the same, and the outcome is also.
To find our forever, long-term, or permanent home, there generally is a lifetime of experiences that go into it. Sometimes people are born into a generational home, and their decision is already made. Sometimes, people get lucky and choose the correct home for themselves that will work for them their entire lives. Whether this is luck, skill, or a little of both, the result is the same. However, most people live in several homes and apartments throughout their life until they identify what really works for them and their household and what makes them happy. As they move from place to place, they are learning and recording their experiences mentally and emotionally to formulate an idea of what they really need and want. Then, when they find this home that does all that they need for it to do (even if it requires a few modifications and improvements to make it even better) they are prepared to stake their claim to that home as the forever home – to the exclusion of any other.