The other day I was thinking about the number of jobs I have gotten that I never wanted. When you understand all the necessary tools, techniques, and skills you need to hack the system, you become very good at landing jobs. Especially the ones you don’t want. Because the more you want a job, the more you need to work to get it. When you don’t want it, it’s like low-hanging fruit — always within reach.
Over five years ago, I landed a job as a healthcare recruiter, which meant I helped people in the medical field (e.g., hospital admins, directors) land jobs. My role was to either work for the individual client or to work for the company who needed to fill the job. There were elements to the job I knew I would like such as helping people and working in the healthcare industry.
But there was a lot about the company I didn’t like.
- Although the company was located in the San Fernando Valley (where I lived), it was not near any major freeways so it wasn’t easy to get to. Despite its relatively close location, it took me a minimum of 45 minutes to get there and I had to drive on surface streets.
- The latest anyone was allowed to start was 7:30 a.m. The most successful people started at 6 a.m. so they could make calls on the East Coast no later than nine. I’m not a morning person so I dislike any job that requires me to be there before 8 a.m.
- The actual office was depressing. I don’t know if it was the dirt brown walls, the competitive atmosphere, or the obvious paranoia of the long time employees, but altogether, it was too much. Even the happiest person would have been sad there.
- Then there was the owner Dave. Have you seen the movie Back To The Future? Well, Dave was like a creepy Doc Brown! He could have been Christopher Lloyd’s sleazy brother. He was … gross. And a micro-manager.
I ignored my misgivings and showed up for my first day. After two hours of mediocre training, I jumped right into cold calling. I managed to bypass many gatekeepers, which seemed to impress Dave. When I said I got lucky, he replied, “That’s not luck. That’s you. Good job!”
When I found myself counting the minutes until lunch, I knew I didn’t belong there. Normally, I bring my lunch and eat at my desk. That is my standard MO. Always. That day I didn’t bring a lunch. Most of the employees left for lunch so when I, too, left to get lunch, no one said anything to me. As I backed out of the parking space, I had every intention of driving around until I found a decent place to eat. Instead, I kept driving … all the way home.
I never went back. Here’s the craziest part: I received an email the next day from Dave’s business partner/wife who was also the company’s office manager. She asked what happened. When I told her the job and the environment were not a good fit for me, she begged me to come back. “Dave says you have so much potential. We’re happy to work with you.”
She didn’t get it. The job was out of alignment for me. I took it because I was able to get it — not because it was my dream job. I settled. Whatever your situation is, don’t settle! Live is too short. I can’t change the past, but maybe you can learn from my mistakes. Settling sucks.
If you’re ready to stop settling and want to land your dream job AND you know what it is, then book a free discovery call today!