One of the most rewarding parts of writing a blog on leadership is the feedback I receive on a regular basis from colleagues and community members. Recently, I received an email from a colleague expressing how much a recent post resonated with her life and professional beliefs. After reading her email, I asked if she would write a response.
The following is written by Kate Salyers, assistant vice president and special assets officer, and provides complementary insight and perspective into professional and personal happiness.
When I was as senior in college, I was like everyone else in my class – excited about graduation and anxious about finding the right career. At the time, I was looking for a position where I could use my skills, and provide work that was both enjoyable and rewarding. Based on previous employment experience, I was also looking for an employer with a strong, positive corporate culture.
Although I had a vision for what I wanted, I wasn’t sure how to realize these goals. It was around this time that I attended an alumni event where the speaker shared the same “jar of priorities” analogy Mitch used recently. This analogy forever changed my approach to decision making. She spoke about the importance of defining what she called the “boulders of life.” These boulders are the aspects of your career and life in general that need fulfillment to achieve personal happiness.
After defining the “must have” aspects of a career or other goal, she went on to recommend that we work backwards to identify the rocks, pebbles, sand and eventually water to fill our symbolic jar. These items are increasingly less vital, but are nonetheless important. Only after identifying these components and prioritizing them can we determine if a company and position will be a good fit for our jar.
The speaker was careful to remind us to view positions and employers separately, even though they’re usually a package deal. Research the company first and the specific job opening second. That way, if you find an employer who fits your jar, you have the flexibility to find the role that best suits you.
Most employers want their employees to be satisfied because it increases productivity and benefits company culture. Be sure to express where in the company you feel your talents are best suited or how you believe your position could be more professionally rewarding. You most likely will find the support needed to find a good fit.
This presentation stayed with me throughout my professional life and led me to The Right Bank (Pacific Continental Bank). It was extremely valuable for me, and it can be for you too!
What a great follow-up article, and so true. Thank you, Kate. I challenge each of my readers to try this “boulders” exercise. We welcome your comments and questions!This entry was posted on Wednesday, May 2, 2012.