Hamilton Herald Masthead


Front Page - Friday, September 1, 2023

Career Corner: Finding a job/role that allows you to feel like yourself

Employees often wear many hats at work. You might play a role that you don’t typically play in your personal life. Or, you may go through periods of time when you put up with things at work that you wouldn’t normally be OK with.

For example, if your office environment becomes unhealthy, you might just put up with it. After all, you have bills to pay and a family for which to provide. You can’t fight every battle. You go to work with the understanding that things are just not going to be perfect.

Recently, a friend shared with me they finally feel like themselves at work. They feel good, comfortable and appreciated. They feel like they’re in the right place. That sounds amazing, right?

This simple phrase “I feel like myself” is incredibly enlightening. So often, we don’t look for roles that allow us to feel like ourselves. We’re simply looking for a job. We’re looking for a paycheck. We may be looking for a job title. And, it’s understandable.

But, if you are looking for a new role, keep this concept in mind: There will be certain roles or companies that align to who you are. Others will not.

There are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to finding a role that will be a good fit. First, is the team inclusive? Will you be different from everyone else you’ll be working with, or does the company value people with diverse backgrounds?

You should also consider whether the company’s values align to yours. For example, if you have strong negative feelings about certain industries, perhaps those are industries to avoid. Or, if the company takes positions on social or political issues that you strongly disagree with, you should take note.

Is the management team supportive of its employees? A manager can make or break your experience. This can be hard to judge from the outside, but websites such as Glassdoor.com have employee reviews that are often fairly accurate.

And, don’t forget the role itself. What are your favorite parts of your job? Do you love managing people, or are you a talented individual contributor? Are you an expert in a particular topic that you find especially enjoyable? If there is something about your job that you truly love, look for that in a future role.

And, if there’s something you strongly dislike, try to find a role that doesn’t have a strong emphasis on that.

It’s not always possible to find the perfect job. Work isn’t always about fulfillment and happiness. Sometimes, it’s just as important to bring home a paycheck and to make rent.

But if you do have the luxury of finding a job that’s a good fit for you, take the opportunity to look around. Keep your eyes open for a job that will make you feel like you. There’s nothing like it.

Angela Copeland, a leadership and career expert, can be reached at www.angelacopeland.com.