Why This Job?
Why is it that you do what you do? Of all the jobs and all the companies; why this one?
If you were to think back to when you said YES to the role that you are now in, what was it that excited you? Can you remember?
Interestingly, research has shown over and over again that it is rarely about the money. Provided our remuneration is OK, money rarely drives leaders to excel, to engage more authentically with their team or dare to venture into unchartered waters seeking the results they know are possible. What drives us is way more personal than that.
All too often we get so caught up in the day to day, busyness of our work, we loose sight of why we are here and what it was that sparked our interest in the role in the first place.
So why here, why this job?
This is the question I asked the leaders at a team retreat last week. There is no doubt that the question caught many of the leaders off guard. It is not something that we often think about.
For one it was because they loved the idea of working with a progressive innovative business, another saw it as a great opportunity for growth, while for a another it was that the role gave him the opportunity to continue to work in the retail industry without working weekends and so allowed him to get involved in his kids sporting activities for the very first time.
Why we do what we do is deeply personal to each us and drives a sense of purpose and meaning. It connects our work with what is most important to us while keeping us engaged, even when the going gets tough. It directs our actions and helps us to stay focused and committed.
And one of the added benefits is that if fuels our passion. When you do work that is aligned to what is important to you it is easy to love your work. Your excitement will excite others who will want to get involved in what you do. As Simon Sinek in his book Start With Why and his block buster TED talk has said, “people don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it.”
Understand Your Why To Land Your Next Ideal Role
So how do you answer that sticky first question so often asked in a job interview; “Tell us a little about yourself?”
It is one so many of us have stumbled over in the past. I know I have. It is all too easy to fall into the trap of regurgitating a bland summary of our CV. When we do this it doesn’t give the interview panel anything new or substantial to help them see why we are the ideal candidate!
This question is the perfect opportunity to share with the panel what drives you at your core and how this matches with the goals and values of the business.
Recently I assisted a leader prepare for a job interview for a senior marketing role. By tapping into her WHY, Susan was able to not just speak about WHAT her skills were and HOW she had demonstrated them in the past; she was also able to clearly articulate WHY she was so passionate about the businesses primary product.
And did it help her land her dream job… absolutely. She received feedback it was one of the primary reasons she was chosen for the role.
The power of being connected to “WHY this job” is truly compelling.
It will drive outstanding performance, gently nurture you through fear and uncertainty and fuel your passion. It will stand you apart as a leader and have you recognised as the type of leader the organisation feels lucky to have on board.
So stop focusing quite so much on WHAT you do as a leader and start reconnecting WHY you do it.
Take some time to reflect on the following questions;
- What drew you to your role in the first place?
- Why did you say YES to the role and not some other role?
- Does the role still meet your personal WHY?