Is it better to be introverted or extraverted? Is the ideal employee a self-motivated self-starter or one who needs set tasks and likes to follow the policies and procedures? Is it better to work for a small start-up or a multi-national behemoth? The answer to all three questions is “sometimes yes and sometimes no” because the questions are not good ones.

One of the most important yet often over-looked concepts related to careers is the notion of “fit”. An introvert is often better at tasks requiring detail and concentration, while extroverts often perform better in customer-facing roles. If the job requires you to deal with the public and provide constant customer service, the introvert can do it but will find it exhausting. The extrovert will be enlivened by all the people interactions.

If you are a self-starter and do not like to be told what to do, you will need a distinctly different kind of boss and organisation then if you like to know exactly what is expected of you, what you are supposed to be doing and love a detailed job description.

If you like excitement and have an appetite for risk, you might thrive in a start-up. If you prefer a secure, stable working environment, a large multi-national may be more suitable for you.

The first key to finding a good fit between you and your new job, is to remember that an interview goes both ways. Yes, they are interviewing you and trying to find the best candidate for their job (and if they are smart, they too are look for a good fit, not just the candidate with the highest marks or the right amount of experience), and you are also interviewing them and trying to find out if there is a good match between you and the job and the organisation.

A second key to finding a good fit between you and your new job, is to remember that best time to look for a job is when you already have one. If you are out of work, you might be more desperate and more likely to take any job offered, even if it is a terrible fit for you.

Finally, remember that if the fit is not right, it is nothing personal. There is nothing wrong with you nor with them.


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