What do you want in a career?

What would you want in a career? What kind of workplace are you interested in joining? Interesting topics to ask for in a cover letter. Recently the first question was asked in a job posting for an Office Manager as part of a short cover letter. I had a nice reply but feel that there is more to me than what a “short cover letter” can explain. In fact, this is a great question to ask someone looking for a job.

Team

Personally, I’m looking for a cooperative team of individuals who know what their functions are but are basically cross trained to do it all if a team member is out for a day or on vacation for a while. A team that communicates and helps each other out and shares the skills they have so that everyone can do everything, perhaps not as well as the specialist but at least passable in a pinch. A sharing of skills, giving and taking and supporting each other all while keeping the office or business running smoothly.

I’m looking for a team that brainstorms, considers and chooses a decisive approach to a problem instead of languishing and procrastinating on the issue until it has to have a forced decision “right NOW”. A proactive approach to a problem. Under a corrective action, a new process is formed and data by the ton is collected… that’s a great thing but what are we going to do with the data, how will we control it’s collection, what will happen when we outgrow the system we’re using to collect it? I watched my current team go through this process over the last couple years. I’d asked the questions at the start of the process, then watched management go through the painful process of implementing new systems and reports on the fly to satisfy the requirements placed on them by external regulators. Asking the hard questions and planning for the future is an important concept. Spending a lot of time on it early on, not necessarily a good idea but having a brainstorming session that can be reviewed in the future for ideas is a good one. A proactive workplace!

Learning and Improvement

Continuous learning, new industries, new skills, new markets. I love learning a new skill or just about something. It doesn’t matter if it’s relevant at that moment you can’t tell when a off the wall comment or discussion from your past will come back and knowing something will be of great use to someone else. Learn something new everyday.

Basics

The basics are also important, financial security, living wage, health care, retirement plans, thank yous, bonuses, raises, vacation and the like are all important but it’s the people that make a workplace somewhere you enjoy working. To take a line from a former supervisor, “Do what you do well, AND enjoy!

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