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How Do You Find A Job That You Really Love?

“Are you stuck in a dead-end job that you desperately want to get out and looking for a software engineering job that you really love?”

“Do you want to work in a place with a good income, friendly colleagues and the right company culture?”

Have you ever felt like:

“I feel that my current work is not what I wanted but I do not have any other better options with my current skillsets.” 

“I can do my job just fine, however I don’t have much sense of accomplishment and I can not see myself doing this forever”.

“I want to have a job that I really love and have a future, but I don’t know what I should do, and I feel very lost. “

Actually many people are eager to change careers when they realized the current work does meet their needs. 

However, they may need the job to pay the bill, feed the family and meet expectations of others. 

Those “I don’t like” and “very confused” overwhelming emotions have been keeping coming back to you.

Why do we experience those emotions?

What is the future job marketplace look like? 

Let’s me introduce ICEBERG MODEL OF COMPETENCIES to you:

You can use it as a powerful self-analytical tool when you find a job that you like.

It gives you more clarity on what drives you to become the person you want to be.

And what skillsets you should focus on and invest in to ensure you have a long successful career regardless the economics.

The iceberg model is developed by the famous American psychologist David D. McClellan and widely used for many fortune 500 companies to recruit the right talents.

It describes the individual qualities of a person through three segments. 

Whether you want to be a front end, back end or full-stack developers, tester, BI developer or Blockchain talents.

You would have a better understanding of what HR of software companies are looking for and how you can prepare yourself for success,

Top Element- Knowledge and skill
Knowledge is something we can learn and acquire through practice, whether it’s financial knowledge, framework knowledge, programming knowledge even the iceberg model itself can be refer to as knowledge.

It could associate with your major in university, the books you read, the work you do and even your hobbies.

Skill refers to a specific skill you have, such as programming, using Python, Javascript or Power BI/Report Builder. 

A person’s knowledge and skills can be acquired, but also very explicit and most obvious easy, therefore it’s on the surface of the iceberg model.

You may be wondering what the relationship between knowledge, skills and work? 

In short, we are all bombarded by a huge amount of new information at work every day and you feel anxious and overwhelmed.

It is likely that your current knowledge and skills need to be improved to match your job role. 

This can be solved because knowledge and skills are relatively easy to learn and improve. 

You can spend extra time through reading books, review recording class, take an online course or learning from senior members, you can improve after putting a period of time.

Middle Element:  Capability

Among the elements of the iceberg model is a capability, it’s universal and transferable skills, quite often refer to soft skills.  

Such as life-long learning, critical thinking, leadership management, resourcefulness, interpersonal communication(public speaking) and more. 

Versus knowledge and skills, the level of capability can not be easily acquired. 

For example, it is difficult to assess someone on how someone performs within a team environment with a master’s degree or Microsoft certifications.

It depends on how he interact and behave when he confronts problems in a real-world business setting.

So what happens at work if the capabilities don’t quite match? 

It would have impact on work productivity and effectiveness communication. 

You may be incompetent and avoid to deal with complex problems and projects, as a result, lack of sense of achievement and quality of finish work. 

Bottom Element: Self Images, Traits and Motives

The bottom of the iceberg model includes Self-image, traits, and motives. 

These factors are difficult to change in adulthood and they are influenced by your upbringing, culture, family values, and childhood experiences.

Self-image influences your thought and decision when you are choosing a career, should you choose a stable job, freelance career or start your own business. 

What is your priority when career and family have conflict?

If you often have conflict and agonies in your work and hard to justify why you do what you do. 

It’s likely that your core values don’t align with your work values. 

For example, if you are an IT professional, the company you work for pushes you to sell additional services to your clients to meet the monthly KPI. 

However, you aware some of the services are not going to help your clients and you hesitate to do that.

Character traits are personal behavior preferences, whether you are introverted or extroverted.

Whether you are attention to detail or looking at big picture and so on. 

If you experience fatigue and boredom even that you have not done much work, it is likely that your character doesn’t align with your current work. 

For instance, if you are an introvert and you are more productive in a solitude environment but your work role involves communicating with strangers every day, then you are not likely happy. 

As for motivation, McClellan’s theory divided into achievement motivation, power motivation, and affinity motivation. 

People with achievement motivation like challenges people with powerful motivation like to influence other people with affinity motivation want to maintain a better team relationship. 

If you are not motivated to do things, it may be that your current work doesn’t match your motivation. 

For example, you are clearly motivated by a sense of achievement and like certain challenges, but your work is highly repetitive.

Now you are aware what iceberg model can do, that work is the same as choosing your partner, “alignment” is more important than “excellent skillset” in your long term career framework. 

In fact, the matching elements of your job are the core element of the iceberg model.  

You can use the iceberg model to analyze your targeted job. 

There are three steps to prepare yourself to find the job you love:

1. Identify a position you want to analyze.

If you already have a target position advertised on Trademe, Seek or Linkedin, you can utilize iceberg model to analyze the position and see whether your elements would match the job requirement. 

If you are not sure what role your are looking for, you can start from your relevant work experience, narrow down several positions that match your elements.

Let’s suppose you don’t like your current job and you want to get into a technical role in the software industry.

You can go to LinkedIn to search for technical service positions in this industry, and see whose are those individuals. 

Look at their resumes, their skill-sets and see how they progress to their current role.

2.Search the common requirements of this position on the recruitment website.

Find the recruitment requirements of different software companies for your position and find out the common skills/capabilities requirements since different companies will have their own segmentation requirements, curate as many jobs to identify the common skillsets/capabilities.

3.Formulate the recruitment iceberg model and compare with your own iceberg model

You can check whether you are in line with your own iceberg model and whether you should make any changes. 

If the bottom core element of iceberg don’t align with yours, it’s not recommended to choose this job, because bottom core elements are not likely to change.

If the knowledge, skills and capabilities don’t quite meet the recruitment requirement, it’s worthwhile to invest yourself to be better and capable for the position.

We tend to focus on the top element of the iceberg when we are looking for a job, such as commute time, salary, office environment, qualification, experience and so on.

In the end, our long term success in career is determined by many hidden factors like your self-images, traits and motives.

I always think it’s much more important to understand “why I choose this job” than “how can I succeed in a good job that others expect me to do so”. 

After all, if you want to get a sense of achievement and fulfillment, you shouldn’t tie it to someone else’s scoreboard.

Michael Wang
Michael Wang

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