‘Free Spirits Need not Apply’…Holding on to your soul in the corporate jungle.

“I knew from the moment I walked in there it wasn’t for me”. So said a coaching client after going to a high-powered interview for a senior job she had been invited to apply for. “I accepted the job, but realised my misgivings the first week I started, I knew I just didn’t gel with the culture”, said another client after leaving an ostensibly attractive job 9 months in. “I know I could have done the job, but I turned it down when offered because I knew I’d struggle to work with the manager in charge”, was the feedback from another client considering his career options.

There comes a point in your career where your capacity to shoe-horn yourself into a role that just doesn’t fit with your values, suddenly diminishes. It’s not even a factor of age, simply how strongly a values fit matters to you. I’ve worked with early, mid and later-stage career coaching clients on this conundrum. As many of us know from experience, doing a job for the package alone, only keeps you going for a while. Beyond that, our over-arching human need for fulfilment can take over.

‘Look into my soul….’ Is Corporate Career Match-Making the Future?

Recruitment Industry analysts were all in a fluster last summer when eHarmony announced it was making its complex matchmaking algorithm available to companies who wanted to find the platonic soul-mates who might drive their business forward.P1020989

“We don’t want you making hiring decisions based on four or five superficial data points. We want to give you 40 data points….and a much deeper connection”, said Grant Langton of eHarmony

Meanwhile, the innovative www.good.co offers individuals a personality profiling suite where you can suss out and seek companies, peers and potential jobs that are more likely to fit with your values and ideals.

Be yourself in the process, and the rest will follow.

How do you hold onto your soul as you consider new options and opportunities, whether it’s to stay where you are or try something new? In my experience, the right employer or business partner for you will encourage you to be true to yourself from the start. If however, they’ve yet to see the light, here are some tips to try:

  • Ask: What would you expect me to deliver in my first 90 days?
  • Be open: about your family and aspects of your life that are important to you (don’t give the impression you’ll be open all hours for work).
  • Find out: What other people in this organisation do in their spare time?
  • Explore: What challenges you might encounter if you take the role on?
  • Create Space: To consider an offer, ask for further meetings or conversations if you want to find out more before you sign. If they’re the right match, they’ll wait a reasonable time for you to decide.
  • Web Check: the news, chat forums and social media channels for things people are saying about the organisation. Does it all stack up with the impression you’re building?

I’m a firm believer in being yourself in business, whether that’s in an established role, or a new one.IMG_3729 So next time you go looking for an opportunity, or you seek out new talent for your own team, listen to your heart, as well as your head, and let it guide you to your own work soul-mates.





‘Free Spirits Need not Apply’…Holding on to your soul in the corporate jungle. — 2 Comments

  1. nice blog post Alison. I agree, having balance and synergy is so important to happiness levels within the company and personally too.

  2. You make good points. In the interview process – it’s amazing how companies can get caught up in ” Selling” the job and those being interviewed in ” Selling” themselves without asking some basic ” is this right for me ” questions…

    Perhaps an enlightened recruitment process would include a coach as well as a trial period ?