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How Many Jobs Does it Take to Find the Right One?

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We face the same dilemma in both relationships and jobs. Should we stick with the first person we’ve fallen in love with? If we marry him or her, we might wonder if we’ve shortchanged ourselves. There will be the doubt and regret. Alternatively, we could move on and give up the best thing we’ve ever had. We can find no perfect assurance in the advice of friends or in soul searching: life is about risk, and some truths are only found through failure. Nevertheless, for most of us, it is a clear wisdom that a few failed romances, a few failed jobs are necessary for clearing our mind and letting us know what we really want, not merely what we think we want.

After all, we don’t know what we really want till we get it. That means going through around three or four jobs, and giving them a full-hearted attempt, before moving on. Only when we’ve endured a few ill-fitting jobs, as with relationships, do we know what constraints we can’t at all stand, and what constraints in fact challenge and encourage us.

Wisdom only comes from experience, from going out and trying new things, with taking the risk and failing a few times. The path of success is paved with failures. By taking a few bad jobs we might look back idly at what we left behind, how good we had it, and feel some sort of regret that we’ve given up a good thing. That is a natural thing to think, but having risked and lost a good thing spurs us to make the most of what we have, and better still to seek out new opportunities.

Lacking this, we will be in the same position of the man who marries the first woman who smiles at him. At the time, he felt this was a unique once-in-a-lifetime relationship. What he doesn’t know, because he hasn’t experienced it, is that these things will happen again, new opportunities will present themselves, interesting challenges, and discoveries he could not make if he limited himself too soon.

Give yourself permission, then, to make some crummy choices, to lose a good job only to get one you regret: that’s part of the process. You could go through three or four jobs before you fall in love with your job and feel the fit was exactly what you were looking for. And even if that moment never comes, you will have at least tried and faced the challenges, a life of adventure rather stagnancy.

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How Many Jobs Does it Take to Find the Right One? by
Authored by: Harrison Barnes