I Would Do Anything for a Job….But I Won’t Do That

Posted May 2, 2012 by Marcy Twete in Career Moves
Every day, all over the world, people do crazy things….for love…for happiness…and for their jobs. And in the iconic words of Meatloaf, we might say, “I would do anything for love (or in this case, a job), but I won’t do that.” My friends, what is “that”?  It’s an important question you have to answer in your career, especially if you are in or anticipating a job search. Often, we spend too much time thinking about what we truly want out of job, not realizing that sometimes more important are the things we would say, “NO WAY” to in our careers. When you neglect identifying these “I won’t do that moments”, you run the risk of getting yourself into a dead end job you wish you’d never taken.

I encourage anyone in a job search or thinking about one to start to compile your “I won’t do that” list, and stick to it. To help get you started, I’ll share a few of my own “no way” situations.

  • Commute. Last year, when I was actively job searching after moving to Chicago, I looked for jobs everywhere – downtown, suburbs, etc. My husband commutes via Metra to the suburbs, and doesn’t mind it at all. So imagine my surprise when I hop on the train for a job interview that was, on paper, perfect for me. That day, I realized something that some people argued vehemently to me: I won’t commute. Taking a train every day for over an hour would drive me insane. That’s a “no way” for this girl.
  • Sacrifice time off. I recently heard about a company who was offering employees 1.5 vacation days for every 1 day they accrued if only the employee would agree to take their vacation days during the company’s slowest time of the year. And while this may work for some people, it sounds a bit ridiculous to me. I work hard, I earn my keep, I should be able to use my vacation time. I would never work for a company that frowned on using PTO or vacation days you’ve earned. Many companies look down on people who take vacations and instead applaud those who have accrued weeks and weeks without taking a day off. It’s a part of your benefits package, take it. A company with a “work all the time, no vacation” mentality would definitely fit in my Meatloaf category.
  • Volunteerism. Volunteering for organizations I care for is incredibly important for me. Any company I worked for would need to respect these values in me and encourage this time. In a past job, I had to cancel a Saturday volunteer commitment to work. And I said to myself in that moment, never again. Disconnecting my values from a company’s brings me a definite “no way” moment.

What are some of your “I won’t do that” moments in your job search? Knowing them will only help you get ahead and get the job that matches your “no ways” and your “hell yes” lists.

About the Author

Marcy Twete

Marcy Twete is a career fundraiser turned corporate responsibility executive, a career and networking expert and the author of the book "You Know Everybody! A Career Girl’s Guide to Building a Network That Works."