The Ideal Job For The Ideal Employee

The Ideal Job For The Ideal Employee

I had a meeting with someone I met on a course who is in a similar position and we discussed the kind of employee roles we should/could be looking at. It helped clarify some of my own thinking. This post is an attempt to bring together a couple of threads. Firstly I should state some basic values and needs distilled from an earlier post. Then I’m going to drill into my experience and background, and consider what I am good at and enjoy. Then I am going to state my current career goals for employed work.

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It’s not what you know, it’s who you know

It’s not what you know, it’s who you know

Post career at old Firm, my plan has been to spend May, June and July figuring out what to do next and let my imagination run free. When it comes to Networking, I’ve been thinking I would avoid it until I have a clear objective. The clear objective or objectives to have magically popped out by the end of July ;-). However the Penna networking course I did the other day convinced me that this is not necessarily the best approach and that my muddledness could actually translate into some clear networking objectives. The instructor painted a compelling picture which looked like this:

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Working From Home

Working From Home

One ironic thing about being made redundant was that in terms of job satisfaction the timing was awful. I had pretty much finally got to a place where I was doing what I wanted. In fact, my JOB SATISFACTION had been on a steady UPWARD TREND for the last few years. There were two main reasons for this.

The first reason was that I was doing more HANDS-ON DEVELOPMENT. I went into IT to code and build stuff. If you are good, the inevitable thing in a corporation is that you end up team leading, project managing and people managing. When you add on supporting, testing, advising, investigating, meeting, Firm bureaucracy, dealing with clients etc, there becomes precious little time for coding. The nature of the business and the squeezing of costs over the last few years, however, had meant that I had ended up working on my core business functions and systems pretty much by myself. That was great! Well by myself in the sense that I was the only dev/support resource supporting a client base in Hong Kong, London, Budapest, and New York, and working with my broader team, and the other quant, testing, IT, and infrastructure teams needed to get things done in a large organisation dealing with Equity Derivatives Risk. So there was still plenty of people to deal with on a daily basis!

It’s also not lost on me that the downsizing and relocation of resource that led to my happy position also contributed to my redundancy, as my job was ultimately moved to another country too, to be absorbed by a team there.

The second reason for my increasing JOB SATISFACTION was that over 8 years I had moved from working in the office with a 4 hr round commute 5 days a week, to WORKING FROM HOME pretty much 5 days a week. The move from 2 to 5 days WFH had happened quickly towards the end of that period.

I’m EXCELLENT at working from home. Some people aren’t. An office is just a desk, chair, phone and computer in my mind. Doesn’t matter where it is. It’s actually harder for me to not work, hence the “Please work responsibly” graphic. It’s a lot easier to work until 22:30, like I did the other night on some research, when you are at home than when you have to leave to get a train home and still function the next day. Conversely, it’s a lot harder to dump that work stress in the split second it takes you to cross the doorway between the study and the rest of the house.

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Personal Competencies

There are a tonne of resources under the Penna Sunrise program. I intend to work through this although the total estimate of the time required seems large to me. We’ll see. Currently, I’m on the tools they have to identify Skills & Achievements. I’ve just done the Personal Competencies test which gave the Results below.

To use the results, one should:

  • Bring out Strong Competencies in CV and Interview
  • Reflect on how to turn important and weak competencies into strengths

The importance was based on my past job. I think it would be useful to review this list based on the job I apply for when targeting CVs/prepping for interviews as the importance may be different depending on the role.

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The Job Spec

The Job Spec

When I met my career advisor, we did an exercise with cards of job characteristics. I thought this would be helpful in defining the general specification of what I want from work. The exercise is to place cards in columns from Very Important to Not Important. However, you can then move them into just 2 columns to make it more black and white.

Important

  • Short travel distance to work (< 1hr). Or WFH AT LEAST 2 days a week.
    • 2 days at home would allow 4 work outs a week and a dog run every other day
  • Being able to balance work and home life
  • Being independent and making my own decisions but also having someone for support
  • Being given the opportunity to develop my skills
  • Demonstrating expertise and skills
  • Doing a variety of things. Being creative and generating ideas.
  • Being independent
  • Being respected for honesty and integrity
  • Doing exact and detailed work
  • Not being away from home alot
  • Being able to work at own pace
  • Stretch and challenge in my role
  • Flexibility both ways
  • Not being put under a lot of personal pressure
  • Not micro managed
  • Clear rules for development/role

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