Sunday, February 27, 2011

Dream Company or Dream Job?

Here’s the scenario:

You’ve heard the company and researched a lot about them too. It’s the company that you’ve dreamt of from the day you got into college. You’ve been waiting for a chance to interview with them ever since. Now, they’ve called you for an interview! You’re totally thrilled and expect them to put you into a role that you had in mind. You’ve cleared the interviews and got yourself a job offer. Based on the interview evaluations, they deemed you fit for another role. Unfortunately, it’s for a role that doesn’t interest you. However, it’s your Dream Company. What do you next?

Should you take the role because it’s in your dream company? And wait for them to give you the desired role at a later stage? Or should you focus on your career and the role that you want to get into? It might be with another company.

It really isn’t a tough decision, if you know what would keep you going. Typically, the idea of a dream job evolves over a period of time, even leading to major changes in your career path. Have you watched
MasterChef, the cookery show? Most of the contestants come from diverse career backgrounds and their passion – cooking is something they do at home. I wonder if they knew when they started their careers, whatever they studied for, would eventually lead them to becoming chefs?!?

Sorry, I digress!

Coming back to the dilemma (if we can call it that) at hand. The truth about careers is that once you choose a particular area of interest, you start investing your time and effort into that role. Before you know it, you start getting slotted as a specialist. So, effectively every day at work you are digging deeper into that particular role. It isn’t necessarily wrong, since you are increasing your chances of getting a better offer in your “dream role”. It’s more like spreading your net wider in the industry. It’ll open up newer avenues. There’ll be more companies interested in your profile, rather than just one specific dream company. In this mode, you’re chasing a specific goal; single-minded approach to being the best available talent in a particular area of work. It will no longer be about the company, it will be everything about you…and your job profile.

On the other hand, what if you choose your dream company irrespective of the role? I can only speak from experience; that at some point in time the dissatisfaction of the wrong role will begin to have negative effects. Think about it, eight to ten hours in a company that gives you awesome benefits, perks, salary and a role that isn’t interesting! On the contrary, you’d be getting lucky or may even be noticed for potential role match in your dream company. I guess that’s a minority. Maybe it’s just my own perspective. You might have your own thought process.

Bottom line, I would place my bet on people who work on increasing their chances of gaining knowledge and expertise in a particular field. Rather than opt to work for a dream company, which might require compromises in the role.

What’s your take?