Career Advice, Watercooler

How To Choose A ‘Triple Crown’ Career: It’s More Than Placing The Right Bet

It’s that time of the year when the owners of 3-year old thoroughbreds are making their claims to run in the Kentucky Derby with the hopes of having a chance to compete for the Triple Crown, a title won by a horse that can win the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness  and the Belmont Stakes .

As the horses prepare, the trainers and owners are deciding what jockey they want in the Kentucky Derby.  While at the same time, jockeys are evaluating what horse will be best for them to ride.  A jockey has to believe the horse can not only win the grueling Kentucky Derby, but also has the speed to win the Preakness and the endurance to complete Belmont.  The jockey needs to gauge the performance of the horse and assess its potential for the future.

As trainers and owners choose a jockey, and a jockey decides on a horse, it’s a concept similar to the job search process. Employers look to choose the right candidate, and a candidate decides on a job that’s best for their career.  If you are a job seeker, you want to ensure your chances that the job you take is one that can satisfy your short and long-term needs.  With the most recent Employment Confidence Survey, 38% of employees reported that they plan on changing jobs within the next three years; it is timely to think through, not gamble on, the kind of career horse you are going to join before you commit.

Here are three questions to consider so you can win your own Triple Crown career:

  • Can you fall in love with the product or the service that the company provides? Let’s face it, if you are going to work long hours and put in the extra effort, then you need to be more than just “in like” with the company.  If you don’t feel the urge to brag about the company to your friends and family, then it’s probably not a good idea to join.  But, if you can fall in love with the company and what they do aligns with your passions, then you will at least want to run hard once you are on board.

  • Will you want to run hard for those who you work with? While no one likes everyone, can you see yourself liking a lot of the people around you?  Your next move should be to a company where you feel like the employees are your kind of people. If you are going to spend many hours on the job, then being aligned and liking the people is a big deal.   More often than not, this is what makes us run a little faster than we normally would.

  • Will you be developed and grow for the long run? It’s hard to know this going in, but this is always key.  You want to at least feel the job you are choosing is one that you will be able to ride for your long-term growth and development.  The best way to find this out is to see how others have grown, or not grown.  Use Glassdoor to see what employees say about the company, and don’t be afraid to go to someone on LinkedIn who previously worked there and had a similar job to find out about their experience.

There are jobs that are Triple Crowns for each of us out there.  We just have to get better and better at choosing them.  I know someone who has worked for the same organization for almost 40 years.  When asked why he stayed in one place that long he says, “Why leave when you have everything you ever dreamed of in one job.”  He won the career Triple Crown on the same horse! If we could all be that lucky.