”I’m sorry, but you’re just not the right fit.” Have you ever experienced being told this statement? What in the world are they really saying? What does that even mean?
Or how about this one. You have landed a job only to discover that the company (or boss or team) isn’t the “right fit” for you? How do we know that? Somehow we know it and feel it!
The “fit” we’re pointing toward is how you, as an amazingly unique and complex individual, will fit effectively into an even more unique and complex workplace organization. On one level, it’s almost laughable that such a fit could be discovered, let alone develop a process to methodically figure it out.
Over the next couple of months we’re going to go deeper into the question of “Are you the right fit?” We will outline 8 clues for you to consider as you seek out where you can find the vocational experience of matching up what you do best to what the organization needs most!
What does “fit” mean?
Now, for anything to fit, you have to have two pieces that come together, ideally in a painless and seamless way. If it’s two pieces of a puzzle, there’s a definitive way to tell whether the two pieces actually fit together. But when the “fit” involves human beings, with all of the ambiguity, nuance, behaviors, beliefs, and values, determining the fit between two people can be very difficult to ascertain. And even more difficult when you exchange one of the individuals for an organization. For example, just think of all the possible combinations that exist when trying to match you, as an individual, with the right boss, with the right song, or even with the right car. So many possibilities exist! Most of the time, the fit is discovered in a “you know it when you see it” manner. That is, there’s not an absolute formula to give you the answer.
The same is true for discovering how you may be able to fit into the right corporate culture. No formula, no recipe, no sure-fire way to determine the right fit. BUT, we do believe these 8 clues can help you gain insights and connect some dots to get more comfortable with making the decision on which organization to join.
The first clue: Talk with the Lord about it!
I’ve found that with many things in life, the answers may sound easy, but they’re not simple to attain. You may already be asking yourself, “Really! Do I want to trouble God with that? Does He really care? Doesn’t He have more important things to deal with rather than where I end up working?”
In Jeremiah 29:11, God tells the Israelites, “For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” This is just one of many verses letting us know that God does care about our provision, security, hopes and dreams.
I’m being specific in suggesting you “talk with the Lord about it” rather than just encouraging you to pray, because I believe most people think of prayer as a one-way dialogue where we are simply telling God whatever it is that’s on our hearts. However, I believe Scripture teaches us that prayer should be thought of as a means to communicate with God – a two-way dialogue – with Scripture and the Holy Spirit being the primary means God has given to communicate with us.
Oswald Chambers, in his popular devotional, My Utmost for His Highest, shares this, “At first we want the consciousness of being guided by God, then as we go on we live so much in the consciousness of God that we do not need to ask what His will is, because the thought of choosing any other will never occur to us. If we are saved and sanctified God guides us by our ordinary choices, and if we are going to choose what He does not want, He will check, and we must heed. God instructs us in what we choose, that is, He guides our common sense, and we no longer hinder His Spirit by continually saying – ’Now, Lord, what is Thy will?’”
Hearing the Whisper
Are we spending time with God in prayer, both praising Him for His graciousness to us and also requesting His direction for us? Are we so aligned with Him we feel complete peace with our “ordinary choices?” Are we meditating on His word for insights? Are we quietly waiting to hear His voice? Because it often comes in a whisper.
In 1 Kings 19:11-12, when Elijah was in despair thinking that he was the only prophet in Israel, God tells us, “Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper.”
When we’re searching for the right fit in an organization, let’s talk with the Lord about it! Let’s seek, ask, listen, receive, and trust what He has to say. Let’s be specific in our requests, and He will answer!
Dave Sparkman currently serves as the volunteer Crossroads Career board chair and local ministry leader. He is also the founder and managing director of Spark Your Culture, a corporate culture consulting firm. Prior to that he worked at UnitedHealth Group, a Fortune #5 public company, serving in the role of Chief Culture Officer. His unemployment experience came from the implosion of Arthur Andersen, where he served as the West Region Managing Partner, People.