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Find Your Fit — and Grow in Your Job

Finding a job you love can be a meandering journey that eventually leads you to a position where your skills are a perfect fit, even if you hadn’t imagined yourself there.

It took working in several very different and unrelated fields before I joined Freese and Nichols in a business technology role that has let me build my strengths and discover strengths I didn’t realize I had.

I enlisted in the U.S. Navy out of high school and wound up as an electrician’s mate, working on weapons elevators that move bombs up and down on aircraft carriers. Instead of staying in that field, I got a business degree and spent a few years in retail for a major department store. But my brothers said I should fix things, so I got certifications in computer technology and repaired computers for a large company and later a small one.

Then a friend got a recruiting job and started sending me postings. Most of them I wasn’t qualified for at all. I tried to accurately represent myself on my resume and be straightforward about my strengths. That really helped me to be at ease when I eventually interviewed with Freese and Nichols.

Here are some lessons for finding a good fit and then growing in your job:

Identify your strengths. Focusing on what you think you want to do might not be the best way to find what you’re good at. Be realistic with yourself but remember that you’ll have opportunities to learn in whatever job you get.

Learn what to ask and when. In my business technology job, people come to us because something’s broken and we need to figure out how to fix it. Consult experts when necessary, but also use every chance to build your problem-solving skills and expand your knowledge.

Know how to listen. When something needs fixing, people can’t always explain the problem. Listening carefully and putting your knowledge to work can help bridge that communication gap and lead to solutions.

Take on challenges. Sometimes you get thrown into a role you’ve never performed before, but it needs doing and you’re available. Become good at it. Learn how every task fits into the larger picture and helps the company be successful.

Find a company that helps you grow. FNI has allowed me to build my strengths and take on increased responsibility. The company has given me the freedom to find out what I’m good at and work at it even more.

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