Marlys Hanson INC.

Career / Life Consultants

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The Problem

When your talent does NOT match the critical requirements for performing your job/role

Job/Career Mismatch -  like wearing the wrong-sized shoes

Job/Career “Mismatch” is so common that it often is NOT recognized for what it is — especially when you are the person who is mismatched!  You may blame others for poor performance or malaise when the real culprit is that you are expending too much effort performing work that is not a good “fit” for you.

    bulletStudents cut classes because the professor is “boring.”
    bulletEmployees blame “burnout” on their supervisors.
    bulletMid-careerists seek “new adventures” because life has lost its luster.

Job/Career Mismatch may be identified as a factor impacting “employee engagement” but even then, there is more focus on the symptoms of the lack of employee engagement, rather than the cause.

For example, a 2011 study published in the Gallup Management Journal reported that

    bulletOnly 29 per cent of employees are actively engaged in their jobs.  These employees work    with passion and feel a profound connection to their company.
    bullet54 per cent of employees are NOT engaged.  These employees have essentially “checked out” and are sleep-walking through their day — putting time but not passion into their work.
    bullet17 percent of employees are actively DISENGAGED.  These employees are busy acting out their unhappiness, undermining what their engaged co-workers are trying to accomplish.

Does this story remind you of any situation you have experienced?

A School for Animals (1)

Once upon a time the animals decided they must do something heroic to meet the problems of a “new world”, so they organized a school.  They adopted a curriculum consisting of running, climbing, swimming and flying; and to make it easier to administer, all the animals took the same subjects.  The duck was excellent in swimming, better in fact than his instructor.  He made passing grades in flying, but was very poor in running.  Since he was slow in running, he had to stay after school and drop swimming to practice running.  Thus was kept up until his web feet were badly worn, and he was only average in swimming.  But average was acceptable in school, so nobody worried about that except the duck.

The rabbit started at the top of his class in running, but had a nervous breakdown because of so much make-up work in swimming.

The squirrel was excellent in climbing until she developed frustration in the flying class, where her teacher made her start from the ground up instead of from, the tree top down.  She also developed charley-horses from over-exercise and then got a “C” in climbing and a “D” in running.

The eagle was a problem child and was disciplined severely.  In the climbing class, he beat all the others to the top of the tree, but insisted on using his own way of getting there.

At the end of the year, the eel, who could swim quite well and also run, climb and fly a little, had the highest average and so was valedictorian.

(1) G.F. Refvis, Teacher Training, Vol. 2., No. 4, May 1948, p. 7.

What’s the Message?  If your task does NOT engage your talent, you are destined for mediocrity!

The Costs of Job/Career Mismatch

For the individual —

                          LESS             chance of being successful in reaching goals
                                                 financial and recognition rewards
                                                 personal fulfillment
                                                 opportunity to develop his/her potential

                          MORE             difficulty in sustaining competitive performance, whether in school or                                                   in a job stress, self-esteem and health problems

For the employer —

                          LESS             productivity
                                                employee engagement

                          MORE           turnover
                                                morale problems
                                                management time to manage/replace/retrain
                                                employee accidents

All of these factors result in reduced $$$$$ for both the individual and the employer!



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Copyright 2011
last updated July 2013