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What is the “ideal job”?

A series of questions instantly spring to mind: What drives me? What do I feel passionate about? How can I make a meaningful contribution? People who have found answers to these questions often radiate satisfaction and confidence, which in turn motivates others.

Anyone with the opportunity to take their first career steps or make a fresh start needs to get one thing clear: Is this right for me? At times like this it makes sense not only to keep a clear head, but also to listen to your gut instincts. Can I bring my competencies and experience to bear? Do I find the role exciting and does it offer me an opportunity for further personal development? Do I find the corporate culture and the environment attractive? What are my impressions of my future colleagues and can I imagine working with my new boss?

Answering these questions takes courage: the courage to recognize and own your motives; the courage to listen to the warning signs that tend to make themselves heard early on; and lastly, the courage to carefully weigh everything in the balance and, if it all adds up, to go for it.

But there is another factor at work here and that is serendipity. An openness to serendipity and the ability to embrace it is a mindset that will enrich your whole life – not just your work. Without it, that ideal job will never come your way.

The statement was first published in April 2016 in the German +3 magazine, a supplement to the daily newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung.