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What is the perfect job?

A series of questions springs to mind when I am asked about the ideal job. What drives me? What am I passionate about? How can I do something meaningful? People who have found answers to these questions often radiate a satisfaction and a confidence that motivates others.

Whenever there is an opportunity to start over or make a new beginning, everyone is confronted with a simple question: is this right for me? It is advisable not only to keep a cool head in such situations, but also to listen to your heart and your gut instinct. Can I use my competences and experiences? Does this task excite me and will it give me the opportunity to develop? Do the corporate culture and the environment appeal to me? What impressions do I have of my colleagues and can I imagine working with my new boss?

Finding responses to these questions requires courage. The courage to face up to what you believe in: to your motives and incentives. The courage to heed and follow up the warning signals that usually appear very early on. Ultimately, it calls for the courage to make an intelligent assessment and, if the lights are green, the conviction to go for it.

There is another factor that can best be described as "serendipity", which represents both good fortune and surprising, unexpected discoveries. Being open to serendipity and embracing it not only enriches your career, but also your life as a whole. And failing to embrace serendipity may mean never finding the perfect job

The statement was published in the #3 Magazine (April 2016), a supplement to the Süddeutsche Zeitung.

For more information, read Egon Zehnder’s 2016 Executive Panel on What Makes You Thrive?