For anyone who loves Venn diagrams and has pondered over the question what exactly does it take to be happy at work, Bud Cadell over at What Consumes Me has an answer. The analysis is amazing for its sheer simplicity - the clean presentation only makes it better. It got me thinking about how this graphic can come in handy while describing one's ideal position to a prospective employer or even to ourselves.
What We Do Well : This would obviously be the skills, competencies and experience we bring to the organization and the job.
What We Want To Do : This would describe the role in which we believe we can be most successful.
What We Can Be Paid To Do : While we may have a lot of interesting ideas, the organization may not be able to support the incubation (and eventual fruition) of most. This would therefore describe what we will be paid to do and how much.
Learn To Monetize It : This might include venturing on our own with those ideas that we can't get an employer to pay us to implement or perhaps expand the scope of our job (or find another one) to help us do so. The room for horizontal growth in a role is worth investigating during an interview.
Learn To Say 'No' : This needs no further explanation but is possibly the most tricky one to solve. In an interview situation this may entail finding out if the culture of the organization values compliance over dissent under all costs, all circumstances because if such is the case you may never be able to say 'No'.
Learn To Do This Better : Also self-explanatory but in the context of a job search might imply finding out the employer's attitude towards people developing their skills and knowledge and if they actively support/reward such efforts.