177: Getting the Right Fit at Work with Moe Carrick

By July 10, 2017Podcasts

 

 

Moe Carrick discusses discovering and creating the right fit in the workplace, its significance to us, and the elements that contribute to it.

You’ll Learn:

  1. The meaning and importance of work fit
  2. The critical 6 elements that comprise work fit
  3. What to do when something does not fit in your workplace

About Moe

Moe Carrick is Principal and Founder of Moementum, Inc. a Certified BCorp and consulting firm dedicated to the vision of creating a world that works for everyone using business as a force for good. Her diverse client portfolio includes Prudential, REI, Nike, The Nature Conservancy, TechSoft3D, Hydroflask, amongst others.
A frequent blogger and contributor to Conscious Company, Success.com, and the Work Smart Blog, Moe is also a frequent and in demand speaker and facilitator. She has shared her insights and energetic style with TEDx’s and numerous universities, professional organizations, corporations, and trade groups.

Items Mentioned in this Show:

Moe Carrick Interview Transcript

Pete Mockaitis
Moe, thanks for joining us here on the How To Be Awesome At You Job podcast.

Moe Carrick
Thank you, Pete.

Pete Mockaitis
In reading up about you, I was intrigued that you have something special regarding a relationship with potato chips. What’s this backstory?

Moe Carrick
The backstory about my relationship with potato chips is that I think it’s kind of one-sided. I adore them in all shapes and sizes, especially the new kinds of potato chips that are coming out of salt and pepper, and salt and vinegar, freshly-cooked, but they don’t seem to feel the same way about me.

Pete Mockaitis
And how do you know that they don’t feel the same way about you?

Moe Carrick
They never really connect with me. We don’t have a relationship that’s two-sided. They don’t tell me what they love about me the way I do about them.

Pete Mockaitis
Oh, now, you got me thinking I’m hungry.

Pete Mockaitis
But mostly we’re here not so much to talk about potato chips but rather what’s up when it comes to work fit because you’ve done some great research and writing and teaching on this? And so I’d love to jump right in to, could you orient us, first of all, what do you mean by work fit and why is that important?

Moe Carrick
Well, we’re really talking about, when we use the language work fit or work misfit, is that feeling you get when you really love your job, when you’re engaged and you feel like being there, brings out your best, the best that you have to offer every day. And most of us know when we’ve found it which is sort of like putting on that great-fitting pair of jeans that you’ve had for many years. They just go on easy and you love yourself when you’re wearing them. Job fit, work fit when it’s really great it feels that way. And when it doesn’t it feels awful and we feel miserable.

And, in fact, 77% by one of Gallup’s recent polls of people in the workforce today in North America, and even more globally, report feeling really disengaged and not really that happy at work. So it’s a bit ephemeral and elusive this wonderful work fit that we talk about in the book.

Pete Mockaitis
I hear you. Well, it’s ephemeral and elusive, yet you’ve sort of clearly delineated six critical components or elements that make up work fit. Can you give us that overview?

Moe Carrick
Yeah, absolutely. You know, it’s funny. When I was young, and I think certainly probably for my parents’ generation what we’re often were looking at when we were looking for a job was two of the elements that we still have identified in our six elements, they are job fit and financial fit. And job fit is really basically, “Am I skilled at doing this work? Do I have the experience or credential required for this particular job?” And financial fit is, “Can I make the numbers work for me? Can I support a wife that I want with the package of financial remuneration really that I’m getting?” It used to be, I think, that those were the two currencies that we look for.

What we discovered in our research is that the currencies of today are really dramatically different than they were 20, 30, 40 years ago, even 10 years ago. What people are looking for now in addition to job and financial fit are the four additional elements of fit that we’ve discovered. One is relationship fit which most of us are familiar with and it has to do with, “To what degree do I respect and value my boss and the colleagues that I work with every day?”

Culture fit which has to do with, “How does this company do things here and does that work well for me?” Meaning fit which is a growing trend in the younger generations, people just entering the workforce or who have been in for five or six years, are very motivated by doing work that matters in some way whether it’s for a particular mission or at least being able to connect their particular job to something important.

And then lifestyle, “How can I make this job work in the context of the lifestyle that I want?” it’s much more important now than it was. So those six elements: job, financial, relationship, culture, meaning and lifestyle really add up to what we see as sort of the key dimensions of having a workplace that fits well for you.

Pete Mockaitis
Well, I get a real kick out of this because, right now, I’ve been considering some similar questions associated with, “What are the full set of drivers of job or career satisfaction in a way that’s sort of meaningful in terms of how they vary person-by-person, and how they vary job-by-job?” And, thus, you have a potential for fits and misfits. And I think that we’re very much kind of arriving at some similar categories whether we split them into finer or more broad detail.

And so could you maybe help me understand, I think I clearly picked up, as I was reading your book, the definitions for each of these? But I’d love to clarify, first of all, when you said add up, do you happen to have any research or information or regressions or something that suggest which fit elements drive the largest proportion of satisfaction? I have a feeling you’re going to tell me it varies person-by-person. But what have you discovered in your research?

Moe Carrick
Well, you’re right, Pete, it does vary person-by-person. It also varies though based on your stage of life which was a discovery we didn’t expect necessarily to come through so clearly as it did in our research which is that, “What motivates me in terms of work fit?” is very temporarily relative. It depends on, “What is it I’m looking for at this stage in life?”

So, for example, myself, as a young mother, I was looking for a different set of variables around work fit. I remember an early job I had, it was in the corporate sector before I had my first child. It demanded really, really long hours of me. And once I had my first child, I really realized I couldn’t work until 8:00 p.m. at night and drop him at daycare at 6:00. It didn’t really work for my lifestyle. That became much more of an important currency for me.

And now, 30 years later, my children mostly grown, I’m able to look at my work for my lifestyle perspective and consider different priorities in terms of these other elements. So, for example, the meaning dimension is particularly important for me right now. And what we do know from some research, not our research, but research that’s been done by other experts is that the most commonly-given reason for people leaving jobs is a poor relationship with their boss. And so that dimension of relationship fit continues to have a really huge amount of influence.

For employees, as I’m sure you’ve seen in the work that you do, how I know the company is largely through the lens of my boss. That’s my most direct contact. It’s the person who I most likely interface with the most. And so for everyone, even across like stages, we’ve seen that relationship fit is a pretty high driver, although it’s not always the highest driver depending on what stage of life I’m in and what’s mattering to me at that particular time.

Pete Mockaitis
Okay. Thank you. And so now with the cultural fit and the relationship fit components, I just want to make sure I understand them just right, I guess, they were getting a little conflated in my brain because I thought, “Well, the culture is kind of based upon how individuals are doing things and thus it really means and thus it’s kind of relationship.” So maybe could you give us an example of kind of a situation or environment or a job story in which someone has just a great relationship fit but a poor cultural fit or just the reverse so I can draw a clean distinction there?

Moe Carrick
Absolutely. I think I might do with the reverse just because the story is popping out of me as we talk, which was a client that I worked with years ago, who was referred to me by her boss, who felt that this person who was on a leadership track, so she was moving from middle management kind of moving more towards senior management was in need of some development to be skilled at her job.

And as I started working with her what I discovered was that she really felt well-fit with the culture. She liked the values that the company had, she was very connected to the brand of the product and services that they delivered, she loved the way they rolled in terms of their day-to-day processes, things were pretty flexible, they were very dynamic. There was a lot that worked well for her in the cultural dimension in terms of what we kind of put on to that category of, “How do we do things here as an organization?” So the mission was clear, she liked her teammates.

But as I began the assessment with her based on the goals that her boss had set out, well, it became very clear very quickly was that her relationship with her boss was very poor. She didn’t respect him. She looked around and saw other leaders in the organization who she was drawn to and whom she respected, some of whom had interviewed her when she first took this job. And then when she had been assigned to work for this one gentleman who she ended up having a deteriorating relationship with from the very beginning, she found him to take a credit for her work, she felt he was volatile and not very predictable in terms of his behavior.

And so as times went on in their partnership she became more and more demoralized, and the essential tension that she felt was, “Gosh, I love this company, I love how they do things here but, for whatever reason, my boss and I are not jiving, we’re not connected.” And that, to me, is not uncommon. Sometimes it happens in reverse, “I love my boss.” I’ve had another gentleman, is coming to mind, who loved who he was working with on his team and his boss but the way the company rolled was inconsistent with his values in particular or some integrity that he held. So it can really go either way.

But it’s very specific usually when there’s a missed but it’s very specifically to one aspect of that element. And so in the first example that I shared it was this when we’re really feeling like the relationship with her boss was a deal-breaker for her. And I was able to support her in finding some new ways to partner with him and over time, to her credit and his, they established a more trusting and strongly-connected relationship, and she was able to work there for many more years in a satisfied way, so.

Pete Mockaitis
Oh, great. Great to hear. And then I’d also kind of like to get a little bit oriented to the world of job fit and I think that folks can sort of fall to some potentially dangerous extremes. And one extreme is like, “Well, I’ve got a job and they’re paying me, and it’s fine.” You know, it’s kind of like complacency?

Moe Carrick
Right. Right.

Pete Mockaitis
And then the other extreme of, “Oh, a job should meet every one of my needs and make me feel delighted each day.” And I think that both are sub-optimal levels of expectation for what a job or career calling/vocation can be for you. So could you maybe help calibrate us a little bit in terms of general feel for a fit that you’d rate as, “Oh, you could do better,” to, “Oh, yeah, you’re with a great fit,” to, “No, you’re actually expecting a bit much for what a job can do for a person”?

Moe Carrick
Yeah, I love that question because you’re spot on, which is we can’t have all of our human needs fulfilled by our job. It is just our job after all, and so having a healthy life in all the robust ways that that means, having healthy relationships outside of work, having a lifestyle that supports our overall mental and physical health, all of that really matters, and our job is definitely a piece of it. So I think kind of realistically containing your expectation about what a job can do for you is important.

But we like to think of it as… and we really do think about this as a calculation and one of the things that we’ve done in the book that really gotten a really positive response for – someone could actually get this on our website, it’s downloadable – is what we call the Six Elements Checklist which is a way to go through each of the six elements and answer which questions feel like they resonate for you right now. And they are questions stated in the positive so that these will be things that you like and value about the job that you have.

And if you have any one of those areas as you go through that score that has no items or maybe one item checked, that’s an indicator to us that says, “Boy, you might really be in serious pain in this job.” In other words, this problem, this category, this element is bad enough that it could be a serious effort for you. Now, the case by which it wouldn’t be is that if there’s another element where you really have all things are working and you’re willing to overlook that. So that’s kind of one way to think about it, “Is there one particular element that’s causing me quite a bit of pain? Or most of them are fairly satisfying to me?”

And then we sometimes see that if someone goes through the checklist, and they find that there’s not any area that’s causing them significant discomfort, in which case they’re lucky and they’re in a really good fit situation. So a lot depends on, “What am I willing to do with the tradeoffs?” And I’ll give you an example.

I had someone I interviewed for the book who was at a career transition point, and what he was really interested in, in his career, had gotten to the point where he wanted to learn a new role, he wanted to be a sales manager, he wanted to travel and experience overseeing a big territory with lots of challenge and be an executive level, and this was extremely important to him.

Now, the job that he had, he wasn’t in this job but he dreamed of it, it wasn’t a different job which is sort of smaller in scope, it was a leadership level but a little bit lower. And he had taken that job at the point at which he was also competitive for the training or some athletic events that he liked and he was kind of very active in his community, he was raising his family and that job really fit his lifestyle at that point. It also paid very well and so he was able to have his financial needs met.

And then, over time, he began to see that if those needs became less intense, he was no longer training as an amateur athlete and he had raised his family, he was financially feeling stable, he began to see that, “Wow, this job is really not satisfying.” What I would put in kind of a category of ambition which, in his case, is meaning. And so he began to look for an opportunity that would really allow him to get more satisfied in that arena. Whereas for the past 15 years it hadn’t been a key motivator for him.

So it’s a lot about calculating the tradeoffs and really deciding, “What matters to me right now and how important it is? How much am I suffering? Or how happy do I feel in that particular element? Is it worth a change right now? Or do I think I can live with it because these other things matter?” Does that make sense?

Pete Mockaitis
Oh, absolutely. And I think that notion about stages of life and dynamics and evolutions really connects and resonates in terms of, well, I’m just thinking about myself, you know. At this stage in the game, recently married, I would not care to work the strategy consulting hours that I did or the travels that I did. But when I was in the earlier part of my career I thought it was so thrilling and awesome, it’s like, “Bring it on. What else do you got?” I’m learning so much and I want to keep heaping it on. It’s great.

Moe Carrick
Yeah, absolutely. And you could do that at that time in your career probably and it didn’t cost you too much. But then there came a point, it’s sort of like a tipping point, isn’t it, where you go, “Wait a minute. This is no longer working for me right now.” Sometimes a really strong indicator that says, “Okay, I need a different kind of fit.”

Pete Mockaitis
Alright. Well, so I was going to ask you about, “How do we go about assessing our own needs?” And it sounds like part of the answer is, hey, you got some free checklist available, so thank you for those. That’s great. Any other kind of key questions or approaches that we should take when it comes to doing that introspection and taking stock of what really we need most in a job?

Moe Carrick
Well, it always seems too easy to me, Pete. I don’t know about you but when I think about self-assessment, I often go, “Yeah, I know myself. I know who I am.” And what we have discovered in researching the book is that we’re talking about a whole different level of self-assessment here. Really being able and willing to look in the mirror and to ask yourself, “Who am I?” In particular to look in the context of saying, “Who am I with the multiple layers of what I know I need in order to feel really satisfied in my life?”

And so a couple of areas that we suggest that other people have experienced as key in this self-awareness stage is, first of all, really learning how to know what are your strengths and what impact do you have on others. And sometimes that’s related to your strength and sometimes it’s related to your weaknesses, but being able to bring that view of yourself that says, “What am I really uniquely good at? What are my sweet spots? And how do other people respond when I’m doing that? What results do I get?” And then, in the process, to really become willing and able to look at, “What’s my Achilles heel? Where am I not so strong?”

A good example for me that I tell in one of my TED Talks is when I was in college all I wanted was to be a writer. And I worked for the paper at my university and I was so excited I was going to work for a large newspaper someday. And what I realized over time, just even in my undergraduate years, was that I was a good writer. I could scoop a good story and my editor loved what I wrote, but the issue for me was deadlines.

Like I just did not work well, sometimes, under a deadline. It created a lot of stress for me because I was often rushing to get a story done in the last minute. It didn’t really feed me but I had to look in the mirror and say, “Wait a second. I’m probably not the kind of person who’s going to do well in a career that requires constant unrelenting adherence to deadlines. You just can’t call your editor and be like, “I’m sorry, the story is going to be a day late.” And I had to get real with myself to look at that. So that’s one piece.

I think understanding, we’ve already talked about it a little bit, what’s your life stage. What do you need for income for what kind of adventure you’re looking for? Do you yearn for stability? Do you want to travel? What are you motivated by? Some people, a lot of people enter the workforce right now, in particular the Millennial generation and generation after that, they’re very motivated by learning new things. So being able to know this about yourself and focus on that will help you to assess fit even from the outside before you get a job that you’re looking for.

Similarly, I think that knowing what your flexibility needs are is important especially in today’s work environment where there are so many options. There’s remote working, there’s flexible hours, there’s jobs that require travel, some that don’t. Understanding more deeply, “What is it that I need in terms of my freedom to set my own hours, or my desire to have regular connection with people?” that’s an important part of your self-assessment.

And then I think there’s probably two more that come up that we mention in the book that we’ve seen time after time as we’ve interviewed people. One is, “What is it that I need to develop? How is it that I want to grow?” And so that requires a little bit of saying not only, “What do I think I need right now for my job?” but, “Where do I see myself in three years, or maybe in ten years?”

I was just talking to a client about this who’s looking at a job change and she was getting very stuck in what’s the next job. And I said to her, “Well, you’re 41. Let’s roll this a little bit farther forward.” Because if she could really get honest with herself about maybe what does she want in nine or ten years, that starts to help shape, “What would be the next logical stepping stone from there?”

And then I think, lastly, and sometimes this is where we start. For some people it works better that way, and for some people it’s something we can find hard to articulate. But what do we dream of? Our aspirations inspire us and they do motivate us, and sometimes we’re scared to even name what we dream of in terms of work fit. And so giving ourselves permission to ideate, to imagine, to draw, to talk with other people about what we really dream.

And maybe that we’re not going to achieve our dream right away or in this next job that we’re seeking but if we can get clear in our mind what that dream looks like for our lives and for the work we do, it makes it much easier to come back down to that pragmatic reality and create something that makes sense going forward. So those are a couple of things but I’d say the overall caveat for me is being brutally honest and asking others to help us really know ourselves more clearly.

Pete Mockaitis
Oh, thank you. That is a nice lineup there. And so now I’d like to shift gears a little bit. In the realm of assessing things, part of it is, “What do you need?” And the other part of it is, “Well, what are the roles available in terms of either the current role or one you’re assessing in terms of the extent to which it has the goods to meet those needs and serves to be a true fit?” So I’d love to get your take when it comes to the researching and the assessing of a given role. What are some of the best practices in terms of getting the insight quickly there?

Moe Carrick
You mean like from the outside if you’re looking for a job?

Pete Mockaitis
Well, I think that let’s do both sides really. One in terms of, “Okay, here now, this role.” And then, secondly, potential outside opportunity.

Moe Carrick
Yeah, I think it’s a lot easier when you’re in a role sometimes to assess fit certainly because you have experience with the company and so you have some known things like the culture and what kinds of contracts the company is likely to negotiate and where there might be opportunity for more scope of responsibilities. So that can be really helpful if you are committed to and feel enough of a positive with your company to stay within and look for maybe another opportunity or another track as opposed to if you’re looking for a job outside of your company, and you’re ready to make a change, it’s really, it can be very difficult to assess that company.

So let’s go with the within the company scenario. I think sometimes it’s helpful to get clear on the job fit question because many of us get sort of locked into a particular functional role when really our fit might be less tied to the functional role. I’ll give you a good example. I had a client, it’s not uncommon for us to have clients who are in an engineering profession who find themselves, for example, in a management role of other engineers and find themselves misfit because they may be trained for a job that was highly technical, very tactical, they could build and design things, and then as they move into management track, they have less of that hands-on work that they maybe love when they were young.

And for someone like that within a company, let’s say they found themselves being promoted and they’re feeling like, “Man, I don’t love my job anymore because I’m managing all these people. I never get to actually do engineering.” Within one company they might be able to have a challenging conversation with their boss or with another functional leader to say, “Hey, I’d love to get back to maybe a little more hands-on. I appreciate the opportunities to lead but I’m not sure management is my sweet spot. What might be a senior product specialist or a functional role that would allow me to get back to building and doing the things that I love?” That would be probably a series of conversations to help for maybe some lateral movement or maybe even movement into a different functional area.

So inside you’re going to be negotiating relationships and trying to figure out, “How can I make movement there while . . .  thing?” If I’m looking from the outside, what we recommend is to try to just really look at it as if you’re in a detecting exercise. You want to find everything you can about that company before you sign on the dotted line to accept the job with them. We all know that when you interview for a company, you just get the very tip of the iceberg of who they are. Everybody is on best behavior, including you, and you get a little bit of wine and dine especially in today’s economy where there are more jobs than there were certainly in the recession.

And so it can be difficult to assess like how really well they do things here. So we recommend using LinkedIn, calling any friends or neighbors you have who might know that company, or even suppliers and vendors and ask them, “How do you find them? How do they roll? What do you like about working with them or for them?” Of course you can look at things like there are great places to work survey data but that doesn’t always tell you a lot about how their culture is. So we encourage you to look for other signs.

Try to get a visit there where, maybe, you spend half a day and you sit on some meetings, you interview some people from other functions, just informationally. You read everything about them in the press and on social media. You talk to all your friends that you know that are related with them and that maybe will give you more complexity, more layers of the company as you’re trying to assess, “Is that going to be the best place for me?”

And, of course, meanwhile you’re also asking yourself all these things like, “How long is the commute? And do I think this financial package that they’re offering will work for me? And if not, how might I renegotiate?” So you’re looking at all the elements and seeing, “What data do I have that tells me this fit will be compelling enough for me to make a move?”

Pete Mockaitis
Alright. And so I like that particular part about talking to real people and getting that perspective. And so I’d like to get your perspective on, do you have any pro tips for getting strangers to talk to you? And I think one of the best sources of information along these lines are sort of former employees because they’re really free to speak candidly, it’s like, “Hey, noticed two years, thanks to you, LinkedIn, that you just left this position. And I’m considering taking a role here. I’d love to ask a few questions.”

And then you can really get after some of those cultural pieces that you’re sure not going to find on the website because every website says they’re awesome. And so you’ve got to talk to a person. So I’d love your wisdom on how do you get them to say yes and agree to speak with you?

Moe Carrick
Oh, such a great idea and you’re right on. Social media, LinkedIn in particular gives us fabulous access to people’s histories. What I found works really well is complete transparency, “I’m considering a move to this company and it’s a significant change for me, and I’m really trying to make sure that it’s a great fit between us before I sign on. I’d love to know some of what you loved about working there and also some of the things that were a hurdle for you,” so that you can calibrate. And, of course, whatever they say you’re going to be scrutinizing it through the filter of, “Where do I know I love to thrive?” versus what they may need to thrive.

So I had someone who did that, talked to someone who was in her network that worked at this company, and this person started saying, “Wow,” but she didn’t like it there at all because nobody kept regular work hours, everything was very spontaneous, there were no offices, they shared desks, they call it hoteling. You might’ve heard of this approach sometimes. And for this person that was doing the interview, she realized, “Oh, man, that would be perfect for me. Like I love flexibility and I love hoteling and I would love that spontaneous kind of environment.” She was coming from a much more hierarchical structured company.

And so although the person was telling her the reason she left it was actually very attractive for her. So I think just being honest, saying, “What are you up to? Why are you doing this research?” And that you would really appreciate their candor. You can also sometimes offer, “Hey, this is confidential. This is just for my own learning and I would really welcome your candor what you might have to share.”

Pete Mockaitis
Oh, thank you. I really like that. Yes, it’s like what is a man’s trash is another man’s treasure.

Moe Carrick
Absolutely.

Pete Mockaitis
That’s right on.

Moe Carrick
Yeah, and who knows? They might someday do the same for you where they’re interested in a company that you have an association with. The other thing I would say, Pete, is it’s definitely if you can find anybody that’s been a customer or a supplier of that company, that’s a super great experience or even go and experience the company as a customer to get a feel for, “How do they do business?” Do you think you’ll like the brand itself in the way they roll? And that way can be a great way to get some fluency.

Pete Mockaitis
Oh, that’s a nice lineup. Much appreciated. And so let’s say we do discover that, hey, sure enough, this role I’m in right now really isn’t the best of fits. I’d love to hear what are the ideal steps to take? I guess you can try to do something right there where you are, or you could try to change something, you could try to supplement with extracurricular activities, you could jump ship. How do you start thinking through all these implications?

Moe Carrick
It’s complex. And when we were writing the book, with Cammie Dunaway is my co-author, our first instinct was kind of like our brain went to, “Well, if someone finds that they’re a misfit they’re going to want to leave.” And what we discovered, and of course this is validated by our own experiences, that oftentimes that’s not the case either because it’s not bad enough to leave, or because maybe there’s some piece of that role that’s really compelling for me to stay.

So we spent a lot of time figuring out, “Okay. Well, what do I do that maybe is just short of leaving?” And there were two things in particular that we found help. The first was regaining our confidence. So what is the self-development work that I might need to do if, for some reason, I’m finding a piece of my job misfit so that I can get re-centered on who I am and what I need to thrive in this current situation.

And that’s all about developing and growing our level of confidence to say, “You know what, I am solid. I’m a good worker, and there are some things that aren’t working here for me but I’m going to work on that and I‘m not feeling so frustrated and spending a lot of energy being dissatisfied,” and that can really help to focus how to make a slightly off fit work.

The other strategy we’d recommend is the ability to flex to fit where you are. And you mentioned a couple of those ideas already, Pete, like, “Can I expand my opportunities outside of work? Do I need to get some volunteer activities going? Is now a good time for me to go back to school where maybe I put my heart and soul into something else that I love if I’m not being set as deeply at work? Or maybe I think about how could I make this particular situation work well for me?”

I remember years ago I had a job that required of me a lot of travel. It’s common, as you know, in the consulting realm, and it started to feel like a burden. I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to stick with it. And a friend of mine actually made a suggestion which was, “Moe, why don’t you think about like really enjoying the places you’re traveling to instead of always feeling like just sad and frustrated that you’re on airplanes and away from your family?”

So I started this habit of making sure that I took a walk or a run in a city I went to, and visit one cultural thing when I was there. And it really gave me a different appreciation for my job because I got to see some very, very cool places around the world that I never would have if I hadn’t had this job. And sure, it was still not that fun sometimes to be on the road but it kind of twisted my mindset in a positive way around that. So learning to figure out, “How can I flex my fit?” is super helpful.

And there’s a couple more components to that but I won’t bore you with now. A lot of it has to do with conversations that I made or have or attitudes, values or belief that I’m able to change within myself to feel a more positive fit there. And then, ultimately, sometimes where you decide, “We’re going to leave. This isn’t the place for me.”

And it’s interesting. When we were doing our interviews for the book, we interviewed a couple hundred people, and everybody has a fit story, and many people had a misfit story. And oftentimes a story starts with that moment when they decided to leave. And so if that’s your situation it makes sense to think about, “Okay, how can I leave gracefully? How can I exit this job without having to be some big horrible blowout and at the same time feel still somewhat secure so that the transition makes sense for me?”

And that has to do with planning some timing and thinking about that next opportunity while not burning bridges of the current one that I have. So we’ve seen it done really, really gracefully and it tends to be much better to not burn bridges as you begin a transition for reasons of fit.

Pete Mockaitis
Oh, certainly. Oh, Moe, this is so much good stuff. Can you share, is there anything else you want to make sure to mention before we shift gears and talk about some of your favorite things?

Moe Carrick
You know, I don’t think so. Well, actually maybe there’s one thing, and you touched on it when we first opened which was this whole idea of, “Is there a perfect fit?” And I would say to your listeners out there, nope, there isn’t a perfect fit. There’s jobs that we love, and there’s jobs that we don’t love as much, and there’s jobs that we hate.

And so I think what we’re looking for in work fit is to get an awful lot of it right knowing that there will be some days when it’s just a little off. But what we really want is like the majority of our work time to be spent feeling like we’re thriving, and then really be resilient and tolerating those times when it’s not because there isn’t really a perfect fit, just like there probably isn’t a perfect marriage.

Pete Mockaitis
Well, so now, could you start us off and share a favorite quote, something you find inspiring?

Moe Carrick
I think one of my favorite quotes is one that we actually use in the book, and it’s from, believe it or not, Dolly Parton, I’m not a fan of country music but I did really like Dolly Parton. And she said, apparently, “Don’t get so busy making a career that you forget to make a life.” And I love that quote because I feel as though, in modern society, we bifurcate our work from our lives, and really they’re intertwined and forever connected. So I love that lens, “Don’t get so focused just on your career that you fail to make a life.”

Pete Mockaitis
Thank you. And how about a favorite study or experiment or a bit of research?

Moe Carrick
Yeah, I love the work of Dr. Brene Brown who’s a qualitative researcher. She’s a mentor of mine and certified in her approach. I’m not sure if you’re familiar with her work. But her work is all about wholeheartedness and developing a courage practice. We reference her work often in the book because I think that it takes a lot of courage to navigate through finding a great fit at work and there’s vulnerability every time we’re being called upon to be brave. I think Brene’s research and the output for her thinking have huge implications for all of us as we’re in partnership with others and also with our workplace.

Pete Mockaitis
And how about a favorite book?

Moe Carrick
Oh, today, you caught me on this day because I’m at the New York Times’ book show and so I’ve just been looking at thousands of books out there. But I love fiction. It’s one of my favorite genres to read. And I think one of my favorite book has to be Angle of Repose by Wallace Stegner and I really enjoyed that. But I also have to mention Daring Greatly which is one of Dr. Brene Brown’s books that I mentioned already.

Pete Mockaitis
Oh, yes. And how about a favorite tool?

Moe Carrick
I saw that question in the pre-work and I was thinking, “What is my favorite tool?” And it’s hard for me not to go to the tools that I use in my trade, but instead I decided to go with a tool that I use day-to-day, and that is – you’re going to laugh when you hear this – but I have a tool that allows me to make apple butter.

Pete Mockaitis
Hmm, delicious.

Moe Carrick
It’s a cooking tool that you grind the cooked apples and you can get the seeds and the skin and everything all coat out, and it just makes this delicious smooth creamy apple butter. And I only discovered it a year or two ago, and I’ve just been thrilled to use that. I don’t even know what it’s called. It’s like apple grinder thing.

Pete Mockaitis
Oh, that sounds fantastic.

Moe Carrick
I know you’re hungry, so.

Pete Mockaitis
I like apple butter, and it didn’t even occur to me to make my own. And you’re telling me all I need is this little grinder thing to make apples.

Moe Carrick
Absolutely. And a crockpot, you can make apple butter in a crockpot. It’s so easy. I’ll send you the recipe.

Pete Mockaitis
Oh, thank you. Or an instant pot. That is quickly becoming one of my favorite things.

Moe Carrick
Oh, yeah. Those are cool.

Pete Mockaitis
And how about a favorite habit, a personal practice of yours?

Moe Carrick
Gosh, I am a runner. I’m a lifetime runner and I have always loved it. These days I also blend in walking because I’ve had some joint issues but I think it’s one of the personal habits that I value the most. And it is meditative for me, I sort of discovered that, but it’s a time when I’m walking or running, it really gives me time to think about things that I don’t take time day to day in my busy work and home life to do. So I think that’s a practice that I hope that I always keep up on because it gives me that time and space plus it’s good for my body, keep my heart health.

Pete Mockaitis
Excellent. And is there a particular nugget or piece that you share that seems to really resonate with folks in terms of they’re nodding heads and taking notes when you share it?

Moe Carrick
I think that whenever I talk to people about being honest and transparent about what’s going on with them about their fit at work, people usually really nod. They also say, “Oh, that’s so hard to do.” But most people know that when they’re navigating work fit, there may be a difficult conversation or two in their future, and if they can just figure out how to have that it will really help. So being brave and getting clear and being brave to speak what’s true for you is one of the keys to finding I think that environment where you really thrive. That seems to connect strongly with most people.

Pete Mockaitis
Alright. And if folks want to learn more or get in touch, where would you point them?

Moe Carrick
The best place they could go would be FitMatters.biz which is our site about the book, and they can also check out my website at MoeCarrick.com, just like it sounds, and there’s free tools and resources on both sites, and we also have some links for people to engage and let us know what some of their favorite story is.

Pete Mockaitis
Okay. And do you have a final challenge or call to action for those seeking to be awesome at their jobs?

Moe Carrick
I would suggest that, for your listeners, spend 15 minutes in the next two or three days thinking about their level of self-awareness, “To what degree do I know myself?” And then maybe verify that with someone that they care about and say, “Let me tell you what I think my strengths and my opportunities are. How do you see me?”

That’s such a valuable exercise and it doesn’t have to be formal. It doesn’t have to be fancy 360 feedback, but it can give you some great quick insight that says, “Yeah, you do have a good sense for yourself,” or, “Yeah, I notice that but there’s this other thing that you do sometimes that I think you could benefit from working on or growing into.” So that would be my tip. Take a few minutes and think about you as you try to deepen your own self-awareness.

Pete Mockaitis
Okay. Moe, this has been so enriching. Thank you for this and kudos to kind of putting this whole package together, and I wish you and your loved ones fantastic fits in the years to come.

Moe Carrick
Wonderful. Thank you so much, Pete. It’s been a pleasure talking with you.

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The Gold Nugget

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