Simon Sinek on How to Find a Job You Love and Where You Excel

In Chapter 8 of 16 of his 2009 Capture Your Flag interview with host Erik Michielsen, "Start With Why" author Simon Sinek asks why do we choose one job over another and why do we believe what we believe? Finding the right job, interviewing well, and enjoying work requires authenticity and reflection. Sinek advises others to find a job where you can naturally excel. This approach and questions propel both interviewees and interviewers to find the right fit.

Simon Sinek is a trained ethnographer who applies his curiosity around why people do what they do to teach leaders and companies how to inspire people. He is the author of "Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action". Sinek holds a BA degree in cultural anthropology from Brandeis University.


Erik Michielsen: How does being authentic help you find the right job?

Simon Sinek: When people write their resumes it is like what I've done, what I've done, what I've done. The question is "why did you show up to work?"  Why do I even have this resume?  Why did you choose to work there?  Why did you choose to work there?  Why did you choose to quit and go there?  It is not a bad thing to quit a job.  If you realize you are a bad fit, get out of there and go somewhere else.  So, the ability for us to talk about what we believe, why organizations exist, and why we choose one job over another increases the likelihood we will find jobs and employees that are good fits for the organization.  You should apply for the jobs where you have a weird visceral reaction to the organization.  Sometimes that means going to meet them.  When you go on an interview, just as much as you are they are interviewing you, you are interviewing them.  This is where you are going to spend more time, in a week or in a day, than with your family or in your own home.  If you don’t want to go there every day, don't go there every day.  Wanting to go somewhere has nothing to do with how much money they will pay you. That will wear thin quickly when you hate your life.  The question is who are you going to work with, I'd like to meet the people I will have direct contact with, who is going to be my boss, who is going to be my mentor?  What culture do you have here?  You have to ask them questions, not about how much are you going to pay me and what are the benefits?  Ask them what life is going to be like and if this is a place where you naturally excel?