Back to the Basics: The Fundamental Reason You’re Hired and How to Use it to Your Advantage

A woman looking at a computer monitor

This is foundational. Let’s strip away all the nitty-gritty of your specific job tasks and employer expectations. The general, overarching reason you were hired (or will be hired) for any job is (drumroll please) to solve problems.

People get sick. That’s a problem. Here to solve the problem: doctors, nurses, and nursing assistants.

Home appliances malfunction. That’s a problem. We need trained repairers.

Criminal laws are broken. That’s a problem. We need law enforcers.

Children need an education. That’s a problem. We need teachers.

Businesses sell products and/or services. Services need to be provided; products need to be manufactured, inventoried, transported, and sold; taxes need to be filed; etc. These are problems. People are hired to solve the problems.

Jobs exist because problems need to be solved. Good news: You are a problem solver.

So, how can you use this knowledge to your advantage? Two ways:

  1. If you are a job seeker, consider the following: what problems are you interested in solving? What problems are you trained to solve? What problems will people pay you to solve? After answering those questions, search for potential workplaces and present your case for being the solution to their “problem”. (Just, you know, avoid sounding condescending or prideful as you showcase how you can benefit or improve the company.)
  2. If you are employed, remain constantly aware of problems that arise in your workplace. Focus on how YOU can solve the problems. Get a certification, get experience, do research, and take calculated risks. Solve the problems. You are now a very valuable employee. You aren’t simply handed problems on a platter, but you recognize issues and devise solutions. Nice work.

Bottom line: Look at employment through your problem-solving lens. Your detective eyes will notice gaps within organizations, stumbling blocks to company or project successes, and you’ll notice inefficient practices. Find the solution; be the solution.

Read Solving Problems at Work to learn strategies for solving problems. Additionally, if you are a teacher or professional working with students or consumers who are blind or visually impaired, utilize CareerConnect’s Problem Solving lesson series.

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