Why the Perfectible Job Beats the Perfect Job

I’ve changed jobs a lot over the past few years. I knew it would raise eyebrows each time I applied for a new position – they’d ask themselves how long I’d stay with them – but I told myself it was because I was looking for the perfect job, so it was ok.

I’ve realized the perfect job just isn’t out there.

There’s something wrong with every job. The dress code is too formal. The boss won’t let me work from home. They’re not using my favorite language. They’re not promoting me. They don’t give enough vacation hours. The codebase is old and crufty. Etc.

The trick is to find a perfectible job, not a perfect one. A job with a boss and a team that’s flexible enough so that you can improve the job over time.

After all, my interests will shift over time. Even if I found the perfect job for what I want to do now, I’ll grow out of it in a few years. And then where would I be? Leaving the perfect job, and torturing myself over it.

Better to find a job with a few rough edges that I can smooth out over time. As long as I go in with my eyes open, I won’t be disappointed.

Because perfecting your job is just a different type of engineering.