It’s not you, it’s me – the truth behind a good fit

A good fit is all about skills, staff, shared values, strategies, system, style, structure

What fit is all about


“It’s not you, it’s me – the truth behind a good fit.

I am sure we have all heard this one before – it’s not you, it’s me. Anyone who has ever been graciously dumped has heard that. The dumper is accepting total responsibility for their actions – the dumpee has nothing to do with it.

In fact, I don’t believe this is entirely true. If the dumper was really honest with you and him/herself, it actually has to do with both parties.

The same thing happens in the work force. We often hear of people being dismissed from a job because of “fit”. The employee is left shaking their head and packing up their forlorn box of personal stuff without understanding why this just happened.

Let me break it down for you:

1)     It could be that they just don’t enjoy your personality. Are you too combative, not open to collaborating, inflexible and moody? Maybe people just don’t want to work with you. It’s as simple as that.

2)     Your values don’t align with the company. If one of your values is to make money and you are working with a non-profit organization…probably not the best fit.

3)     Maybe your strengths don’t match those that are required for the actual job. If you are a recruiter, your job is not about instilling confidence in people; it’s about filling the clients’ needs.

4)     Perhaps the office is located at the other end of the city – meaning that during massive snow falls and dangerous freezing rainstorms, you may not want to drive all of that way to work and you will call in sick and let down the rest of your team.

5)     If you don’t work well in a team environment, but excel in an autonomous position, perhaps that job working as a key member of a large team may not be the best.

6)     Some people work well under pressure, in fact they thrive in stressful situations. Others prefer less stressful and calmer jobs -so these people need to stay away from fast-paced jobs and environments.

7)     Speaking of calm environments, if you are an anxious person, perhaps staying away from jobs that provoke your anxiety would be a good thing!

8)     Sometimes it just comes down to personal preference. If you are the only woman in a workplace full of men, perhaps they may believe that you would not be a good fit for the organization.

9)     What about when it doesn’t fit?

But, as we all know, fit is not just a workplace phenomenon. Think of your own life. Consider the most important people in your life – your partner and your friends.

Even before I had heard about this whole fit thing, I was keenly aware of its power. I had just started dating my first ever boyfriend. A late bloomer, I was on the cusp of 21. We met at a local pub and started spending time with each other. I realized quickly that this was not working for us – certainly at least not for me. I told him that we were not compatible. “Compatible, schmatible, we’ll work at it” was his curt response.

Four years later I finally found the inner strength to leave him and the relationship. But it was too late- the damage had been done. Years later I started dating an absolutely wonderful guy. He was everything I wanted in a man – kind-hearted, loving, and calm, loved dogs, did not want children, worked hard, was romantic and thoughtful and loved me. Everything was perfect. Except that I was not in love with him. I was in love with someone else. So even if it looked good on paper, in reality it was not a good fit.

Remember that recruiter position mentioned earlier? That was me. I was hired as a recruiter with absolutely no experience. However, I did have strong interpersonal skills, so everyone thought it was a great idea. But, from the first day I worked there, it felt awkward and strange. I never, ever felt comfortable. I found out later that one of the people who interviewed me did not like me. Fair enough, I was not her biggest fan either. The only thing that felt natural in this role was talking to my candidates. I created rapport instantly and hit it off with a great number of people who I spoke with on the phone.  When I was planning a vacation to Nova Scotia, my Halifax-based candidates repeatedly requested that we got together. My boss however, had other thoughts. She forbade me from meeting any of my people. At this point, I knew it was time to leave.

Thankfully for the first time ever in my professional life, I left for something much, much better. (To be fair, after I left a printing company I started working for a paper company where I met the man who I would eventually marry so I suppose that was a pretty good move!) I started working as an Employment Consultant for a youth employment agency. For the first time in my life, I was at home. It was the right fit.

I just saw my former boss at a local coffee shop a couple of days ago. She was there with her young children. I saw her instantly and I am sure she saw me. But I did not go over to say hello – or even to tell her that it wasn’t her, it was me.

Hoping you find the right fit in your life,


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