It’s Not Sexy, But…

Early on in my career, I worked in corporate governance. It was very interesting (who knew that that field even existed, eh?) and I learned a lot about how organizations really worked. This is to say, it’s much like making sausage. ‘Nuff said.

There was a three person Audit Committee that oversaw the officer election process. They’d meet, have a few drinks and hors d’oeuvres, get down to business and call it done. I loved their laid-back attitude amongst all the seriousness of the other committees. They had a very serious role, but they didn’t over-engineer the process. They didn’t take themselves too seriously. Serving on that committee was the best kept secret, yet no one was clamoring to serve, because let’s face it, “Audit Committee” isn’t the sexiest of roles.

This is a great reminder to think outside-the-box regarding your career change or job search. There are tons of interesting jobs out there with unsexy companies, in unsexy industries with unsexy titles. Look beyond the obvious and I think you’ll find some real gems.

A few years ago I had a client who was a top salesperson, in a field that he described as exciting as “watching paint dry”. After graduating with his MBA from a top school, he didn’t follow the same path as most of his college friends. Instead of working for a big firm with an impressive title, he went into sales, in a rather boring industry (in his words). He really liked his clients (CEOs and COOs) and the product he was selling, even though it wasn’t sexy, was a real value-added service in an underserved market. He loved his colleagues, his clients, the travel and especially, the income. After a few years, when most of his business school colleagues were working outrageous hours under tremendous stress, my client was enjoying a much more relaxed lifestyle with plenty of time to pursue his hobbies. Choosing an unsexy market was really a good choice for him.

Intrigued? I can’t promise anything, but I’m sure that we could figure out an unsexy or unusual job/career for you too.