I grew up constantly being told that I needed to go to school so I could get a ‘proper’ job, but what I viewed as proper jobs were not things that excited me. Dreading Monday mornings and glorifying Friday afternoons is the way we have been ‘conditioned’ to get through life. But I don’t like it. Not at all.
When I was around 12 years old I told my dad that by the time I was an adult, I would have found a way to make sure I didn’t live my life in the way in which I was conditioned to believe it should be lived. I vowed that I wasn’t going to spend my years putting hard work into a system that gave me a basic and unfulfilling life in return. We weren’t born to survive- this concept seemed stupid to me considering that death is inevitable. I believed that I was born to live. I still do, the only problem is that I have officially been an adult for a number of years now and my solution to this problem that everyone just seems to have accepted is non-existent.
So instead of accepting defeat, I did some thinking. Maybe the system is broken. But this system has been in place since time began. Surely, if it was truly broken then someone would have done something about it by now. I’d like to think that I am an intelligent and forward thinking individual, (you are allowed to disagree), but I can guarantee that I’m not the first to have thought that there was more to life than a 9 to 5. So maybe, just maybe, the system isn’t broken, just heavily flawed. Maybe it’s possible to have a 9 to 5 and feel fulfilled everyday- looking forward to Monday just as much as the weekend. This is referred to as job satisfaction and to many, this comes with a successful career.
As a result, I have since redefined what a proper job means to me. A proper job is one that gives you satisfaction. This definition has nothing to do with status or titles as we saw in Part 1.
Since this is something that affects everyone, I went ahead and asked people what they looked for in a career. Here are the responses:
The Top 5 most common factors for a successful/fulfilling career:
- Good Pay
- A Variety of tasks
- Having an impact in the industry/community
- Enjoying the daily tasks- work that makes you #Schmile !
- Flexible working hours
Other points raised included:
- Challenging work
- Job security
- Human interaction-networking opportunities
- Good working relationships
- Competitive environment for motivation/self-improvement/development
- Degree relevance
- Travel opportunities
- Opportunities for creating new ideas
- Emphasis on natural talents
We want good pay so we can buy nice things. A variety of tasks to prevent the boredom of doing mundane and repetitive things. We want to have an impact in this world because we want to help people- why dedicate our time and most of our lives to something that doesn’t benefit anyone? Most importantly, we want to be happy whilst at work because we want to be happy in life in general and we want flexible hours so that we don’t have to squeeze social activities into 48 hours at the weekend as this is never enough!
There was a period where I felt like a proper job couldn’t do such things for me, but through experiences, I’ve learnt that it is, in fact, possible and I cannot settle for the alternative. We shouldn’t give up hopes of striving for our dream jobs!
I would also encourage you to talk to as many people as you can that are already in the workforce- when I sent this message around I received a lot of encouraging words from older relatives. Even whilst on my industrial placement, I was always asking colleagues what inspired them to be where they are and how they feel they have benefitted from it. Get to know what the people around you are doing; sometimes it’s not the job itself that will make you happy but what you get out of it!
All the best,