Which career? Which job?

August 1, 2013

If I had any words of advice for people setting out on their career path I would say do what you enjoy. Of course many people don’t have the luxury of being able to afford to make those decisions, but must do any work they can to feed, clothe and house themselves. I am talking here to the lucky elite in the developed world who may have done their degree and now face the prospect of the working world.
Essentially it is the world of the unknown. It is not until you enter the real world of work that you discover the hundreds of jobs and roles that are out there. The things people do that you’d never thought about. The way people have got to where they are is often not a straightforward route but full of apparently lucky breaks and opportunities. But were they just luck or was there an underlying drive to get to the top?

So, I give you my

Top Ten Tips for working life

  1. Take the time to work out what you love doing. What stimulates you, excites you, keeps you absorbed for hours? It could be anything – shopping, painting, acting, watching football, organising people, playing computer games, blogging, chatting….
  2. And then try to work out how to earn a living doing it. There are jobs to suit every love. Even if you have to start them up yourself. Honestly, people make money being personal shoppers for other people, or fashion advisors or pet groomers……… there are a myriad of things you just don’t think of as real work.
  3. Money is more likely to come when you are doing something you love because you will put more time and effort in. Although if you love it, it won’t seem like effort because you enjoy doing it. But that increased input usually means you do well and may get rewarded for it. And even if you don’t -at least it is something you love doing.
  4. Realise no job is 100% perfect 100% of the time. Every job has its downsides, but you just need to weigh up if the good times are worth the hassle of the painful bits.
  5. You can change careers. You have forty plus years of work ahead of you. Switch tack at 30 – you still have 30 more years of working life left all being well.  And when you get to 40 no one will care if you have 10 or 15 years experience as it will make no difference.
  6. If it is ‘making money’ that you choose is more important than enjoying work, then realise you will have to accept more frustration and tedium as the price you are paying for not doing something you love. So don’t moan about it.
  7. Think about yourself and what you want out of a job as much as what the company will get out of you. Loyalty is a huge asset and commendable but at the end of the day you have to put your own interests first. If you don’t ask you don’t get. Sadly this is true virtually 100% of the time. Too many people think that they will be recognised for working hard and doing a good job, but too often this really doesn’t happen unless you point it out to the company. In a nice way.
  8. Be prepared to start at the bottom – it is a great place to remember when you are at the top. If this is the industry you want to work in, put the extra time and effort in now and get yourself noticed. Make it clear what you would like the company to do. It may be offer you development opportunities, a transfer to another department, a promotion, a pay rise.  Often they will have had no idea what your aspirations are. Or forgotten them.
  9. Even if you don’t love your job, try to appreciate the better points. You may have great workmates. It may be close to home or in a great spot for easy access to wine bars. But more importantly try to find another way of making money that you will enjoy.
  10. Remember there are plenty of people who would love to have your job and advantages. You are not down a coal mine. You are not in Afghanistan. You are not starving in Ethiopia.

4 Responses to “Which career? Which job?”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    Enjoyed this article. Got me thinking!! Midlife crises approaching fast or rather it’s here already!

  2. Anonymous Says:

    Well written as ever

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