Let my job make me happy!
Different people expect different things from a job. I know several people who just “want a job that pays the bills” and they are allowed to see it that way, but that is probably the worst view you can have. The reason why, is that on average you spend 7.5 hours a day, five days a week, doing that job that “just pays the bills”. This means that if you are miserable in your job, that is circa 150 hours a month that you spend being miserable, and that is just plain stupid.
While I might still be a student, I have some work experience behind me, some of it great, some of it good, and some of it bad. What I can say is this: Find a job that makes you get up every morning and look forward to going. Not necessarily every day, but most days. When I consider applying for a job, I try to get to know the company, their values and their work styles. To me a creative environment and positive reinforcement is valuable, as is the job itself. I know what I like to do and what I don’t like doing, and steer clear of most things that look like my cup of tea but require playing too much with numbers. I also try to avoid jobs with a lot of repetitive tasks, as I tend to not be the most patient person, and I work best with challenges and projects. I also try to give a lot of what is me when applying for a job, I try to make my personality shine through the black 12pt Times New Roman on the white paper, because after several experiences with past employers, what I most definitively want, is a employer who wants me in that job, and wants what I have to offer. I dislike it when people state that anyone could do a certain job, because it might get done no matter who does it, but it will get done according to who that worker is, not just “get done”. If an employer shows no interest in me then I ask for reasons why, and if they don’t think I am fit for the position then that is fine, as I really don’t want a job that does not want me. If they tell me I could have done something better then I revise it and decide to either take it on board or not, depending on how right I think the person is, but I won’t be happy in a job that doesn’t want me, so I’m not taking it.
Another thing I think all employers should offer, is a challenge. The offer of a possible promotion if the job is well done should be the least, the offer of being gently pushed by a supervisor to do your best every day is something I want more. A challenge can be something as small as figuring out how to do a certain thing in order of reaching another goal, or it can be a massive year-long project, or learning a new skill, or testing your own limits, but challenges are great!
As a young person still at university another thing I have learned the value of other people’s knowledge. I think another thing to consider is how much colleagues and company conferences can help you onwards. Appreciating the difference in their employees is something I feel several companies could do better, but that change comes first with the employee knowing him or herself. Sure, money and a company that has a good reputation might be good, and a free gym membership could also be good, but they shouldn’t be what you define as a good opportunity. Focusing on what you enjoy and what you want to be doing is perhaps more important! My point is that even as a young professional you need to know what you want in your future career, and what you need. When you know that, you might have a easier job at sorting through that pile of ads for your future job, and hopefully like it.