The Importance of Liking What You Do
Until recently, I hadn’t put much thought into “liking my job”. I had been studying my whole life, and part-time jobs on the side were just that – on the side. They were a means to an end; they helped me earn a little more cash to help me get by that week. I felt stuck in the short term and was lost.
I worked in retail for a while, and while I enjoyed the interaction part of my job with (most) customers, I felt very unengaged with my work. After a couple of years, I felt I had learnt all I could learn and I didn’t see how the job was going to help me further my career and be successful. I would drag myself to work and count down the clock…
From this experience, I firmly believe that being unengaged and unhappy at work has a flow-on effect to other aspects of your life. Combine this with studying – and you have a hot mess of exhaustion and little to no daily routine. You find yourself walking around like a zombie with the weight of the world on your shoulders. Not a good way to live!
I recently saw something pop up on Facebook and it really resonated with me:
“Don’t work for eight hours at a company only to go home and not work on your own goals. You’re not tired, you’re uninspired”
Now, I go to work for eight hours at a company I actually enjoy working at and, even better, when I go home I have the energy (and time) to do what I want to do and work on my own goals. This would have to be one of my favourite parts of working and being in a good routine. You can actually relax in the evenings and weekends – something you don’t always have the luxury with when studying as well. The “always on” aspect of studying really took a toll on me; I “expected” good grades and put a lot of pressure on myself.
Enjoying what I do at work has had a huge impact on my personal life – friends have commented that I am happier, more outgoing, more relaxed and at ease in general.
Why I like my job
- It is varied and interesting – no two days are the same and I am always busy with special projects that I work on for the business. I love seeing the results of hard work coming to life.
- I am given responsibility and am trusted to make decisions (thanks Mike!). This is huge in feeling empowered and engaged in what you do.
- It is flexible – if I wanted to I could work from anywhere (right now I am sitting in a café having a coffee while I write this blog…).
- It is my first ‘industry job’ where I am gaining so much valuable experience and am given the opportunity to do a variety of work to help me decide which direction I would like to go in. No longer am I stuck in the short term, I feel like I am doing something that contributes to my future in a positive and productive way.
- The people and company culture. One of the main reasons I love working at one eighty recruitment is the cool bunch of people I get to work with and the relaxed culture. We enjoy having drinks at work or after work, it’s not uncommon to have lunch after a meeting in town, we play music all day and go to meetups and events together.
I could probably go on and on about why I like my job, but I think we get the point: Life is short, work somewhere awesome.
When looking for a job, my advice would be to really consider your expectations and fit with your potential employer. Sometimes people (especially graduates) are in such a panic about finding employment, they take any job they can get their hands on. But consider your options – your happiness is just too important to pass over!
So, what keeps you in your job? Or alternatively, what has made you leave a job in the past?
I would love to hear about your experiences.