Thursday, 19 August 2010

Job Satisfaction: Part One

Don’t be too put off by my outwardly boring title to this post, I swear I’ll make it interesting somehow! The reason why I’ve chosen to write about job satisfaction boils down to the fact that I myself am not satisfied in my job. I’m currently a supervisor at an Animal store (the clothing brand and not some kind of pet store, although that would probably be more exciting!) and although Animal is probably one of the best retailers I’ve worked for, I still find myself wishing away my working hours. This past year has been the first in which I’ve had to work full-time, and it’s made me realise a few things about the direction in which I want my working life to go. There’s two main points I want to make about this so it’s now become a two-parter!

Jobs are funny things I think. Some people shape their entire lives around their work i.e. doctors, lawyers etc. Others just use work as a means to an end; a job is a way to make money, which enables them to live life. Of course there is nothing wrong with that first option, in that if you’ve found something you love and getting paid to do it is just a bonus (in the case of doctors or lawyers, a pretty big bonus!) then what more could you ask for. But what if you don’t love the work you’re in? I remember the days in Sixth Form when we were all applying for Uni, and I asked one of my friends why is it that she wanted to do Accountancy. ‘For the money’ was her answer. Huh?! Is that the only reason you’d want to work killer hours is a high-pressure atmosphere? Perhaps I just don’t get it as I put more value on experience  than I do on making money (although the catch-22 in that is that most of the time I need money to do the living i.e. travelling that I want to do. Psch!) Or there's the other situation in that people find themselves stuck in jobs they hate as they have to support family etc. Or the fact is that money makes you happy. All of these situations make me feel sad for these people, especially those with no hope of getting out. Essentially aren't these people sitting round, not grabbing life by the balls and seeing what's out there, and dare I say it just waiting to die?! My worst nightmare would be sit on my death bed and think ‘Well, maybe I wasn’t all that happy in my job that I've done all my life and didn’t get to do half the things I wanted because of it, but damn, people thought I was successful and I made a tonne of money!’

I guess what I’m saying is that for me, at this point in time, the way I earn money to live doesn’t have to shape my life. I’ve never really thought I’d have a particularly successful career (as much as I loathe to use the word) and it’s only now that I realise it’s because it doesn’t seem important to me. Yeah if someone gave me the opportunity of a job that paid me a sweet sum to do something I love (for example sitting her in my pj’s yapping on and drinking tea) then of course I wouldn’t turn it down. But right now I don’t feel like there’s a need for me to get on and really settle down with something. I’m working at Animal to save up and do some more travelling, a hobby which becomes more impossible to do when you’re tied down with a ‘real’ job. I’m trying to take advantage of the fact I’m young and can afford to do something like that for now.

In a way I’m doing exactly what I just said I hate, standing in a shop for 40 hours a week, but I like to think of it as a short-term means to an end and I know it’ll all be worth it when I’ve booked those plane tickets to wherever it may be. Volunteering on my days off keeps me sane and gives me a bit of experience to fall back on when I do decide to get a job that might lead somewhere! 

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