Our generation can’t get away from being called “entitled” when it comes to our careers. Our parents and grandparents think that we lack a certain work ethic and would rather spend our time figuring out how to be our own boss rather than being THE boss. We’re one of the most educated generations in history and we’re usually applying to jobs that we’re overqualified and under paid to do. We’re willing to take the next best thing that passes by because we have no idea what we want in a job let alone in a lifetime career.
We’re searching for something fulfilling but in the end we wind up taking something stable and consistent.
Following our passions, living out our dreams is for the select few, and definitely not the ones who are drowning in student loan debt.
Which is why I’ve spent most of my time since college in many different jobs. It sounds horrible, but for me, every job I’ve ever had has taught me more about what I don’t want to do than what I do. At 26 I’m at a crossroads in where I want my career to take me and while I stall out, worrying about if I’ll ever be able to buy a house, or how I’ll ever be able to afford an advanced degree, I’m working at a restaurant, pushing mixed drinks and picking crayons off the floor. It’s not glamorous and most of the time I’m ashamed of it, but it pays the bills for now, and it’s just a page in the many chapters of my life so far. What it has given me time to do is focus on what I’m good at, honing in my employable skills and slowly realizing what job I’d like to have after this one inevitably ends.
I want my next job to be exciting, fun and challenging. I want to come to work everyday and feel the impact of what I do, whether it be behind a desk or out with people.
I want it to be meaningful and productive,
somehow helping or contributing positively to my community locally or even my community globally. I want it to be inspiring, a place where anything is possible and creativity is encouraged. It could be for profit, it could not, but regardless I want to motivated by the mission and vision and not just by the paycheck. I want to be employed with wonderful and fun people. I want to be able to Gchat my office bestie and send knowing glances in meetings while stifling laughter. I want to like the people I work with, and not just because I spend 40 plus hours a week with them but because we’re all just trying to make shit happen and it’s better to do it together than separately.
I want to have a boss who I can trust and come to. I want someone who can give positive feedback at the same rate they give the constructive kind because managing people is about encouraging people and trusting that they’e capable of doing what you hired them to do.I want to work in a place where diversity and inclusions aren’t just the fine print you see the end of your employee handbook. Where looking around the room there’s representation of all backgrounds with a fair mix of both sexes, all with different lifestyles and experiences that they bring to the table.
In my ideal world, my job would have a work/life balance that is a requirement and not just a suggestion. They would understand that productive employees have to be healthy mentally, physically, and emotionally in order to rise to exceedingly high expectations. And there would be exceedingly high expectations, lofty goals and almost impossible tasks but none of that would be reached at the expense of spending time with family when possible, or vacation at some point during the year, or just an hour a day to hit up a yoga class or get to the gym before 8.
I hope that it’ll be a rewarding job, one that has literal and figurative benefits that encourage me to show up everyday. If it were the job for me there’d be a strong company culture, a value system, a code of ethics that closely embodies my personal ones.
Because I’d like to be in a position where you can constantly be doing better,
taking on more challenges, doing things that expand your professional and personal growth in any direction. Not just in that, “if you work hard you can advance” type way that employers say during interviews, but in a sincere way, in a, “we believe in your abilities” type way.
I want to come in and leave everyday without feeling like my souls being sucked away. Without feeling like my bank account doesn’t match or reflect the amount of energy I put in. So what if my elders think that’s too self serving for a person my age, I’m a human being who know’s their worth, and that’s not a bad thing. Because I want a job that see’s my potential, my commitment, my talent and my skills for what they are and rewards me as such. Not because I demand it, but because they know that investing in me only helps their mission and vision.
In my dream workplace, from day one I’m set up with the tools and support I need to execute my job perfectly. A place where my successes feel like successes and my failures feel like learning experiences that I can take with me to my next job, or my next job after that. The job market may make other people scramble and settle for less but I know there’s a place out there that will have all these things in spades and will be just as happy to hire me as I am in finding them.