If you work full time, the chances are you spend the most of your life at work. So, it’s important to do a job that you actually enjoy. But for most people, this is not always the reality. We tend to think about bills that need paying, a mortgage or rent that needs paying, and keeping food on the table. So, even when the job we’re in isn’t fulfilling us in the way it should, we might stick it out for the long-haul because we have commitments that depend on that money!
But that’s not the way it has to be! In fact, we should all be in a job we love – and there is one out there for everyone, according to career consultant John Lees, author of How to Get a Job You’ll Love. And he has got a point. Just think about how stressful work can be sometimes, even in a job that we enjoy, then imagine the everyday grind in a job that you can’t stand, and how much of an effect it has on you when you are stressed in it, too. It You may have convinced yourself the job you?re doing is a means to an end, but when you’re not happy, this will have an effect on the way you do this job and, even worst, on you and your family.
Lees says that when we get into this mindset of just doing a job for the money, even when we hate it to the core, we have got ourselves into thinking in compartments: “This is the compartment where I work. This is my family compartment. This small compartment is the area where I really enjoy myself.”
He says that this mentality, and being unhappy in your job is not what is going to hold down your job – if anything, he says, employers tend to get rid of these typesof people first! So, in the long run, you’ll be doing yourself more damage
So what can you do about this? How do you get a job that you love, that pays the bills, too, and without having to turn your life upside down in the process with extensive training that impacts on your finances, and the little time you have after work to spend with your family?
Start by putting your thoughts on paper:
- the really good stuff – i.e. things that you enjoy, and that stimulate you
- things I could live without – e.g. dull and boring things about our life or work
- things that I put up with at work that I need like a hole in the head – this could be anything, even a boss from hell!
Once you have put pen to paper, you may start getting ideas about what your dream job would be. The next step is to work out a plan to get there.
Lees recommends having a life plan of say 5 to 10 years to reach your goal. But, don’t let this put you off! That is the time in which you will become or establish the dream! In the meantime, you can set yourself some bitesize targets to help you get there.
So, if you’ve always dreamt about being a midwife for example, you know that you will need to have a nursing diploma/degree, and then do some specialist training to become a practising midwife. This will take about 4 years in total. To get started, you’ll need to look at your current qualifications and find out what else you might need to get onto that diploma/degree course.
And, obviously, you’ll need to factor in the money side of things. Can your family afford for you to take time out to study? What work can you do while you study? Can you get any grants towards your upkeep. And childcare – can you get your child into a cr?che at your college/university of choice?
It may seem like a lengthy list, but a lot of these initial questions can be answered in a college/university prospectus, with a careers adviser such as Learn Direct.
But not every dream job means retraining. For some people it may mean revamping an old CV and brushing up on interview skills. Or starting up your own business…