When I started my job search and decided to look back on the last 22 jobs that I have had, I had no idea how far my ruminations would take me. Now that I’m nearing the end of the “thinking” phase, I’ve created a shortlist of the top ten things I want in a job. And the tenth one on the list is kind of the “pre-condition” to even consider a job.
It seems a bit strange to think in terms of what I “don’t” want, and yet that’s where I start. Most of my early jobs were ones that I hated. Sure, they were sucky jobs by themselves, but they were also sucky for ME. I hated them. Piece-work, commissions, front-line service delivery, manual tasks. All of which worked against me. Some of that too was because they were about private-sector tasks — widget production, in a sense.
That’s not what interests me. Up until I had my first real government job at the Ministry of Education in B.C., I wasn’t sure I was even on the right track. I couldn’t help but worry that I would get into the job and either not be any good at it or just plain hate it.
When I did get started in government (part 4), it was a huge relief. Part of that was the “office job”, part of it was the government, part of it was policy, etc. Some of it was just thinking some of my previous jobs were almost parasitic (such as the telemarketing job).
I know that some jobs are going to suck, just as I know that some individual parts of jobs may suck too. Sometimes I took jobs just to have a job, and then had to make the best of them. I still learned things, even if what I learned took a while to become clear.
I know too that while I need to avoid jobs that obviously don’t suit me, there is also risk too that I can become too emotionally invested in some files, too concerned with a specific outcome rather than relying on the process to move in the right direction.
I know some small things to avoid — like jobs that have too many “bits” and not enough large files, or jobs where we are micro-managing the partners we are supposed to be enabling.
Ultimately? I need a job that’s the right fit for me. And that starts with some key elements.
Government obviously, or at least public sector. Intellect over manual, system over transactions, specific files over a general handling of “bits”, and one where I can manage my level of personal investment without becoming too attached to the outcome.