I thought I’d talk a bit about some of the experiences I had this year and the year before in terms of finding work I liked and work I wanted to do and found meaningful.
Actually, I am still looking for that to be honest but I think I’ve come across some concepts, some ideas that I will pay more attention to in the future when selecting a job or when selecting a company to work for.
Just to give you a brief summary: this summer and the past summer as well I was working in the UK, in London, and I had two jobs. I didn’t really — when I went there — set out to find the perfect job but I simply went there and I wanted to find just any job to be able to live there.
Now of course, you have to make sure that in some situation you just have a job to earn money, to live. Obviously that is the basis and if you don’t have that covered it is really hard to expect more from your job than to get paid.
However, I think a lot of people especially in my generation — which would be late Millenials I suppose — have a lot of expectation of the work they do which I think is a very positive thing. Now you could say that we are entitled and that our grandparents worked factory jobs and did not care or have the time to even care about the meaningfulness of their work but we do and I think that’s a positive sign.
So, finding work that you actually love doing is probably one of the greatest quests you could embark on in life and something I have been working on myself.
As I mentioned I had two jobs in the UK: the first one was a sales job for a wine company and the second one was a marketing job for a yoghurt company. So, I have been in the food space unexpectedly and at some point in time I absolutely hated both of these jobs…
I think that happened mainly because there were two things that I did not pay attention to when applying and doing the interviews. The first one was that I did not even get to know the people I worked with and the office I worked in, especially in the first job. I went to the interviews, I thought the job would match my skills, the salary was ok, but I never in the whole process got to see who I would be working with and were I would be working. I only met my boss.
I suppose it is overlooked a lot of times, especially when applying through a site like LinkedIn where the only thing you see is maybe the company logo, the job description and the salary and you have no idea what the people are like that actually work there.
This is such an important aspect because if you like the people you work with it can make the job so much better and render even trivial work meaningful. And especially important that you share the same values as the people you work with because that will create trust among you.
That transitions into the second idea which I also think is very important when looking for the right job and the right organization to work for. I failed to do this in the second job I held during my time in the UK…
There I knew the poeple I would work with but had no idea about the company’s values and goals. In that case it becomes very hard to do work on a daily basis especially if that work is not that inspiring from the beginning if your values are not aligned with those of the organization.
So, in the future I will spend a lot more time looking at the organization and researching the founders and the founders’ values as well; what’s the goal of the company?
I sincerely hope that I will be able to pick jobs and companies that fit me a lot better in terms of the work and in terms of finding work that I love doing.