Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Pick a Career You Will Love

I bumped into a student on the bus today and she asked me what it was like to work - why people always say that going to school is more fun than working. I explained to her that, in school, you learn many different subjects and topics each day. Every day is fresh and exciting because there are new concepts, new ideas, and often very different ideas. At work, however, you are learning the equivalent of one subject every day for 8 hours each day. You might get very good at that subject and become a specialist in it, but it is the same thing every day. She didn't like the sound of that. I think everyone likes variety.

It's funny how students work so hard to get to the working life, only to become embittered over time by the monotony of their career.
What can be done? Here are some ideas:

1. Choose a job where you'll do something you wouldn't mind doing every day, 8 hours a day. If you really, really like the subject that you're working on, it won't be so bad.

2. Take breaks. Sometimes working folk forget to take breaks. They work, work, work, work, work, and then burn out. If they took more regular breaks, they wouldn't be fried by the end of the day.

3. Make friends at work. It's fun to have people to share experiences with and to vent with in case of a bad day. You're going to spend most of 5 days a week with your co-workers, make sure they're people that you like working with.

4. Try out new opportunities. Maybe you're thinking about a change in career, or there's something you've always wanted to try out? Go ahead and taste test these opportunities. Take baby steps by taking a part-time course, doing some freelance work, attending some related groups or workshops, or taking on a volunteer opportunity. Sometimes, the little changes are enough to make working life more enjoyable.

5. Worst case scenario, get a new job. Sometimes you'll really hate your job and nothing about it will make you happy. It's okay to get a new job. Most of the students in our generation will end up changing their careers sometime in their life. If things really aren't working out for you, get out and start fresh. Don't force yourself to stay in a situation that might make you ill overtime because it's stressing you out so much.

So there's my two-bit on working life and how to make things better for yourself.

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