2015: The Year of Doing

I’ve spent a long time pondering my career situation but at the same time not really doing a whole lot about it. This is the absolute worst possible strategy as sticking around in a job you’re unhappy in only causes resentment to build up inside. I’ve come to realise, that if I you’re going to consciously stick around in a job you’re not crazy about (as I did last year due to a sense of commitment to the project I was working on), it’s best for your own health and happiness to buck up and determine to see the work through with the positive and proactive attitude it deserves.

Instead I have let negative feelings fester, so that work I merely didn’t enjoy to begin with, has now become unbearable.

You live and learn- and I won’t make that mistake in 2015. So what is next for me then if I’m not happy in my current career?

Well, firstly, I’ve decided to move jobs. Ideally, of course, I’d like to move to my dream job…but looking for your dream job can be paralysing. Placing all your hopes and dreams on the next step you take is terrifying. It’s what I did last year- I didn’t want to do anything unless I knew it was going to be the absolute right thing to do, the perfect decision. How naïve of me! In life there are no perfect decisions, we can only do what we think is best at the time. And doing something is better than doing nothing. So this year, I’m not looking for my dream job, I’m looking for a different job. One that’s quite different to what I’m doing now, but maybe not the drastically different move I daydreamed about last year. Just a move.

I’ve lots of dreams about what I might like to do with my life career wise. Some at the forefront of my list right now are:

  • Manoeuvre myself into a Marketing role (difficult with limited Marketing experience!)
  • Becoming a Teacher (requiring two years of no earnings during training and potentially endless years of unpredictable employment given the current situation in Ireland).
  • Set up my own business (doing what I’m not sure!)
  • Quit work and do an MBA next year (…then what?)

But I’ve spent so long thinking about these things and weighing up the pros and cons that quite frankly I’m too terrified to do anything about them. I’m so frustrated with work that I don’t think I’m in any frame of mind to be making any “big” decisions right now. So I’m going to start with a small one, I’m going to change jobs. If the job I end up in happens to be my dream job, fantastic, problem-solved! If it’s not, at the very least I’ll be in a better frame of mind to start thinking about some of the options above.

The job search has started in earnest this week. Looking for a job is hard work, and pretty demoralising, but also very exciting!

Anybody else out there on a New Year job hunt? Would love to hear of other fellow job seekers tips and successes!

Daydream Believer


My Dream Job……..Characteristics

I did the following “creative writing” type exercise early last year when I swore I was going to sort my career out in 2014. That wasn’t to be, but better late than never!

Anyway, I’d read some career advice about having a vision of goal of what your ideal career/ job would be. However, the further I’ve progressed in my career, the less clear I’ve been as to what my actual job should be, but I have become clearer as to what I feel the characteristics of my ideal job should be. So I basically wrote a description of my “dream” job containing all the job characteristics I would like (and feel are lacking at present). I then rewrote the description, in the present tense hoping the job “title” would reveal itself to me!

It didn’t! But I’d love to hear your suggestions as to what job it sounds like to you!

My Ideal Job

What do I want from a career? I don’t want it to be purely what “I want” i.e. working selfishly to fulfil my own needs. I understand that I (along with everyone) have to serve others to an extent through work- but I do want to see the purpose of this service, and not only that, but to be passionate about the purpose. I don’t want to waste hours and days feeling unmotivated. I don’t mind what I do as long as I’m happy (and not making others unhappy)! Bonus points for a job that feels like I’m doing good/ making a positive impact! I like being busy, but not in the sense of me working alone with a long list of things to do, rather busy in the sense of people coming to me, asking and answering questions/queries, communicating in general (i.e. having to respond to lots of external influences). I want to be busy but also able to switch off at the end of the day and go home, to enjoy things outside of work and not feel under pressure to constantly work long hours. I also want to be willing to work late/ at home when I have to (because I am passionate about the work I do and feel it matters). I would love to help people/ help make the world a better place through the work I do. I want to be able to make a living and to live comfortably, but not excessively lavishly. I want to really get on with the people I work with and to have fun with them when at work.

Future Me- I’ve Made it!

I love my job. It’s hard work for sure and I don’t always jump out of bed in the morning, but I know that people depend on me and I can really see and am passionate about the purpose of the work I do. I’ve never felt for a second in this role that the work I do is worthless and because of this, I’m always motivated to give it my best. I’m happy in this job, and feel so lucky that I’m able to help others through my work. The role is extremely busy and demanding, but in a good way! I’m constantly meeting new people, organising events, responding to emails, phone calls, text messages- it really is just one thing after another. One great thing about my job, is that the hours we generally operate allow me to completely switch off at the end of the day, and thus to make the most of my home life. Sometimes I have to work late or bring my work home, but it doesn’t bother me at all; I’m happy to do it because I feel the work is important and I know it is making a positive impact to the world we live in. In terms of earnings, my salary is pretty good. I can buy all of the things I need, along with a lot of the things I want! I don’t live in the lap of luxury, but I wouldn’t want to either. My workmates are just great; they make work fun even on the tough days!

While my dream  job “title” didn’t reveal itself to me, I have found it handy to have a short description to hand of “my dream job characteristics” which I look over from time to time when I lose focus.

Give it a try if you think it could help you!

Daydream Believer

“Re-imagining Work”

I’m pretty sure I didn’t coin this phrase, but it seems apt so what the heck! Welcome to my blog!

I am a college graduate in my mid-twenties and am working in the professional services industry. I work for a great company, have great variety in the role I’m in, am paid well, have great opportunities for advancement, networking, travel, you name it- basically, the job provides all the things that were on my list for what I wanted from a career when leaving college. But while the job ticked all the boxes, when I actually got down to the day-to-day work involved, for some reason I find I am just not satisfied with my job.

After a lot of self-reflection, over the last year or so I’ve moved from a general ‘just because’ feeling to a deeper understanding of why I’m unhappy with my chosen career. I’ve  identified the following as the main factors which are limiting my job satisfaction, and I’m interested to hear if these are common among other workers out there so please do let me know if the following have any resonance for you personally:

Passion, “the object of a person’s intense interest or enthusiasm”, is a word I keep coming back to when trying to express why I’m feeling dissatisfied through my work. My job is not currently my passion but I would love it to be. At the moment, I just don’t feel a genuine interest in the nature of the work and as time goes on, I’m finding it harder and harder to give it my all. The result is that I feel I have finally reached a state of professional lethargy- not a good thing for either my employer or myself.
I should note that this is very personal to me and there are plenty of people I work with who are so passionate and engaged, it really is inspiring. I believe I will be able to do my best work when I have worked out what is the object of MY intense interest or enthusiasm.

Lack of Interaction
I, along with many of my peers, fall under the category of a “Knowledge Worker”, roles often lauded in a world where the “Knowledge Economy” is king. In my experience, however, this type of work tends to involves working alone a lot on discrete pieces of work, which can be isolating, even when doing this work as part of a larger team. For example, I could spend days researching a particular topic only linking in with my manager occasionally to report progress. I find myself jumping to respond to emails or pick up the phone because of the enjoyment some human interaction can bring!

Contribution to Society
As time has gone on I feel more and more doubtful about the value of the work I am involved in. At the outset, I truly believed I could make a difference through a career in business. However, as time goes on, and I’ve been exposed to the jargon the politics, the reports about reports about reports, I’m finding it hard to truly believe I’m doing the world any good through my work.

As a fairly recent college graduate, I’m still struggling with the lack of freedom that working life brings. Being a college student gives you a huge amount of freedom and autonomy over your own time- bar circa 2 weeks of exams a year, a college student has complete freedom as long (as you hit those assignment deadlines)! A worker on the other hand is accountable to someone else for at least five days a week. I am coming to realise that I would like even a fraction of this “college” freedom from my future career.

I hope the above doesn’t sound like too much of a rant! For the record, and for fear of sounding like a Negative Nancy, I actually love the company I work for! The people are lovely and management are incredibly supportive of my career development. I also know that even if this were the worst job in the, I’d still be very fortunate. I’ve been blessed with a lovely family, friends, a good education and a solid job and means of making a living for myself. So I really don’t want to come across as self-pitying. I know I’m lucky and I truly do appreciate every day that I’m given. But it is because I’m so passionate and thankful for the gift of life in general that I aspire to transform my working life into something I thrive on too. I do spend a lot of time at work!

So anyway, given my dissatisfaction with my current work situation, I came up with the idea to start this blog, for a couple of reasons:

  1. To track my progress as I try to move towards to a job, career, lifestyle that is closer to my “reimagined” view of the world of work.
  2. To find/ link in with like-minded people so that we can all share our ideas/ stories/ successes.
  3. And finally- if I can inspire or help others in some way to “re-imagine” how they can play a role in the working world along the way, all the better!

Please comment if you’re going through something similar career-wise and think we can help each other.

Bye for now,

Daydream Believer

P.S. I have just googled and I’m right, I did indeed copy the phrase “Re-imagining Work”! Apologies and thank you to whoever coined it!