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:
- 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.
- To find/ link in with like-minded people so that we can all share our ideas/ stories/ successes.
- 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,
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!