By Rachel Yasmineh
You may have heard of the expression ‘find a job you love and you will never work a day in your life’. Well, call me cynical, or a realist, but that’s not true. Do you really think that people who have a job that they love never work a day in their life? I think you will find that they will profusely disagree with this, and in fact, you’ll find they have worked their butt off to get where they are today.
I remember sitting in a meeting with my year advisor when I was 16 and being asked what I wanted to do when I finished high school. I looked at them blankly and said “I dunno, I’m only 16”. When push came to shove at 19 and I needed to choose a course to study at university, my logic was literally “I like to travel, I’ll study tourism” . That is all the thought I put into what I studied.
My point is: the percentage of people who love what they do probably sits around the fourth decimal point mark – which means the likelihood of that being you is rather slim. Sorry if that’s harsh, but it’s true. If you don’t know what you want to do, you are much better off finding job that you like rather than trying to find one you love.
In all the jobs that I have had, I never truly loved what I did (or do), but I increasingly liked what I was doing. Each job taught me something about the workplace and about myself. This meant that every time I started a new job, I had a better idea about what I enjoyed and what I was good at. It allowed me to start narrowing down what I liked to do. (If my boss is reading this, please know that my current job is the one I like best so far!).
I always thought that when I finished uni I would get some job that would be perfectly suited to my skills. The reality was, I didn’t know any more about what I wanted to do for an occupation than I did when I started my degree. I had a broader set of interests in different fields but I couldn’t say that I wanted to be a ‘blah blah’. In all honesty, I wish I had explored more options when I was at uni. I wish I had joined some clubs or programs or did more than one internship.
My first job out of uni sucked. It sucked so badly. I worked hard and lasted 13 months before moving on to a better job at a different organisation. Upon leaving, I wrote a manual on how to do my job (because I am a nice person) and it was then I realised how much I had learnt in that last year. I didn’t love that job – I hated it – but I found out that I liked events and marketing, so I ran with that.
So, my advice would be this:
- Get as much experience at uni as you can so you have some clue about what you like to do: Join a club; go on exchange; join a leadership program; do more than one internship.
- Be prepared to work hard in your first year out of uni. You may have a shiny new degree but you are about to learn all the things that you absolutely cannot learn in a lecture theatre (like mail merging and how to use the super complicated printer)
- Find a job that you like. Learn as much as you can from this job; take this information and find the next job that you like.
- Appreciate the lessons learned from each job and eventually, after finding jobs that you like, you might be lucky enough to find the one that you love.
Above all, make sure you have fun at work! I know ‘fun’ and ‘work’ are not usually used in the same sentence, but if you’re much more likely to like a job if you’re having fun doing it. By fun I don’t mean slacking off either. Some of the most fun I have had at work has been during the busiest periods, when I am in the trenches with my colleagues, working long hours and dealing with insane customers. There is a sense of achievement and comradeship that you will rarely find elsewhere when you shed sweat and tears with your colleagues to meet a shared goal.
So when you finish uni, find a job you like and start your journey to finding something you love. It may not actually exist yet; but if you keep working hard, learn about what you like, and keep having fun, you’ll find it.
Featured image courtesy of Pexels.