How can we ensure that we will enjoy our next job or even more importantly enjoy working in the business we are considering buying into?
It's common knowledge that a huge percentage of people are unhappy in their current work. I keep on hearing different figures bandied around, but I think we all know someone who is constantly complaining about their work.
For starters it helps hugely if we have an interest in the work we do. For those who plan their careers around their interests, the chances of job satisfaction are automatically increased ten fold.
So, how do we identify what our interests are and where should we start?
I guess the best place to start is to ask ourselves a few simple questions such as:
1. What are the things we do where time just flies by? Where we might stay up extra late to get something done, but we don't feel tired. Where we can get so absorbed in what we are doing that the house might be burning down around us, or everyone else is experiencing chaos but we are feeling cocooned in our own little world.
2. What do we like to read about? If we find time to get to the local library or book store, what types of books or magazines do we get drawn to reading? What does our internet browsing history say about us? What You Tube channels have we spent time on over the last year or even further back? What type of shops do we like to visit?
3. Who do we most enjoy spending time with? What type of person would we most likely gravitate towards at a party, a meetup, church meeting or even in the meal room at work? Who do we follow on Pinterest or Instagram? What topics of conversation are likely to come up when chatting with these people? Who do you admire and look up to? Why do you admire these people? Often we look up to someone because they act, speak, or work in a manner or role in which we aspire towards.
Generally interests don't change a lot during a person's life, we just keep adding new ones.
I have heard of many people dropping some of their old interests when they meet a new partner, get married, have kids or get so bogged down in their work that they don't have time to spend doing what they once loved.
What type of clubs did we belong to when we were younger? What activities did we enjoy at school?
Sometimes it can be a good idea to chat with our parents, siblings, partner or good friends who have known us for a long time to find out what they can remember about interests that we enjoyed in the past.
Don't be suprised if you've lost your enthusiasm for something which held your interest in the past. This can happen as we move through our different life stages and develop new friendships, join new clubs and start hanging out with a new crowd of people.
My first job as a school leaver was working as a customer services officer in the Post Office. I had collected stamps since my early teens and some of the people I worked with at the time also collected stamps. When I left this job to join the Police I stopped collecting stamps and for over 30 years my collection was hidden away in a carton under the stairs at my parents home.
Recently this old forgotten interest of mine was rekindled when I saw a poster of an old New Zealand stamp which had sold at auction for many thousands of dollars. On seeing the enlarged version of this historical stamp, I was able to admire the artists work and from that moment on I started viewing stamps as pieces of art rather than collectible assets.
On a side note, some New Zealand and International artists catapulted their reputations after entering Government sponsored competitions set up to attract artists needed to design new stamp issues.
The common practice these days when preparing your resume or CV is to leave out your interests, however, I would suggest that if your interests relate to the role you are applying for, then definitely mention them. This may be the one factor which separates your resume from the many others. Most employers realize that staff who have a strong interest in things related to their work will prove to be a more engaged and motivated employee.
Someone just recently told me how she was offered an internal position over other more senior employees from her company as her employer recognized that she loved what she did and they therefore saw her as a natural fit for the new role.
I hope this post helps you identify your next best work option and remember the old saying. When you love the work you do, you will never work another day in your life.
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