I don’t have to love this, to do this, right?

The two-day job workshops concentrated on bringing out the aspects of past jobs that were most enjoyable. What did you achieve in this role? Which skills did you most enjoy using? What did you enjoy most about this position, this company, this manager?

The intent is clear: create Frankenstein’s job for yourself, by assembling the best bits of past roles and aiming for the Uberjob, your perfect employment partner.

Which is lovely, and I can see that working for some of my fellow would-be-workers as we leap from our slowly sinking ship. They, after all, have transferable skills, or qualifications. I’m a little lacking in both, it has to be said, but the real problem is larger.

I’m looking for part-time work, because my priority has to be Weasel Welfare. I have to get them to school, and I have to be there to pick them up again. They also enjoy some after school activities, and it would be sad if they couldn’t continue with their skating or swimming lessons because I had to keep chipping pennies from the workface.

So, I’ve done the exercises, analysing what I liked and disliked about my employment history, and I’ve come to the startling conclusion that my ideal job would be working from home as a writer. Duh. Except, as I have proved over the last decade, that doesn’t bring in enough income to pay for food and electricity and the other little necessities of life. Working at what you love is a good philosophy, and I see the point, I really do, but it doesn’t always apply.

When I went to the workshops, I was hoping they would analyse my skills and point me towards a job I was suitable for but hadn’t previously considered. I was hoping they would FIND ME WORK. Instead I have access to their marvellous jobsearch engine that searches all the other jobsearch engines I was already using, and I’m doing the same old searches to find the same old jobs I don’t want and can’t do.

Before I came to work at this company, I had a job I didn’t particularly like. It involved standing up for the whole shift, and answering the same questions over and over. The people were nice, the company had a healthy regard for its employees, and the social setup was pretty good. But I didn’t like the job itself. The same could be broadly said to be true of this job. The actual nitty gritty of the work is dull – I’m a proofreader, what do you expect? It’s NOT exciting work. But I was good at it, and I did it with enthusiasm and determination. When I am at work, I do the job, and I do it to the best of my ability. I don’t think you have to love your job to do it well. When I worked as the Manager of the allowances section, I was checking formulae and signing forms. I had to check through a rulebook eight inches thick to determine whether people were permitted certain expenses or not. It’s hard to get excited about that kind of work, but it was my JOB, so I did it and I like to think I did it well.

I’m looking for a new job, and I don’t expect to find one that will make me sing and dance as I jump out of bed each morning. I’ll settle for a nice working environment, for the chance to have a coffee on hand and the ability to use the washrooms when I need them, not when I’m scheduled a break. Other than those requirements, (and a regular schedule that doesn’t involve weekends) I’m pretty much open. Any suggestions?

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4 responses to “I don’t have to love this, to do this, right?

  1. Here are some suggestions: 1) Write some tourist travel articles for people visiting England sell to airlines, tourist/travel mags. (Places to go and things to do that the journals don’t tell you – kinda the alternative time travellers guide to the UK), 2) Sign yourself up for dial up tantric sex on demand, – you know the 0921 numbers in the UK? I think, but I’m not sure though; then write a best selling book – sell the film rights to an adaptation of the book, about a guy who is juggling family life, incoming bills, but pretends to his wife that he is a phone in advisory service for the elderly and has too keep the phone sex truth from her, until at a school PTA a friend recognises his voice and threatens to spill the beans…… or 3) find yourself a part time trainers job – you’d be fabulous at team building skills, circus workshops; corporate companies pay shedloads for this kind of thing.

    • Thanks Rosie,
      I think maybe I should talk to Frank about his coaching busness, see if he has any tips for me. The juggling is an interesting idea – I’d need to start practising again though, because my last show was a real let down for me. The audience loved it, but they have no real discernment…..

  2. Well, one thing I can do is share a laugh with a list of DON’T’s published today in the Sacramento Bee, p. B1. These are *true* job seeking strategies that didn’t work. (I couldn’t make this stuff up).

    1) One candidate asked for a sip of the interviewer’s coffee.
    2) Another asked, “What company is this again?”
    3) Another candidate cut off the interviewer and flipped him the bird in traffic before the interview.
    4) But my all time favorite was the guy who showed up naked to interview for a local welding job, and then wrestled with the cop who came to arrest him.

    So based on my work experience, which is limited, but in several cases involved making good lemonade out of jobs that sometimes seemed to be lemons, I would suggest you:

    1) Listen to your gut – if you feel queasy after the interview it will probably only get worse.
    2) Wear clothes to the interview.

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