Friday, December 19, 2008

Happy with your work?

Just what do we work for? What is the number one primary reason we devote so much of our lives to our work and careers? Is it for the money or do we have to enjoy what we do?
I say this as I am about to embark on a major jobhunting spree, though what is out there just days before Christmas as recession deepens, I do not know.
Within minutes of arriving ‘home’ last Friday afternoon, after 14 hours flying and nearly three more on a train, struggling to stay awake from jetlag and lack of sleep, I was presented with newspaper cuttings of various jobs Mum and Dad had found for me.
One job seemed notably underpaid and the other, well I doubt it is me.
But I have to ‘diversify’ I was told. This other job was with an expanding government agency and the media is dying.
I have diversified throughout my journalism career and can be considered an accomplished all-rounder. But am I ready to chuck away nearly 20 years work experience for something wholly new? Maybe not yet. I want to make use of the skills and experience I have gained.
And as this other job was so very different, would I like it?
Much as I have grumbled about pay in journalism, I have usually enjoyed the work for its variety and creativity.
But I was told that times change and so should I. A job is a job and I need one.
My policeman brother can’t wait to retire, and he works because he enjoys the paycheque. The same applies to my sister-in-law, who works in HR management.
But should you apply for a job because it is a job and you need one?
I have tried that in the past and it has soon backfired.
In Perth two years back, I applied for a job because I needed one. I got it and on my second day, I was sat thinking, ‘I don’t like this’ what the hell am I doing here?’ It was neither what I expected, nor what I wanted.
The new employer must have had similar thoughts and just moments later, I was out the door with a week’s pay.
I see little point in going through that again, talking your way into something you don’t really want to do. Surely you should stick to your knitting, what you know best and what you want to do?
However, to keep certain people happy, I have applied for the job, so we’ll see how it goes.
But what do you think? Is it all about money, or should you enjoy your work too?


Adolf Fiinkensein said...

So, in your CV did you list your Perth tryst with employment under 'unstable' or just leave it out?

Really Fairfax, you must learn there are somethings you just don't print on a blog!

I wish you well in your attempt at infiltration of the British Civil Service. You'll be able to spearhead the campaign to throw the moors out of Europe, to denazify Bradford and to bring the civilizing influence of breast feeding and conservatism to the pagan border tribes of Geordieland.

Anonymous said...

FFM, I have to agree with adolf. You know you are making a huge mistake, even Oz is a better option than the UK these days (so far) but there again...Geordieland ... *sigh* (coming from a Lancashire lass)If you need a 'companion' come back and get a mail-order, don't lose your life in the mire that is now a dead, once was, Great Britain.
You do need to move on, print media IS dying a rapid death and YOU are suffering a severe case of male menopause, get some bloody male HRT and find your brain and a new direction.
Medusa :ox

Anonymous said...

Depends on your age and circumstances.

If you're in a career dead end and aged the wrong side of 40 - then money's money, sunshine.

So you only do it for the money - and for as much as you can manage. Working two jobs if need be.

Your rellie in the police has got it exactly right.

Dave Mann said...

Maybe there's a (hidden) message for the UK Police in that story... is your brother a good officer and can he be relied on to make sound judgement calls and give his job the dedication it requires?

I wouln't recommend spending the better part of most days a week working at something you hate, FFM. Its bad for the mind and you'll end up a bitter shrivelled alcohoholic with persistent back problems and all your teeth will fall out. On top of that, if you chose the civil service, your breath will smell of cabbage and you will start to look out at the world and paw at it mentally and physically, with that half-gesture of desperation, like a zoo animal which has long since learned that there is no escape.

Your life will become boring and pointless and you will wake up in the night sweating and convinced that you have been trapped in another world. Waking up won't help either because you won't be able to distinguish between realities ansd eventually you will go insane and start to dribble.

No... I definitely wouldn't recommend chosing a job just for the money! Mind you, just living in UK might do all this to you anyway, regardless of who you work for..... why did you go back?

Strings said...

When you are yong and need to acquire asseets, the job is about the money - get as much as you an as quick as you can. THEN, once the stuff is yours and you only need cash-flow to pay the bills, don't do anything that doesn't make you want to get up and go in the mornings!

THAT is the big difference I see between the UK and here. I worked like crazy to be mortgage free in a big house by 30 with two fully paid cars in the garage! JUst like so many Kiwis do (or at least used to). However, people back in Hampshire thought I was daft! THey spent the money on whisky, beer and women - the mortgage was just a fact of life. When I left blighty to come here I had a friend about my age who still had 20 years to go on his mortgage, and who added to it every year to pay private school fees for his children!

Anyway hinney. Gan ye tappy lappy doon the lonnen to the High-Level and have a pint of Amber for me (can't take the Brown any more!) and if Johnny Handle's still there tell him Strings said Hi.

Merry christmas. You'll be back :-)