I graduated university over five years ago and have been working full-time since January 2010 with a short break when I moved to the UK.
Since mid-December I have been jobless and on the hunt for a new opportunity. It seems that my skills are in demand but I have yet to find a new job, although hopefully it won’t be that much longer.
Before losing my job, I hadn’t been entirely happy with my situation for a while. I was considering finding a new job but I also found myself questioning my … path, I suppose. I found myself looking at the big picture, wondering where I was going and where my career would lead me.
All I want is to be happy, in a role that challenges me and doesn’t bore me but that doesn’t ask too much of me either. I want to work for a company that values my contribution (and remunerates it accordingly), where I am treated with respect and there is a balance between what I am giving and taking. I want to be part of a team that works together and sticks together with managers sticking up for their team as well. I want to work for a company where I get the sense that I am appreciated, that I am not just one of many or easily replaced.
Having some real benefits would be nice – by real benefits I mean company sick pay, maybe a pension scheme with the employer meeting my contributions, but mainly sick pay. I don’t want to have to worry about getting sick – not that I do very often, having only had one sick day in the past 3 years, but it’s a little unnerving knowing you’d lose your income if you were to become sick or if you were in an accident.
In my industry working overtime is very common. It is probably not be a view popular with employers but I believe that overtime should only be necessary every now and then. If there is an urgent deadline, sure, I am willing to stay late. But it shouldn’t be a daily occurrence – to me that is a sign that there is a problem with management or that the company is understaffed. Given that jobs in my industry are not that well paid and overtime is not paid either (if they were or if it was, it would be a different matter), in my opinion it isn’t right of a company or manager to expect employees to do overtime all the time. Wanting a healthy work life balance doesn’t make you a bad employee and it doesn’t make you lazy.
I am willing to work hard and go the extra mile for a job, but beyond my contracted hours, I expect my employer to appreciate it and be grateful for this, not consider it a given.
My time is valuable. I only have so much of it every day, and I don’t consider my career to be the purpose of my life. I work to live, I don’t live to work.
Beyond having a job that feels rewarding and makes me happy and pays a decent salary, I don’t have huge career ambitions. It’s not that I don’t have ambitions, but I have no desire to be a CEO one day. I don’t want my professional life to be that stressful. I don’t want it to be what I live for. But I don’t think there is anything wrong with that, is there?