Monday, March 16, 2015

Monday Musings

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On dream jobs

I read about 10-15 resumes a day and many of them begin or end with this line - 'I hope you can seriously consider my application as this is my dream job'. How do you know it is going to be your dream job before you even start work?

Are you currently in a job you love or still looking for that dream job? This post is for you.

Two months on the job for those guys and I get a long email or whatsapp (whatsapp?!) saying something like this - 'Dear Hiring Manager, I regret to inform you that I ...' basically he/she wants to quit. Here are the top reasons listed -

3. There are too many hidden expectations I did not know about
2. My personality is not well-suited for this job
1. This is not what I thought the job would be like

The truth is out, this wasn't the dream job you envisioned it to be. And that's okay, but the more pressing question is - are you well-suited for the job of your dreams?


There's this portion of teacher-student dialogue which deals with Career Guidance. When it comes to the section on 'ideal work situation', here's what some of the 14 year-olds had to say, (brackets) depict my prompts -

1. I want to earn a lot of money (specifically?) maybe, one million by the age of thirty.
2. I hope that my job allows me to work from home (doing?) playing computer games all day?
3. I want to be a doctor (oh you're interested in medicine?) no, I heard they make millions.
4. My dream is to be a stay-home mum (why?) then I can bake all day!
5. A normal 8 to 5 job would be nice (hmm...) with 30 days of leave (more thoughtful silence)

You might be thinking, these are silly, young and idealistic answers. But, if we probe further, how many of us have really come out of this mindset?


If you'd like to read, here are some of my personal lessons when it comes to work. . .

a. There is no perfect job

Just as there is no perfect marriage, since I am imperfect myself, even if I married 'the one' there would still be rough edges we need to work out. Likewise, there is no perfect job or company.

There are however jobs that will allow us to be challenged daily and that will grow us in our weaknesses while honing our strengths. On the flip side, there are also jobs that bog us down with tasks other than our main jobs, we do not get to do what we love.

When I step into a new job / company, I want to find a place where I can work with young people, where I can play games and run activities that will inspire learning. If I had to work at a desk all day or deal with numbers, either the company will go bust or I will go bonkers.

a. - there is no perfect job, but there are jobs where I can apply my strengths effectively. 

b. There is no one-size fits all work environment 

Upon entering a company, you'll find that different people will have different expectations of you. That's because they are different, in the same way, they probably have different work ethics and desk styles. Each individual is unique, even if the company is driven towards a common vision and therefore seeks to hire staff of a similar pattern, You just can't mask or mute individuality.

As I mentioned before in this post, I have the sleep pattern of a five year-old, that is nine in the evening to five in the morning. Most of my colleagues however are night owls, which is fine! They prefer to work past dinner and at times even past midnight, the later it is the more efficient they are. If I did the same, it would be completely counter-productive because I would only be half-awake. So, I come in earlier than everyone else and as a result, I leave earlier than everyone else, yes my boss included.

Speaking of my boss, his desk consist of a laptop and a paper box of needed materials. Whereas, a cute colleague who sits on his right, has photographs of friends, palm-sized plants and an assortment of stuffed toys. Work wise, their both highly competent and decisive individuals, but when it comes to their desks, they are literally worlds apart.

If we were to follow a set-pattern just because everyone else were doing it, we might as well be a machine in a factory line. Actually no, even those things have unique tasks.

b. - there is no one ideal work environment, so create your own pattern rather than mimicking another's.

c. Competence can lead to complacency

J.G. used this line against me when I managed to get a bicycle pedal lodged under my right knee whilst attempting some ridiculous stunt.

Its so true too when it comes to work, some of us are so good at what we do we think we've attained the highest level of achievement. And then what?

Well its great to be good at our jobs, there's always room for improvement. Mastered powerpoint? Learn to use excel. Mastered public speaking? Learn the art of listening. A staff that constantly seeks to grow not only brings added-value to the company, but gains lifelong skills for his or herself.

If you think the courses you attend are useless, these are some 'skills' I got certified for as a teacher - kayaking, white-water rafting, floorball coaching, national exam marking. . . and the like. Its a strange assortment of achievements I have listed here, but you never know when they will come in handy. A long trip to New Zealand maybe.

 c. competence can lead to complacency, but humility shows depth and maturity


This has been a long post, but I do have this to say - I love my job. It's not a dream job for sure, and there are days where I drag my feet to office. But when I see students engaged and challenging themselves or teachers furiously scribbling learning points, I know I'm in the right job for me.

Have a great week ahead!!


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