I still haven't found the job I enjoy yet, so wondering what others are doing when they say they love their job. And was it the job you always wanted?
Those who 'love my job' what do you do?
I'm a technical writer, and I am somewhat surprised to find myself saying this, but I do love my job. I work with a great team of software designers, developers and testers. There is always something new to learn, so the job stays interesting, even though I've been in the same position for almost 10 years. I'm very good at what I do, and that helps to make it fun - even though there are always new challenges, I can be reasonably confident that I am up to them. We have deadlines that we have to push for, but most of the time the stress level in my job is not super high, which is also nice. And I have the flexibility to work from home, which really helps me balance work and family.
This is not the career I trained for or thought I would end up in. As a matter of fact, when I was in college, an acquaintance took a position as a tech writer, and I thought it sounded like an absolutely miserable job. I trained to be a translator, and ended up falling into tech writing when I couldn't support myself on the money I made by translating. I spent the first two years in my new career disliking the job because it wasn't what I was "supposed" to be doing. I'm glad I was able to turn my poor attitude around, because it is a great career for a mom!
Owen'nZoe, how ironic. We have had opposite career paths. I am a software support specialist, and worked with a great team of programmers, testers and supporters, on great products that we were proud of. We all worked like crazy but loved it and had a blast, and were in the center of everything.
The company was eaten by a giant, broken into little pieces and spit out. I was one of 1000+, then of several hundred, then 50... now there are less than 10 of us, on an obscure island off the edge of the earth, working on this big giant who is elsewhere and has little that we are proud of. I should have gotten out years ago. Still working on it.
ETA: OP, no, it wasn't something I always wanted. I kind of fell into it. I took a small job doing something similar. Then a good man gave me the chance and opportunity to do huge things that I did not know I was capable of, but I think met and exceeded all expectations.
I've had two different paths in my life, one in the arts (visual and theatre) and one in legal. I currently work in the legal profession full time, but the arts are still my first love. Problem is, with the arts, I ended up working a lot of day jobs to pay my/DH's expenses, and I remember the days working for a few dollars a week in off off Broadway theatre to just get a job/experience! As it turns out, I still have the same amount of time to devout to the arts as I did before I went into the legal profession, factoring in of course the addition of DD to our lives. But DD and I spend a great deal of time doing art stuff, so I'm very pleased with it all. I really do like the legal profession (while admit that I have bad days, like with any work), but it is challenging to me and I get paid pretty well for it too! I don't know if I would call it love, but what is important to me is the mental challenge and opportunity to grow in experience and wisdom on certain subjects.
I've worked a lot of jobs through the years. I would say that the good ones have all had the following in common:
* Great co-workers whom I respect and enjoy working with.
* Work that means something to me (not just "mindless").
* Flexibility that allows me to have a life outside of work, while still being passionate about my work.
In 2005 I got a masters in Arts Administration and now I work full-time for a theater that's on a university campus. I do a whole range of things, ranging from budget planning to working with rental customers to grant writing. The arts have always been my "thing"...I wouldn't say that I always thought I would be passionate about the business side of the arts, but it's a perfect fit for me now. In my 20s I did more work on the creative/teaching/performing side of the arts, and I loved that work, but I couldn't earn a living. The difference now is that I'm still connected to the arts, but I can earn a living & raise a family.
I studied Philosophy at university (unfortunately never finished my master's thesis and then I got pregnant and decided to quit, then i started looking for a job when dd was around 6mo) and well Philosophy really doesn't give you a lot of job prospects :P even if I did get my masters.
Anyway, I found a job after a few months, as a "admitting clerk" (i think that's the term for it in english? lol) in a hospital. I mean the administration/reception. And you know what, I really love my job. What I love about it (and I guess, what i would look for in a job):
- good atmosphere/ getting along with my co-workers!
- variety (we do lots of different things; patient admissions of course, answering phonecalls (millions of them haha), making appointments, arranging patient transportation, every day patients or visitors (and doctors, nurses, ...) come to me with all sorts of questions, ...) i was afraid it might be boring work but it really isn't
- working with people (i am not the type to work in an office on my own) and helping them. Usually people don't come to hospital for fun!! and i love it when i can do something to make it easier/better for them.
- flexibility: i work half time (4hrs a day, shifts between 7am and 8pm), some overtime every week (19hr contract) plus some weekends which adds up to a good amount of overtime that i can take up (like this week i was home all week); also our group of coworkers is always willing to switch shifts and step in for each other etc.
I love that I get to work with really dedicated people who are best in their fields, my job is very creative and unpredictable and is a huge challenge. My boss (the CEO) is an amazing mentor, my coworkers know how to make work fun, and the issues we tackle are diverse and very timely.
My story of falling into this job is somewhat similar. I knew I wanted out of academia as I was finishing my PhD, but I wasn't sure what else I could do. Then a small opportunity turned into a chance to prove myself and I guess I really impressed my boss because next thing I knew, I was made CSO.
I am an engineer and I work for a school district. I work in Facilities and Planning and do Environmental and Code Compliance, Energy Management and Sustainability, and Project Management. There are days and parts of the job I love and days and parts of the job I am not so fond of, but I think that is true for almost any job.
I do land preservation - open space, farmland. I wanted to go into the environmental field since college, but by the time I decided that it was too late to change my major. So I went to grad school so that I could get into the field and have now had the same job for almost 12 years. I do love it b/c I'm doing something good for the world and for future generations and something that I'm passionate about. And when my daughter gets older, we can visit farms in our area and I'll be able to tell her that I preserved them and that they will always be farms and will never be developed. I'm also really into organics/sustainability (not to say that the farms I preserve are necessarily organic - I work to protect the land from development) & supporting local ag so my work life and my personal life mesh really well. I think that's important in life - not feeling like you're living separate lives at work and at home. And I think it's important to believe in what you're doing at work. Not to say that I don't sometimes wonder if it'd be better if I was a SAHM, but I imagine that most moms who work outside the home feel that at times.
I will admit that the only downside to my job is that it's not very practical on a daily basis. Nurses, lawyers, insurance agents can always give practical, helpful advice to friends and loved ones; but the cool stuff that I do every day is confusing and boring to people not in the field, so I never get to talk about my work!
I'm a Finance Director now, will be CFO next year. I've been in finance for about 12 years now and NEVER thought I would do this. I just sort of fell into it and then went back to school to get my degree later. I had great mentors and they showed me how fun finance is. LOL! But the main reason I LOVE my job is the company I work for. It's a small (less than 50 employees) guerrilla marketing agency that staffs events for large brands. It's creative, fun, relaxed, casual and young and hip. So I would say, find a company that you love and start out at the bottom or in a position that might not be your calling and then move laterally within the company until you find what you love going to work for.
I'm a nutritional therapist. I don't make much money doing it yet but I'm working on building my practice to where it can be our primary business. It is totally not where I saw myself as a "grown up". I studied philisophy and religion in college. But I credit nutrition with savign my life and I found an awesome certification program that gave me the tools to healp others make the same changes in their life.
I'm the Head of the English Department at an IB school in Colombia at the moment. Over the years my family and I have lived in Vietnam, South Korea, Argentina, Costa Rica and now Colombia. We have travelled to Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Malaysia, Singapore, Japan, Uruguay, Brazil, Bolivia, Chile, Paraguay, Nicaragua, and Panama. Next week we are going on a road trip to the coast of Colombia and in the summer planning a trip to St Andres, Cuba and the DR. and hopefully going for a visit with some friends in Buenos Aires.
I love my job because I am passionate about teaching the ways that Language and communication skills can build awareness and work towards resolving conflicts and building peace. I love teaching young adults how to express thier views of the world in effective and engaging ways. I love getting up and knowing that today I am going to have an impact on someone's life and that impact may just be a planted seed of an idea or it might be writing a letter that gets them a scholarship to Harvard.
I also love my job because it usually entails a two year contract (allowing me to really get to know a culture and its people from a new perspective, learn the language, make life long friends, experience life beyond the vacation...), that supplies flights in and out each year for me and the family, furnished housing with basic utilities PAID, private insurance for me and my family, tuition at the school for my children, and sometimes work for my husband, visas for all of us, and a salary that affords us not an extravagant lifestyle but a very comfortable one given our standard of living. It also provides us with a wonderful jumping off point for a wide array of unusual travel. How many 6 year old boys can boast of a passport with 15 different stamps and having a sand collection of 20 different beachs from central and South America, Europe and the US?
I also love that I work for an IB school which means I get sent for training all over the world, giving me the chance to see even more places and learn even more about my trade and it means I am likely able to find work in literally any part of the world. Just last week I conducted interviews with teachers at schools in Pakistan, New Zealand and Beijing, and I was contacted for interviews in Shanghai, Dubai, Swaziland, and Wales. We are happy here, but it's that season in my field and it is always interesting to know that if you ever want to be closer to home, or if you ever want to simply see a new part of the world, the opportunity is there.
Is it what I always wanted to do? Yes and no. As a child I never THOUGHT I'd love being a teacher, or that I could make a living and travel this way and still have a happy marriage and a beautiful family, but I can and I do and I LOVE it and cannot imagine myself doing anything else. As a child I wanted to be a writer and an actress and a singer and a dancer and a pastry chef. The good news is as a teacher I am part writer and and part actress, as a mom I am part dancer and part pastry chef, and I have a hobby which is to sing in a band with my friends, so in a way, yes, who I am is exactly who I always wanted to be...now if only I could hire an assistant to mark my students' essays for me, life would be perfect!
Edited by hakeber - 4/10/11 at 10:03am
I'm in Human Resources and I love my job.
- I make a very good living, which allows my DH to stay home with the kids and work on a variety of volunteer projects he has interest in.
- I have a great team of dedicated professionals that I also respect on a personal level.
- My boss gives me a tremendous amount of freedom - he offers support and guidance when I ask, and stays completely out of my hair other than that.
- I get to travel a bit, which I like - but not too much that it's a hardship on my family.
- The work is interesting, varied and challenging.
I love my job--it is not with an organization I thought I would be in, but it is in the field I planned to be in, doing what I planned to do.
In addition to really liking the values and mission of my organization, I love the tasks I am assigned, and the people I work with. I truly believe in the mission of our work.
In order to still love it as a wife and mom, it certainly helps that the hours are pretty flexible, I have a ton of autonomy, decent pay, great benefits, and since our mission is child-focused in part, everyone knows that your family comes first.
Monday, for example, our communications office is doing the photos for an upcoming publication and they have asked my son to be a model. So, I'll work from home until it is time to get him from daycare and take him to the photoshoot.
hakeber - I want your job!!! Seriously. That sounds like the definition of my dream job and dream life. I have been plotting since I was young on how to figure out a way to live/work internationally for most of my adult life. I went into nursing thinking that "they need nurses everywhere". Now, I'm "stuck" working at a hospital doing bedside nursing and trying to figure out how to make the leap. I'm nearing the end of my MN and am trying to figure out if nurse education or public health will give me a better shot of working overseas for the long run. Or heck, maybe I'll drop it all and become TEFL certified!
TEFL work won't actually get you that far in terms of sustainable living for a family. You really need Provine/State teaching certification or a PGCSE for the big contracts (not that it's heaps, but it's a decent living), but they need health teachers and biology teachers to teach in English in the majority of the IB schools.
TEFL certification will generally get you a good deal for a single person or for working on the side while your partner works the real contract. USUALLY. I do have friends in Thailand who have a little boy and they both have TEFL certification, though now the dad is a full time writer for this Bangkok nights out clubbing magazine geared towards tourists.
It really IS so much fun!