Today’s newest working women are likely to have at least 17 jobs over the course of their career, but how can you love the work you actually hate?
It’s all about mindset. Every job you undertake, regardless of title, will expose you to different workplaces, industries and customers. And this will help you ascertain what you like and what you don’t like.
You may love the food and wine side of working in a restaurant, but not the interaction with diners.
Research may utilise your qualifications, but leave you feeling a little isolated.
Sales may challenge you, but not necessarily in a retail store environment.
A graduate program position may show you that your dream career is not what you thought it would be.
Each role will help you work out what is and is not for you, getting you closer to finding exactly what it is that you love doing.
Working in any role provides valuable work experience. Any role in which you’ve been productive looks better on a cv than a blank space.
Graduate recruiters would rather see a part-time role that has nothing to do with their industry on a cv, than the cv of a graduate with no work experience.
Having a job shows that you can be relied upon to go to work and that you want be a productive member of society.
It shows that you’ve interacted with at least a boss and possibly co-workers and customers.
Skills and maybe qualifications will be gained as you work.
It may be simple things such as operating a switchboard, using a particular software package or being able to identify a range of exotic fruits and vegetables, but in each case you’ve had to put your mind to learning something new.
These skills may not relate to your dream career, but it shows that you’re capable and willing to learn.
So many roles these days are obtained via the ‘hidden’ job market. These are the roles that are not formally advertised, but secured through network referrals.
Every job you take on will enable you to build your network of contacts.
A legal firm may not have suited you, but the boss’ husband may work in a not-for-profit which is of interest.
Childcare may have helped you support yourself at university but is not where you see yourself long-term.
However a work colleague may have contacts at an advertising agency which is more in line with your studies.
Regardless of your current role, you will build relationships that can be of benefit in the future.
Finally, each job you take on is the opportunity to obtain a professional reference.
Almost every role you apply for will ask for the details of professional referees – someone who can attest to your work performance.
They can confirm that you commit yourself to a task, are punctual and always willing to go above-and-beyond your job description to help where needed (assuming that you are).
They can verify that you conduct yourself professionally and work well within a team.
So don’t despair if your current role isn’t really for you, or if you can’t find your dream career just at the moment. Every job you do can be of benefit and if you seek out the opportunities you’re one step closer the role you really want.