Why am I writing this? Because I, like hundreds of thousands of others, occasionally wonder what it is I should be doing and what I'll end up doing. And by occasionally I mean constantly. I've had opportunities that were a great fit for me, some that were terrible, and some that I knew would catapult me into the next step.
If you're anything like me, you've taken a good look at your life, your job, journaled sporadically, cried, laughed, and been completely confused about the big ol' career journey. And I think that is the perfect word for these times, especially in your 20s: it's a dang journey.
I wanted to write this and encourage everyone, whether you're looking for a new opportunity, focusing on your current job, or wondering where to go after college. Here are a few things that I look for at a job and a few things that I'll avoid like the plague moving forward.
I truly want to hear what others have to say about this and encourage you all to leave a comment below, send me an email, or comment on Instagram where we can all have a conversation about this. Brainstorming with others is often times the best start, and I'm interested in hearing what makes you all happy and pisses you all off at work.
What I look for
Creativity- I work best and am happiest in an environment that encourages me and my colleagues to be creative, bring ideas to the table, and constantly stay open-minded.
Teamwork- I'm the girl who can hammer out a project by myself, but I also love working with others. Being at a job that encourages colleagues to work together is a major key, and it will also help you bond with your coworkers more than you may think.
Openness- At the end of the day, we're all human. We all have emotions, responsibilities, lives, and are all out here doing our own thing and surviving as best as we can. I want to work in an environment that promotes communication, good or bad. Positive encouragement, constructive criticism, friendly chit-chat, and telling the truth.
Opportunity- Work at a place that encourages you to succeed, move forward, and advance your career. Work somewhere that helps you learn, allows you to attend seminars or conferences, and provides you with opportunity other than sitting at your desk (unless that's your jam).
Fun- Work is work, but work can be fun sometimes! I don't want to live a life where I'm doing the same thing day in and day out. I want some excitement and fun thrown into the mix, even if it's a quarterly happy hour or bowling outing. SOMETHING!
Culture- I need an environment with some workplace culture. Trust me, there are places that have none and it completely sucks the life out of me.
Diversity- I don't necessarily want to work with all women or all men. I work best in an environment with a little bit of everything: both genders, all ethnicities, different ages, etc.
Kindness- Don't we all love nice people? Kindness goes a long way, especially at work where you're probably spending 8+ hours of your day. People who say "hello" when you pass them in the hallway or run into them at the coffee machine, say "Thank you" if you hold a door open for them, and just have a positive energy about them.
What I avoid
Micromanaging- This just grinds my gears. I don't like to be checked on every hour - I don't need a babysitter. If I have a job to do, I hope that my colleagues and supervisors trust that it will be done. Plus, micromanaging does nothing except annoy others and creates a negative work environment...in my humble opinion.
Closed environment- I don't want to work somewhere where everyone camps out in their cubicles, pops their lunch in the microwave, and returns to their cave until the clock strikes 5. I want an open, "energetic" environment.
Pigeon-holing- This one's tricky. I've seen jobs and positions where you are essentially stuck and there's no room for growth. Don't sell yourself short. If you're happy in your position and can see yourself doing it forever, then keep doing a good job. But if you're like me and hope to always do a bit more and advance, don't settle for a place that keeps you in your corner.
Robots- You know those people who walk around with zero emotion or expression day in and day out? They perform the same tasks M-F and are powered by coffee, plus they aren't friendly at all? I call them robots. I want to work with warm blooded, regular people. Please and thank you.
Misery- Kind of like the robots, but a bit deeper. We all know many people who are unhappy at their job. But if you work with a group where the majority is miserable in the office/at their job, chances are that will rub off on you or take a toll on your day. And taking a toll on your day, where you're spending 40+ hours a week, just isn't a good time.
I know this is a wordy post, but there's a lot that can be said. I encourage you all to comment with what makes YOU happy in a workplace and what doesn't do it for you. I'm interested!