Why just ‘any job’ isn’t enough

  January 11, 2017

Leaving university is a perplexing time; released into the wild world of work it can be difficult to know what to hunt for in terms of a career path. After all, how can you know what you want to do when you've never done any of the jobs you're applying for?

So what do you do?

Generally there are three options people opt for:

Do a Master's or PhD and put off the decision for a few more years

Try and find a job related to your degree

Apply to anything and everything so you can start earning money to pay off that fabulous student loan

The sad fact is that most people opt for option three, simply because they don't know what else to do. There are few who are lucky enough to know exactly what they want to do for a living, and even fewer who actually get to do that thing. So where does that leave everyone else? Either bouncing from job to job hoping to find 'the one', which is exhausting and often fruitless. Or you end up working in a job you hate for the next 40 years just dragging yourself up the ladder because we think there's nothing better out there.

So before you set off down that path and become one of the living dead workers we've all encountered, spend some time actually thinking about what you want to do, and the type of place you want to work. To do that, start by working out who you are – what are your values, beliefs and dreams, and how do they impact the work you want to do. Then make an effort to find a job and company that matches that; don't just settle, because in the long run nobody wins.

Once you’ve started thinking about that, it’s time to start applying.

Welcome to the world of work!

Believe it or not, it's actually a great place to be – if you've managed to find a job you like in a company you connect well with that is, unfortunately that's not as common a scenario as it should be. Instead far too many people end up taking jobs in companies that simply aren't the right fit, doing roles they have no interest in; a classic recipe for job dissatisfaction.

Well that's just the way of the world, right?

Actually no, it's not. Or at least it shouldn't be.

According to virtually every study done on the subject, work is an absolutely essential element of a happy and fulfilling life, work gives us an added sense of purpose and pride; it's actually really good for our well-being to work.

But that only applies if you're in a role you enjoy. If you're not then the opposite is true; boring, hard or unsatisfying work is toxic. It impacts your health, your mental well-being and your overall happiness – low job satisfaction is strongly linked with high levels of depression and anxiety and also physical problems such as back pain, ulcers and headaches.

So if job dissatisfaction is so bad for you, why do people put up with it?

Normally it's because they just don't how to remedy it. When you've worked in a toxic environment for a while it starts to become hard to see a way out. Your faith in yourself and the working world begins to rot away. That's why it's so important for those entering the world of work to set off on the right path from the start – don't just apply for or take any job, apply for those jobs you actually want, and before you do that, think hard about what those jobs look like. Then you can stop the rot before it sets in and that is exactly what Happywork is all about.  We want to help you make the right choices from the very beginning.  Don’t get sucked into the same trap as everyone else; break free from the mould and use our unique service to get matched to companies and roles that actually suit who you are, not what you’ve studied.  You’re more than your degree, and we want to help employers see that.