Criteria in Bold (Numbered next to headings)
We spend our entire lives learning and explaining our wants and needs. We know what they are but seldom communicate them to others fully. Joy and satisfaction are the most sought-after emotions in life. However, most people are not joyful 100% of the time. Lots of people are happy, but joy is something you have even where you’re unhappy. It’s a mindset, a choice, a locus of control. We often put too much time and energy into receiving it from others, but joy can only come from the within. That’s why it’s important to set goals. That’s why it’s important to establish boundaries. That’s why it’s important to find a career that you enjoy, provides fulfillment, and that satisfies you (long-term). Building a specific and unique set of job criteria can help you better understand what you want and, most important, what you need.
Salary, Location, and Environment (The Big 5)
It is quite common to place a lot of importance on salary. Without adequate pay, many argue that your work cannot satisfy you in the ways you need. Salary is important, but I wouldn’t consider it to be at the top of my list. Like many others, I have always dreamt of living an affluent lifestyle, free from the financial worries and complications of life. However, due to recent world events, I have discovered increased value in other things such as family, the weather, and other little things we often take for granted. Do not misunderstand. I will gladly accept a huge check, but not if it interferes with receiving joy from the other 14+ things I need in life.
Location is critical for me as I want to be close to family and the city. Ironically, I also want to live somewhere that feels secluded, snows, that’s close to the beach, or on the lake. In reality, there is no such place. I am willing to make a compromise on all these factors except family. Family is very important to me, and I would rather live farther from the beach than my loved ones. I want them to be able to come to where I work, make purchases, receive services, and be involved. Many consider work and family to be separate. For me, having a career that understands and values both family and your time is most important.
Like a family, I want the environment I work in to be close-knit, creative, and loving. I want to know how my colleagues are doing, and I want them to know the same about me. I want to share ideas, communicate often, and feel open and cared about by those around me. Like family, your co-workers are around you every day. You might as well enjoy their company. Something that aids this process is a productive, creative, and efficient working environment. I want my job to be somewhere I can work, have fun (when appropriate), be creative, and collaborate.
Overhead, Structure, and Flexibility (4)
Aside from the big five, I also need to have the right kind of boss. While some don’t understand what I am talking about, others are all too familiar with the struggle. Like my colleagues, I need an employer that knows me, communicates with me, and values my work and achievements. I do not need a pat on the back or a gold star for doing my job. Nevertheless, I appreciate being acknowledged and appreciated for my contributions. Someone who goes above and beyond to look out for their employees is my ideal employer.
I do not mind having management. Although, it presents possible issues. The person in charge is who decides what happens and how. I want the person who knows best, who is primarily team-motivated and highly experienced, to be in charge. It could be a manager, but more commonly, it’s the boss. Having a middle man makes my job harder, but as I said, if it’s necessary, it’s a small price to pay.
The right amounts of structure and flexibility are also important criteria for me in choosing a career. I don’t enjoy micromanagement, and I value collaboration and personal assignments, but I need flexibility. In the event something happens, I need to work somewhere that will allow me to leave. As previously stated: family is very important to me. I need the flexibility to have time off, take care of my future wife and kids, etc. I need a workplace that allows me to work in-office or at home. I need somewhere that follows protocol and can be both creative, serious, and fun. Having a relaxed structure, loose where it can be and tight where it has to be, is essential. Somewhere that truly understands the work/life balance is the ideal place for me.
Little Details (4)
Creativity is another aspect in which I don’t wish to compromise. I spent a large majority of my last post talking about using creativity in any career. Unfortunately, for many, creativity is limited by who you work for and the tasks you perform. I want the ability to do new things and the pleasure of doing routine things. However, ideally, I would have the ability to combine the two and do routine tasks in new ways, utilizing both protocol and creativity. Travel is an excellent example of what that means to me. Although heavily dependent on my family and circumstance, it is something I want to do. I don’t want to be away all the time, but I do need the ability to work in new places, on new solutions, for new/diverse people. I want to see and experience the world for all it has to offer.
Growth and Goals (2)
The last two criteria I have for a career are the ability to grow and the ability to move up. I want to eventually make more money, work somewhere new, and have different responsibilities from time to time. I need to start a career knowing that if I work to the best of my ability, I can be at the top in x years. No-one can predict your luck in moving up in a company. Therefore, I must have room to grow and the ability to do so.
Conclusion and Reflection
I know I’ve written a book at this point, but I hope I’ve given you an idea of what I need, making it easier for you to decipher your needs as well. One thing I noticed is that many of my criteria go hand in hand. Often, I can’t have one with the other, whereas others can’t come apart. It’s important to think about your wants as needs and your needs as wants. Arguably, the only thing you need is money. However, to be successful, the things you want sometimes must be considered as needs as well. Think about it from an employer’s perspective. Your satisfaction is important because your work will show it. You want your employer to benefit from your employment just as much as you do. Think about who you are, find a career that matches, and remember, joy is what you need.
Image Citation: (Post only allows for one image)
Unsplash. (n.d.). 100+ career pictures: Download free images on Unsplash. Retrieved
February 18, 2021, from https://unsplash.com/s/photos/career