A Job Just Isn’t A Job, It’s Our Life

Defining a list of personal criteria is crucial in ensuring that you select the “right” job. I’m sure, at some point in your life, you’ve had a job where you were unhappy. If you haven’t, think back on the jobs you’ve had and what made you choose them. For many of us, a job isn’t just a job, it’s our career. It’s where we spend the majority of our time and, if we’re lucky, it’s our passion. This is why it is important to objectively evaluate any job offer, no matter how enticing it is. At the same time, remember to be realistic about your criterion. Offers may not always be perfect, and you may have to compromise on some elements of your list, but your ultimate goal is to progress and improve on your current position. Defining a set of personal criteria for your job selection will help you better understand the positions you are looking for, as well as ensure you get the job that you deserve.


Location, Environment, Salary

Location is a very important element to me in deciding which jobs to pursue, as well as which ones to apply to. Ideally, I would like to have a job in my hometown, as I’m familiar with the area and would be close to my family. I deeply value the time I have with my family, often visiting them on the weekend. Thus, a job within driving distance to them would be ideal. Additionally, I love the outdoors and spend the majority of my free-time at the beach, which is also located in my hometown. That being said, I really like the feeling of being in a bigger city, with more industry, which is something my hometown doesn’t offer. Honestly, I’m really interested in moving to Florida, as I do want to venture to new places. Florida has a lot to offer with beautiful beaches and terrains, as well as industries. Success is more important to me than anything in life and I’m enticed by the opportunities of larger areas, like Florida.

Environment should be the basis of any job search. In the workplace, the environment is not only your physical surroundings, but also your psychological surroundings, such as your well being at work and how your work is organized. Environment is crucial for employee motivation and happiness. If you’re not happy in your work environment, you won’t be as productive or efficient in your work. I, personally, am not too particular about the environment in which I work, as long as my coworkers do their job as they are supposed to. I go to work to work, simple as that. I’m not concerned about making friends at work, but some interaction is nice. However, I do like a relaxed environment, as I feel that if too much pressure is put on individuals then they won’t be as efficient. Dress code isn’t really a big factor for me, as I would honestly love to work in a formal, suit and tie culture.

Salary is obviously of great importance as it is needed to survive. As the famous saying goes, money doesn’t make you happy, but it is a necessity for things like food and living. However, my goal is to become very successful, to the point where I can retire my parents and not have to worry about money. Ideally, I would like to have a salary somewhere in the range of 70k to 100k, as I plan on pursuing my masters, however I don’t put too much emphasis on the physical salary. I truly believe that income is driven by work. You might not become rich off of the salary you make at your day-to-day job, but that doesn’t mean you can’t become rich off the many other business ventures you could be pursuing on top of that.

Structure and Responsibilities

When thinking about the superiors I will be working under, I think about the qualities I would like them to possess. When searching for jobs, I look for organization’s that put a strong emphasis on communication. I prefer managers who are supportive of their employees and will help them in need, but don’t overstep their boundaries. For me, it is very important that managers don’t give excessive supervision. In my own experience, I’ve noticed that these, so-called, “micro managers”  will watch an employee’s actions closely and then provide frequent criticism of the employee’s work and processes. I feel like I should be trusted to do my job at work. All micromanaging does it lead to employee unhappiness and reduced productivity.

When working, I like to have a lot of structure in my processes. I like to come in and know what needs to be accomplished for the day. However, I do not run when things don’t go according to plan. I’ve worked in positions where the boss would constantly switch me between tasks, not be able to finish one directly. Thus, I feel a nice balance between structure and spontaneity is beneficial in business, as it makes you more well-rounded.

It is very important to me, when searching for a job, that the organization’s corporate values align with my own, personal values. I want to work for a company that I believe in. I’m more inspired and pleased to do my work when the company’s core values align with my own. Even though you may only be one-small piece in the puzzle, your efforts within the organization still have an effect on the world around you. Thus, the closer your standards are to that of your employer, the more successful you will be, as well as the entire organization.

Interests and Goals

When working, I really enjoy tasks that are hands-on. My father owns his own construction company and when the time came where I was able to work, he put me to work. The thing that I like most about construction is that it’s fun. I’ve always had a strong passion for building. I’m never waiting for the day to be over, but rather excited for what’s next to come. I’ve also come to realize that I appreciate work that is physically demanding and involves the outdoors. There comes a point in my day where I have to get moving and go out or I start to lose my mind. Nonetheless, the tasks that I enjoy the most are the ones I know nothing about. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve noticed that I love to learn. When I started my clothing company, I knew I would need an outlet to sell my clothes on. I decided to sell my online through my own website. I quickly learned that it was extremely expensive to hire a professional website builder, so I took it upon myself to create my own. I spent hours upon hours reading and working on my website. Never in my life did I think I would be able to code, and now I have built four websites since my first, effortlessly. When there’s something that fascinates me that I don’t know how to do, I not only learn how to do it, but I learn how to do it better. Selecting jobs that align with your interests will keep you happier and more productive.

Image provided by yours truly.

The ability to grow within an organization is very important to me when selecting a job. My goal is to work with the same company for the majority of my career, working my way up. However, I’m not opposed to working for multiple companies in possibly different industries. If you are unhappy in your position or the job doesn’t meet your expectations, then quit. That being said, I believe that for greater success and experience in other positions, it is crucial that employees aim for the long run.

As I’m concentrating in supply chain management, I see myself in Florida in the next five years heading a manufacturing facility, managing their production lines, as well as their distribution channels. Furthermore, I see myself owning my own warehouse where I can produce and distribute my personal clothing brand at a much larger scale. My clothing business will help supplement my income, making me even more financially sound. Additionally, it will allow me to express my creativity in my work, which is a value I cherish very deeply.

All in all, defining a set of personal criteria to look for in jobs is essential to making sure you find the line of work that best suits you. Additionally, it prevents you from getting short-changed by employers. It’s near impossible to find a job that matches all of your criteria, however, you should alway seek to improve and advance your current position. Remember, a job just isn’t a job, it’s our livelihood.

Confidence and Creativity, What Are They and Why Are They Important?

Creativity is a situation whereby something new and somehow valuable is formed. Creativity is most commonly thought of as being entirely original. However, I’m here to tell you that nothing is completely original. All creative work builds on what came before them. Creativity is simply a mashup of great ideas into one new and unique idea. That being said, creativity is not simply stealing others ideas. A true creative filters out all of the irrelevant ideas and steals only the ones that resonate with their inspiration or fuels their imagination.

There’s the belief in writing that no one bothers to hear what you have to say unless you’re an extremely fascinating individual or an expert on a particular topic. Basically, no one will want to read what you have to say if it doesn’t provide any value. This notion can be very damaging to a writer’s self confidence. The good news is that you don’t have to be a professional or leader to provide value in writing. Think of all the articles and blogs you’ve read in the past year and tell me how many of them you know for certain were written by established writers. This question is hard to answer as it doesn’t really matter if a writer is certified, what matters is their delivery and how confident they are in their message. Tying into the idea of creativity being the result of stolen ideas, don’t be discouraged by other writers. Instead, look at other written works as inspiration, even the best writers started from the bottom. The vast majority lack confidence in their writing because they have a presumption that they’re not as good at writing as others. Unconfident writers feel as if they can’t write up to the standards of professional writers, who have thousands of readers. Confident writers must stay true to themselves. They shouldn’t let others affect their voice within the writing process. Another way of building confidence in your writing is to write for yourself. Too many people look for the affirmation of others to tell them what they are doing is right. In reality, the most successful writers write for themselves first and then everyone else second. Confidence in writing is not a matter of great writing versus basic writing, it’s a matter of having enough self-awareness to know who you are and the value you provide to the community through the inherent perspective of yourself. All in all, self-confidence in writing requires  vulnerability, openness, and honesty. Writers provide the most value when they create a welcoming atmosphere where their message is conveyed in a relatable way.

Two of the things I enjoy doing the most in my free time are designing and writing music. When I began reading Steal Like an Artist, I immediately saw the relevance it had to my own creative ventures. When making music and designing, I always feel the need to create original works. Nowadays, it’s ingrained in people’s heads that they have to be completely original or they will face the risk of copyright infringement. However, after reading this article, I now have a new perspective on the creative process. Basically, it taught me to look at creative works, that I deem good, as inspiration. When you have the perspective that you can’t do something because it has already been done, it makes you too close-minded. When looking at creative works, such as songs or art, that you think are truly outstanding, try and imagine how you can make them better, in your own unique way. I believe that this is really good advice and can easily see its benefits in my own creative process. I look at it like this, every singer wasn’t a superstar overnight. They all started from somewhere, getting inspiration from others until they finally found their own unique and genuine sound. Having this perspective, I feel like it will make the creative process easier. Instead of spending so much time trying to be completely original, I will use the work of others as influence for my own creative works, in an attempt to find my own style.

Meet John

Hey everyone, my name is John Durner and I am a Junior here at State.

Growing up my whole life my parents would always tell me about how entrepreneurial I was as a kid. From selling drawings to renting my bike out to other kids in my neighborhood, I’ve always been resolute in money. In addition, math has always been a strong suit for me in regards to school and learning. For all of these, I chose to pursue an education in Business. For my concentration, I chose Supply Chain Management because I’ve always been fascinated about the source of products, as in where they come from and how they are produced. While completing my general education courses, I started to develop a strong interest in Psychology. At this point, I have decided to minor in Psychology and am one course away from doing so. Additionally, I plan to hopefully continue my education by getting my MBA here at North Carolina State University. Ideally, my dream job would be to work in a big plant or manufacturing facility and head their production process, as well as manage the sourcing of the materials making those products and their inventory systems. I really started to develop a passion for supply chain management when I began working for a clothing company of my own. I had to learn where to source items like the shirts, with the quality I wanted, and labels to go in them.

In terms of my relationship with writing, I would say that I write when it is needed, but it is not something I do frequently. I write in the business realm and to communicate, but it is not my most favorable thing to do. I’ve had a couple of jobs throughout my life which all have taught me different skills and assets. My father started his own construction business when I was a little kid, so ever since I was “of age”, he put me to work. Today in his company, he frequently communicates projects and tasks with his employees via Asana, which I saw we will be using in this class. I used to work at Village Deli, here in Raleigh, as a cashier and cook. I’ve also worked at a Marina, back in my hometown, where I worked as a dock and shop leader.

I get to exercise my creativity through making clothes and music. I’ve never really been a drawer by hand, but as I’ve gotten into clothing design, I’ve begun working in photoshop a lot, constantly making and critiquing graphics. I also have a music production software called, FL Studio, where I will make beats and record songs. These were just some of the ways that I found I could be creative, and find myself getting lost in time when doing them. My Myers-Briggs Personality Test was extraverted, intuitive, feeler, and judging. I think that this is a pretty description of some of the aspects of my personality. I definitely agree with the fact that I have a tendency to put others before myself, at the detriment of my own needs and feelings. This tends to happen to me time after time. I also know that some of the knowledge I have gained in my psychology classes has indeed helped me be more understanding of how people think and feel. I found the test very engaging and fun because it questioned me about myself.

I’m really excited for the career-readiness aspect of this course. It seems like we are going to be doing a lot of work this semester preparing us for the job realm. My goals for this course are to take it seriously and, just like a job. I want to gain all of the knowledge I can to help me excel and stand out in the job market. Lastly, like always, I want to get a good grade in this course!