I Can’t Get No (Job) Satisfaction

wrongjob

My apologies to those stuck in either the Matrix or the ‘Friend Zone’.

I’m not sure Healthcare is an appropriate vocation for a hermit. In a typical day I find myself talking to upwards of fifty people and all of them will expect me to be not only professional but caring and enthusiastic as well. They’re not natural states for me to be perfectly honest, and most shifts I tend to leave the building frustrated and tired. I have a great circle of co-workers (who do things like read my work and buy me socks with cartoon robots on them) and for three years the safety of their network has been enough to keep me in a field I know I don’t belong in.

I have a vivid memory of sitting in a small office at Kingston University and laughing with my Journalism tutor about having to hide up in the NHS to make some money. He told me not to wait too long and I still feel a little guilty that he’s written two references for me now – both for care work organisations.

I didn’t used to be quite so insular. I’ve never been an extrovert, don’t get me wrong, but I used to have far more energy to deal with the outside world than I do now. It makes me feel old thinking about it and I wonder if my current career path is partly the cause.

“You’re in the wrong job,” my father says to me. He’s been in the NHS thirty odd years and recently retired. He knows the work we do better than most; has watched as the entire practise of nursing has become something altogether different than it was in the seventies when he started.

“I know,” I reply.

Everyone knows, from family and friends to coworkers and managers. I am good at what I do, but I’ve never claimed to enjoy it much. I have a great respect for the people I work with, because they get the kind of happiness and satisfaction from their work that I find in front of a computer with a word document loaded. The pressure of this industry is vast and constant and few people who have never done the work would understand it.

So yes, I am well aware this job isn’t for me. My problem is finding the one that is.

Luckily I have access to the wonderous world of the Internet and so researching my problem and finding an answer should be a piece of cake! Type the words ‘I think I’m in the wrong job’ into Google and you’re presented with a list of job sites. All of them are more than willing to help you apply for your dream job. Well, that’s nice – but I still don’t know what that is yet. I did find a quiz on the BBC website that looked promising though. After answering a series of questions about working scenarios I click the submit button and wait a few seconds for it to tell me what job to apply for:

Artistic

Your results suggest that Artistic type work might suit your interests and preferences.

Artistic types are interested in creativity and art, preferring freedom and independence to following rules and procedures. Self-expression is very important to Artistic types and they may prefer to work alone.

…Oh. Well, that’s all very eloquently put BBC and I hate to rude but, no shit? (On a side note my second trait in the John Holland model is Investigative, so now I want to write a story about a young female detective in steam punk London who paints on the weekends, but I digress).

So I’m creative and I like my freedom and I prefer to work alone, sounds good to me. What possible job is going to let me do that though? Not many businesses are cool with employees rocking up whenever and scribbling ideas on white boards until they break for lunch and play video games before getting back to the old grind stone and jotting down a press release. Except maybe Google. Goddamnit.

The search continues! I came across this little list via Prospects, a website for graduates in the UK:

Publishing and Journalism

  • Broadcast Journalist
  • Commissioning Editor
  • Editorial Assistant
  • Lexicographer
  • Magazine features editor
  • Magazine journalist
  • Press sub-editor
  • Print production planner
  • Publishing copy-editor
  • Publishing rights manager
  • Science writer
  • Writer

And there it is, right at the bottom (where to be honest, I knew it would be). My perfect job. The only one on that list that will provide me with freedom, creativity and blissful isolation. I will admit the search was a little needless, but perhaps I needed to remind myself that becoming a writer isn’t just that childish dream I’ve carried with me since I was little. And it is an excellent vocation for the hermit I’ve become.

I suppose I could try my hand at one of the others though… Failing that, do they still need Lighthouse Keepers?

Yakina_Head_Lighthouse_by_tourofnature

Yakina Head Lighthouse by tourofnature.

11 thoughts on “I Can’t Get No (Job) Satisfaction

  1. Lighthouse Keepers have their own standards. Like if you’re a dude you have to have a fluffy beard. If you’re a lady you have to wear a shawl or turtlenecks.

    And you have to have a quirky pet, like a lemur or ferret.

    Just the way these things run.

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  2. I can relate to your self-identification as a hermit. I’m convinced that my perfect job is ‘envelope stuffer.’ I just want to sit in a room, alone, all day, collating – folding – stuffing – licking – addressing – stamping. Lather, rinse, repeat. I don’t want to talk to anyone. I don’t want to think about the work I am doing. I just want to let my mind wander to what I will write next or to where I will hike next – away from everyone. Also, if someone could then pay me for the envelope stuffing, that would be fantastic.

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    • That sounds really nice actually. I’ve always had this view that it didn’t really matter what my ‘day job’ was, as long as I could write. I’m finding now that it matters quite a lot actually, what you find yourself doing every day.

      If you do end up as an envelope stuffer, let me know. I will gladly join you!

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  3. I hear you! Just imagine yourself to be Franz Kafka, and you’ll feel oh so much better (come to think of it, he was in the insurance business and you’re in the health care biz, so there you go). I too am looking for that perfect 4-hour-a-day job that will allow me to write and play music the rest of the day.

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    • Everytime someone mentions Kafka I think about The Metamorphosis and how much it freaked me out! But yeah, the man had the right idea I think.

      Dream job at the moment is working in a nice little website office, full of other geeky, socially awkward people who don’t mind the quiet. Ah, if only. :D

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  4. I can definitely relate to this. I’m a translator, and while I’m actually working in my field, I’m not translating the things I want – novels. All the documents I translate are either legal or technical and often so boring that they drive me to tears. I would also like to work as a writer, and recently I applied for a job as a fantasy game writer. Really, really hoping I get this one. And I hope you can find the job that suits you too.

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    • Oh good luck and I hope you get the job! I’d love to do something like that as well, though I have no idea how you write for games. I assume script work and bibles like TV writing?

      And thank you, I hope so as well. :D

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      • Well, it’s basically writing character backgrounds, the general storylines, dialogues, world building, creating weapons and all sorts of objects… should be fun. :D

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  5. I feel your pain. I too could easily be a hermit but have by necessity worked with the public in various capacities over the years. As you say, I had more energy for what ultimately drained me than I do now. Still looking for the solution. It was nice to hear someone else talk about the problem.

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