A Woman’s View: the ideal job

With all the different types of jobs available for women, the current economy notwithstanding, I began to wonder how many women are happy with their jobs and how many despise the alarm clock for the wakeup call every day.

So what is the ideal job for our ladies of the Northeast?  The answer: whatever makes you not wish away your working day and whatever you can enjoy and feel good about yourself for doing.

Whether you are a mechanic, nurse, lawyer, electrician, teacher, office worker, bus driver, small business owner or homemaker, if you can enjoy your job, you’ve it made.  Of the 25 women I spoke with at Franklin Mills Mall, only three said they like their jobs.  I found it disheartening that so few of the women I questioned like their career or job.

“I hate my job.  I sit at a desk all day long and stare at a computer,” Leslye said. ” Some may find that interesting work, but for me, I couldn’t imagine anything more boring.  I need to move [around] and wish I had a job where I wasn’t stuck indoors with not even a window.”

Nycolle has a different view of her career. “I love my job,” she said. “I am a school counselor and I love seeing kids and dealing with their problems.  It is what I have always wanted to be and I still aspire higher, but for now, I look forward to my job each day.”

The ideal job for one woman might be a living hell for another.  If you are struggling to wake up in the morning or to find motivation, you may be in the wrong field.  Many times it takes doing something for you to realize just how much it is not you.

I had always thought I would like to be a lawyer and argue all day until I tried the position.  I discovered that writing was much more suited to me, as it allowed me to interact with people, create ideas and move around.

Finding the right job for you can be as hard as finding the right man, sometimes even harder.  Ask yourself a few questions:  Do I like to research?  Do I like helping people?  Do I like being outdoors?  Am I good at working with a team?  Can I work with children?  Am I the type that needs to move around a lot?  Do I want to travel?  Do I care greatly about money?  Do I enjoy using and understand technology/computers?

Asking yourself the above questions and more of a similar nature can help you determine if the job you are in or the job you seek is right for you.  Career counselors offer the above questions, in great depth, when people are struggling to find their niche.  Answer honestly and not how society would wish you to answer, and see for yourself if your job matches your personality.  If you find that the two are opposite, that could be a large reason why you are so unhappy at your job.  Sometimes the most unlikely job can make you the happiest.

“I went to school to be an accountant.  I thought it would be a great job and I would make lots of money,” Cheryl said. “I worked my way through school by bartending at a local franchise restaurant during the week.  When I went to work as an actual accountant, I couldn’t believe how boring it was for me.  I hated it and went home with a headache every day.  I finally quit and returned to bartending.  I know it sounds weird, but I make pretty good money and I enjoy myself.  I would rather be doing this than stuck to a desk with numbers all day.”

But things are different for Mary Ashley, who said: “I hate moving around. “I want a job that I can just sit in front of a desk and work.  I was a waitress for seven years and I welcome the change,” she continued.  “I went to school for IT work and I am having trouble finding a job, but I just think the idea of working with a computer is fabulous.”

With the current job market so unstable, it might be a good idea to muster through the unwanted job currently, but plan for what you would enjoy doing later.  If you have a dream position in mind, first decide if it is attainable, then if your personality matches the requirements of that position, and finally, what you have to do to make that job possible.

Discovering the qualities that you dislike about your current job can actually be an asset in helping figure out the position that would be right for you.  There is no right answer for the ideal job on a whole, but finding the ideal job for you can be a long and hard process.

Finding careers you dislike can at least help you narrow your search and discover your work ethic better.  Look for the things you disliked about the job or liked, and see what they have in common with the dream job you are aspiring to.

If you are one of the lucky few to have your ideal job write in and tell us how you found the job and what drew you to it.

A Woman’s View is a column about women’s issues written by Donna Ward. The column appears every other Thursday on NEastPhilly.com. See others here. Read other NEastPhilly columns here.

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