I’ve been working my “new” job for the past 11 months. In many ways, it was a huge step up from where I used to work. My old job had many advantages, but advancement and future salary increases were not among them. I knew that if I really wanted a career, I had to make a change – and to this day, I’m glad I did.
There are many days I wonder how things could have turned out differently – what I would be doing if I was not working where I am today. What would I be doing? Would I be happy? The list of questions goes on and on. If there is anything that I have learned in the past few years, it’s that you need to learn to be thankful. While I may not have the best job in the world, there are a number of jobs that I would hate. Please note that while I wouldn’t want to do these jobs, this is not an attack on those who do.
My List of Horrible Jobs
When I was in college, I worked for an M&M factory. To this day, these long three weeks were one of the worst in my life. I started work on a Saturday shift at 7 PM! Weekend shifts were 12 hours, so that meant that I went to work with the sun high in the sky, and walked out the next morning after a grueling 12 hours with the son rising in the sky. Not only were the hours horrible, the work was boring and non-stop. I could never see myself working in a factory for long-term. I need more mental stimulation and a certain level of “newness” in my typical workday.
Another job that I would hate to work is a truck driver. I’ve heard that truck drivers make a decent wage, but it often means long days with very few comfortable nights. Not only would it be difficult to drive for that much of my life, but it would be hard to be away from my family. While my wife and I spend a few weekends a year away from each other, anything more than that would be pure torture. Driving to new places might be nice for a while, especially if I were running my own business (which is easy enough to do by renting a truck and then finding your own jobs), but I fear the new places are only so many and it would soon turn monotonous like the factory job.
This may be a bit stereotypical and while I appreciate their service, I would never want to pick up trash for my career. Not only does it offer the same monotony as the others mentioned above, it also comes with an unpleasant smell. There also seems to be very little advancement in this career.
My Ideal Job Characteristics
If not already obvious, my ideal job not only has room for advancement, but also includes the following characteristics:
- Large enough salary to pay for my lifestyle
- Potential for advancement
- Friendly coworkers
- Meaningful work
- New challenges every day; required to use my problem-solving skills
Getting a good job that you will enjoy and feel good about means more than finding a job with a high salary. This is important to realize when you are young because it means you could avoid a mid-life career change; while a change later in life may provide a renewed sense of meaning and purpose, a pay cut often accompanies it.
*image provided by ninahale by flickr
Readers, what jobs would you hate to have?