Shaping A Life
The idea of combining 1) earning a living and 2) loving every minute of my life, seemed like a reasonable goal. For as long as I can remember, I wanted to be a French teacher. I went to school, traveled to Europe, did my student teaching. At the same time, I had this vision that I’d be happy living on a farm with animals. I didn’t see any reason why I couldn’t make this happen.
Then I realized that:
- I had lived in the city/suburbs my whole life. Living in a rural environment maybe wasn’t the greatest idea.
- I am allergic to most animals.
- I liked teaching and the kids, but I didn’t like the “school” environment as a work place.
So all my initial plans had to be tossed. What would take their place?
If I had a better understanding of myself and what I needed, my route to finding meaningful work probably would have been smoother. I was lead down my path by:
- not getting good input/advice
- doing what other people expected of me
- being driven by financial stability
- not understanding what ‘else’ I could do to earn a living
On my way to being a grownup, I made a decision about a serious relationship. That led to determining where I lived, which then led to the kind of work of I did. Once I had children, my life was “shaped.”
The biggest difference I see between myself early in my work life and those entering the workforce today (Millenials), is that they are insisting that employers meet certain criteria for ‘good’ work. I love this and support it wholeheartedly.
Finding and Enjoying Meaningful Work
As I talk to Millenials, they articulate their journey to ‘good’ work. As I understand it, they mean not just finding a paycheck (their experience is, there’s always another job), but finding a place to work that values what they value. Things like:
- scheduling and benefits flexibility
- organizational social conscience/impact
- personal feedback and growth
Unlike previous generations, it seems they are willing to give up ‘compensation/pay,’ for a place to work where they feel valued.
As a Millennial entering or starting out in the workplace, do you know what questions to ask during an interview to find out if the organization is a good cultural fit for you?
I have some ideas about this and will be writing more about it. I look forward to our journey together.
Image credit; Jack Kerouac