A couple weeks ago I sat in my cold, windowless office and had a mini meltdown. I told my boss that the passion for my work has gone out of me. She asked if I was looking for a new job and I told her “No, of course not!” That may seem like a strange reaction to you, but the thought of getting another job makes me sad. I’ve been here a long time and I’ve settled in so deeply that it would be hard to leave. But it did make me ponder what sort of job I would be willing to leave my long time work to accept…
My ideal company:
I LOVE working for companies that are struggling so I can fix the hell out of them. Basically, if your company is a messy failure I might pay you to work there.
I need to believe that I am doing good in the world… or at least not making it a worse place. Non-profits, the arts, small businesses and educational institutions all sound like great places to work.
The company has to value creativity and have a diverse group of employees. If I can be somewhere with my fellow intellectual punk rock ninjas (aka nerds) I would be in heaven. Finally, my muggle and tardis jokes (of which I have many) would receive laughs instead of crickets!
I don’t want to be forced to bond with my co-workers but I love a good potluck. Mostly because of the food, but also to hang out with folks. In fact, I am volunteering in advance to plan the company Halloween party, Secret Santa, Office Olympics, Book Club, Cultural Awareness Bingo and whatever else we come up with. Sometimes that’s all it takes to build a sense of camaraderie and trust between co-workers.
I’ve been in a small, windowless cave for the past few years and would love to have a window or skylight so that I can see the actual outside world. The more light my workspace has, the more likely I will turn it into a tiny plant-filled jungle. I would also be less likely to get sick from squinky lights flickering on and off above my head.
Is there any company out there where the building temperature doesn’t shift dramatically between sub-arctic cold and Death Valley? If so, that’s your biggest recruiting advantage. I’m way tired of typing with gloves on one day and sweating through a meeting in just a sports bra the next. Believe me, my co-workers are fucking tired of seeing my cesarean scar.
Also, my employer has to be okay with swearing because I do that more than a little.
My ideal job:
My strongest talent is having brilliant ideas. Some (my sister) would call me a creative genius. However, I am far too humble to use such labels. But if there was a job where I could sit around throwing out my ideas during brainstorming sessions I would feel valued and happy.
I’m very good at organizing information, tracking progress, etc. Is that what a Project Manager does? If so, that’s my wheelhouse.
Since this is my ideal job, I would also like to work only four days a week.
I like being busy but don’t thrive in pressure cooker environments. However, I’ve come to realize that my idea of a high pressure environment may be different for me than it is for other people. I rarely get panicked when everyone around me is freaking out – I tend to be the calm port in a storm. Warning: Because of that, people can get frustrated with me when I don’t get worked up when something goes wrong. I’ve had to learn to counter with some sort of emotional reaction in order to gain their confidence that I will handle the issue. Either way, believe me – shit’s gonna get taken care of.
So, if you are running a failing non-profit filled with moderate air temperature and a diverse group of nerds and need someone to work four days a week to calmly throw out ideas, swear and plan parties – I am your girl! Shouldn’t be a problem to find at all.