Sunday, 25 March 2012

The Perfect Job

Way back when we were just starting out, back before children were even on the horizon, my hubby and I thought a lot about the perfect job. It was sometimes a conversation starter: "If you could have any job you'd like, what would it be?". For hubby, it has always been to own a record shop - like John Cusack in High Fidelity, or his favourite Toronto music store, Soundscapes.  For me, I thought running or maybe even just working in a florist shop or gardening centre would be perfect.

We haven't talked as much about finding the perfect job lately.  In fact, I had almost forgotten the 5 criteria we had decided upon for finding an ideal job. 

Criteria for an Ideal Job

1. The location must be reasonably close to home.  We always thought that being able to walk or bike to work would be ideal, amazing really.  But even a reasonable commute by car or public transportation is totally fine, as long as the commute leans more towards acceptable than unbearable.

2.  You need to like the people you work with.  Given the amount of time that we all spend at work, it's important to enjoy yourself and be comfortable around your colleagues.  I'm not saying that I need to best buds with my coworkers, but having friendly relationships makes the work day less stressful and more fun.

3.  The work itself should be meaningful.  This is not to say that we all need to work for not-for-profit, community-enriching companies, but I definitely want to feel that my work or the company I am working for is about more than the bottom line.  I want to feel as though the work I do is valuable to someone more than just my employer.

4.  You should feel sufficiently challenged by the work that is required from you. Let's face it, a lot of life is spent working.  Yes, there are challenges at home, volunteer opportunities, as well as hobbies and other activities that we may choose to pursue in order to expand our minds, develop our talents and skills.  But given the investment we make into our job, we thought that it's important that we grow and develop while we're at it.

5.  The compensation should be reasonable.  Of course, there is probably some balance between what someone would consider an acceptable salary based on how well the other criteria are satisfied: We agree that in some scenarios, probably no amount of money would be acceptable, while in other cases, we might be willing to accept a lower salary if it meant that we could be really happy with everything else.

Looking back on these criteria now, I think they are still pretty accurate.  However, now that I'm a working mom, I might somehow work in the importance for work-life balance.  In fact, I'm sure that anyone with children must recognise the need to balance personal life and work life.  So I'm adding another criterion for an ideal job:

6.  The employer and working environment should not just acknowledge, but support the priority of family.

I'm fortunate to say that my job and I are doing very well on all of these criteria.  No job is perfect, of course, but lucky for me, I think I may have what is very close to an ideal job. 

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