The things I look for in a job

Sometimes I feel like people think I’m very picky when it comes to looking for a job, which is definitely true in some ways. I wouldn’t take a job just to get some money and experience – even if it’s on my level and relevant to my degree. At the same time, I may be less picky than others when looking at other factors: I don’t really mind what exactly I’ll be doing at work and I don’t care how much money I’ll make (though I do need to be able to live). It doesn’t even matter to me if the job is exactly what I studied for. Then what do I want? I’ll explain.

Everything I want comes down to something called ‘intrinsic motivation’. That basically means I want the work itself to be fulfilling instead of it just providing me with an extrinsic reward like money. I want to be able to go to work because I want to, not because I have to. Of course there’ll be shitty days where I won’t feel like going and I’d rather just stay at home and do nothing all day, so let’s put it this way: I’d like the job to be something I enjoy talking about. That can be because of several reasons, so I’ll list the most important things I’m looking for in a job.

Making the world a better place

This may seem like a bit of a weird statement, but to me it’s very important that whatever I’ll do will make the world a bit of a better place. That doesn’t mean I need to be the one who makes the biggest difference or directly sees the results – it’s okay to be a cog in the machine -, but I need the higher goal of the organisation to be something I support. It doesn’t really matter if that goal will help a ton of people globally or only a few in a local project, as long as the effects are positive.

Variety

Of course, just working towards a higher goal can’t be everything. I need to enjoy the work itself too, and to make that happen, variety is key. I need something that isn’t the same every day. That can mean having a couple of different tasks for the same project, but it can also mean doing the same thing for different projects. I just need to be able to get my mind off of a certain thing for a little bit if I get stuck, and focusing on something else works best if that happens. On top of that, having a diverse job is much more fun!

A good fit

Although working towards a higher goal and having a job that isn’t the same day after day are incredibly important to me, there’s only one thing that will make the job my job: doing something I’m good at and actually like. This is where my degree comes in, although the job doesn’t have to be exactly what did while studying. That’s because the degree, a master in Behavioural Change, had a couple of different aspects: research (both theoretical and practical), communication (sending the right message to the right people at the right time), and consultancy (showing others how to do it). Since I enjoyed all, any of those things or even something similar will work for me. On top of that, the overall goal of getting other people to do or think things otherwise is something that is very widely applicable and just having that would be fine already.

If a job has a higher goal I can get behind, offers some variety ánd is a good fit for me and my skills and knowledge, I may well want it (very, very badly). Luckily, there’s a lot of vacancies that fit the idea – since I’m really not that picky. Did you just read this and feel like you know the perfect job? Let me know!

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