I went to a ‘Managing your career’ workshop (through my work) this morning which I found quite interesting. I’m still trying to figure out why I went when I’ve only been in this job for a year and quite enjoy it. My job is a newly created one which I knew I wanted to do before this type of work even existed and now I’ve got it I’m already looking to the next step as I know I don’t want to do it for ever. I like to be challenged in my working life and I like to keep busy and be interested in what I’m doing. I look at the jobs immediately around me and don’t particularly aspire to be my manager or her manager as I don’t particularly want to be a manager as it seems that they just have a lot more stress for not that much reward. I don’t mind responsibility for my work but don’t fancy being a mediator and problem solver for other people’s work problems.
My other dilemma is the work/life balance thing. As I said above I want to be challenged in my work so a mundane job where I learn some tasks and just do them day in and day out is not my thing at all. At least with technology the way it is I’m in a pretty good position not to get stuck doing exactly the same thing all the time because there are continual challenges with learning new technology etc. But to move up the ladder, if I can find a non-managerial job, is quite hard at the moment because very few, if any, of these positions are part-time positions and I don’t want to work full-time.
I think the old or current way of senior staff (or other staff for that matter) needing to be around five days a week or more will have to change as the population generally becomes older or because people will push for a more satisfactory work/life balance. Women as the primary childcare givers will hopefully also drive the push for a work/life balance or more flexibility in their paid working lives which mostly doesn’t exist at present.
I just finished reading an excellent book by Anne Summers called The End of Equality where she talked about the fact that women are not really equal in the workforce because they have children and there’s a lack of enough childcare, and school days and holidays don’t fit in with the work day and holidays. She talks about the Australian government’s push to try and get women to have more children and stay at home to look after them. They’ve done this by changing policies and tax rules so that it’s not financially viable for many women to work. And if you’re a sole parent, then it’s even harder. This is why I don’t fancy working full time as I still have to maintain a job outside of my paid employment in just looking after my son, maintaining a house and everything that goes with those things and this is even before I catch up with my friends and family or find myself a bloke to play around with.
So, what do I want to be when I grow up? I want to have an interesting, challenging, well-paid job but not have the typical manager’s role. Don’t know what that sort of job might be but I have got my thinking cap on.