Work is for me a very important element to my every day happiness. I know this goes against what a lot of people think about work, but I do quite like working actually. I like having something to do that helps me earn my living as well as having the routine that work brings to my life.
But its not that simple (like nothing is when it comes to me). In order for work to really contribute to my happiness I need to be either challenged at work and able to learn new stuff on a somewhat continuous basis, OR I need to get paid loads in order to keep me happy with slightly more mundane tasks.. Having established this already years ago, today I feel lucky that I have been able to at least shape some kind of idea of what my ideal work would be, and that I have managed to push my career in that direction. Don’t get me wrong though, there is definitely a lot to do still in setting up my ideal work situation, but at least I am on the right path.
For the last few years I have been somewhat indecisive about if I am investing a minimum of 8+hours of my day on the right thing. For the first few years after university I tried out how working for a multinational was like, I then moved over to a smaller company within the gambling industry (although, in a fairly “safe” Swedish environment) before heading deeper into the industry when I moved over to one of the worlds largest gambling companies where I currently am.
The most important thing I initially picked up from this path was what I did NOT want from a future job. Basing my thinking on this, I started to little by little work out what I DID want from a job, and to move my career in that direction. I think for me the most important generic thing to have when it comes to working life is flexibility, responsibility and freedom in the set up so that you can try out various things and so you get exposed to new elements on a continuous basis. I found all of this in the gambling industry, and have not looked back since (well, not that often and not yet anyways)
Taking these things into consideration when evaluating my career up till now, I have been extremely fortunate during most of my working life. I have been given the chance to push myself and be challenged, but without having to be supervised 24/7, which has helped me grow and contribute at a level that I feel accomplished at.
Unfortunately, even after having realized what I want from a job, I am still very much working on my perception of long term and short term. Currently these time frames still affect my perception of what gains I can get out of my job at an almost daily basis. I have a slight tendency to just stare at the short term enjoyment and suffering instead of making myself realize that some short term sacrifices can bring you so much more in the long term.
So this is the area I am working on at the moment. Changing my vision field from being short sighted and (like Malcom Gladwell quotes in his book What the Dog Saw, not going about life “like driving down an interstate, looking through a soda straw”) to be a bit more generic. I need to be looking at the details, but seeing how they fit into the big picture and how every small detail will help me achieve greater things in the long term future. Then again, my long term future goal is not really set in stone at the moment, so there is definitely a chance I will end up somewhere completely different than where I am heading at the moment. But that I am ok with since I think that in today’s world few careers are lifetime careers.
These are a few of the things that make me feel happy and greatful at work at this moment:
- Being able to be creative every day in a multitude of ways
- Having the freedom to set up campaigns etc based on my own judgment and evaluations
- Seeing continuous growth in my product through my activities
- Having lovely colleagues and a nice work environment
- Being able to instigate relationships with interesting publishing platforms
- Getting to work with interesting people and products
- Learning new things on a continuous basis
- Having responsibility and direct influence on the product
And I think I will leave this discussion at that. I will report back if my long term goal changes, but for now I will enjoy the ride. 🙂