My very first job was a summer internship at a church, running their 4-6th grade summer program. As far as summer jobs go when you’re 16, this far outranked my friends who were busy bussing and waiting tables. No college degree was required and no experience. What this job lacked in pay was more than made up for in passion and fun. Time flew when I was planning events, taking kids to camp, and building into the lives of preteens.
My second job came after college, and while the pay was significantly better, there was no passion. I would watch the clock, counting the minutes until my break… and then lunch… and then FINALLY 5:00pm when I could clock out. While there were some aspects of the job I liked, overall it was not utilizing any of my strengths, nor was it challenging me to learn or try new things.
I’ve now worked for six different organizations in nine different positions. Of the nine jobs I’ve had, three were clock watcher roles. We can learn a lot about WorkJoy from the jobs we’ve had that were less than fulfilling. Sometimes, the best way to figure out what you want to do is to quickly rule out the things you know you DON’T want to do!
If you find yourself watching the clock… don’t panic. Your days are not in vain. You have an opportunity to learn more about your gifts and abilities as you identify things you do not enjoy doing. Don’t waste the opportunity by just getting through the day. Talk to family and friends who know you well, and ask them what strengths they see in you.
Then, take a next step. Maybe you need to take some classes to gain required skills for the job you’ll love. Or maybe you need to take a risk– start networking and apply for the jobs you dream about. Whatever you do, don’t watch the clock forever. Let it motivate you to find your next best. WorkJoy is out there!