My perfect “job”

15 Jun

In just under 15 weeks (or maybe 16) my contract as a legal secretary will be finished and I will be studying full time for a few months.  I will need to supplement my income somehow and definitely find some work afterwards.  All this has got me thinking about what my perfect job would be in a perfect world (a lot of provisos there).

Two things influence my thinking in this area.  Firstly, the New Economics Foundation’s idea of a 21 hour work week which in their words

“could help to address a range of urgent, interlinked problems: overwork, unemployment, over-consumption, high carbon emissions, low well-being, entrenched inequalities, and the lack of time to live sustainably, to care for each other, and simply to enjoy life.”

Win-win, no?

Secondly, I think nature gets it pretty spot on most of the time and think it has some great lessons to teach.  Have you heard of resilience?  An ecosystem ‘protects itself’ (obviously not a conscious process of all the animals getting together in a pow-wow although I do like the idea) by having several species perform the same function so that if one is wiped out the system doesn’t collapse.  So there are lots of different bugs that break down matter to form soil.  Bees and butterflies pollinate flowers (although this has gone a bit awry of late).  Species also severe multiple functions.  Bees pollinate flowers, make honey which other species eat, are food for some birds, and so on.

I think in a similar way humans are not meant to do just one thing.  We get bored (or is that just me?) when stuck doing the same activity every day.  Sometimes we want to create, sometimes sit and think; some days talk to people and other days not see anybody.  Also in times of economic hardship having multiple sources of income might be better, so if one area of income dips or disappears you still have others you can rely on.  In this model of work you will most likely never be rich, but you might just be happy.

So in a nutshell my dream job would allow me to spend part of the week working for an environment/development organisation.  Making a difference in other people’s lives.  The rest of the ‘work’ week would allow me time to spend time on other things that make me happy: crafting, photographing, painting, just plain making things.

Is it unrealistic? Maybe, but I will never know unless I try.

Basically I just want to

Conilab (Etsy)

Thanks to Elizabeth from Rosalilium for some inspiration.  Go and check out her new Etsy store where she is selling photographs of her travels to SE Asia.

What is your dream job?

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4 Responses to “My perfect “job””

  1. Lucy 16 June 2011 at 9:05 am #

    I haven’t heard that theory of resilience but it’s interesting. I would LOVE to be able to work a 21 hour week, I always feel as though so much of even my ‘spare’ time is spent preparing for work – making packed lunches and washing and ironing clothes for example – and it really frustrates me. I’d still be needing my 37-hour wages though!

  2. Tracey 16 June 2011 at 11:41 am #

    I think a 21 hour week spent in the pursuit of diverse activities would suit me very well indeed. It can be such a challenge to get the balance between things the right way around … I like spending time thinking about my perfect job (writing!), because in doing so maybe it moves just one step closer to reality. 🙂

  3. Nathan Nelson 17 June 2011 at 12:42 pm #

    I’ve been thinking for some time that my perfect job would be about four different jobs; the mix that was sustainable while allowing me to pursue the causes I cared about and enjoy my community, family and friends. It sounds hopelessly idealistic to some I’m sure but many people have demonstrated that it is possible.

    I left my government IT job in January and took a massive pay cut to work for a disaster relief charity for three months, but it has made all the difference in the world in terms of a reboot of my self-esteem and expectations – though it wouldn’t have been sustainable in the long run. The job itself was quite mundane but it was for a great organisation, working with great people, and based part time in Cornwall. Until you get out of London it’s easy to forget that it’s hard work just being in London, let alone commuting on overcrowded, overheated, unreliable, smelly overpriced public transport every day. One reason I stayed in the IT job for over two years was that I took a day a week to work from home, every week I possibly could. I don’t want to overgeneralise but personally I have found working in London is a trap that has blinkered me to new possibilities and drained me of the energy I needed to do just those things that were good for me – study, socialising, creating.

    I’m currently in Ghana and have been spending a lot of time talking with the owner of the bed and breakfast we’re staying at, who tells me that he can’t always retain staff as they move on for all sorts of reasons, and that money seems to have little to do with staff retention – pay people as much as you like, but if they’re not happy with their colleagues, their environment or their tasks and they have an alternative they’ll just move on.

    I’m still looking for the perfect job – and wish you the best of luck in finding yours.

    • Michelle Y 17 June 2011 at 1:55 pm #

      Thanks Nathan for a brilliant response. It gives me some further food for thought.

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