Yesterday, I completed a self-assessment form from the Graduate College’s Career Services website. On it, I was supposed to identify the values that must be present in my future work for me to be satisfied and then rank them 1-8. Here’s what I identified (and the descriptions from the worksheet):
- Family/Personal Life: A balance between personal and work is important.
- Job Stability: I want a reasonable assurance of long-term employment.
- Structure: I want to work with clearly defined policies and procedures.
- Knowledge: In my job, I want to learn more and expand my skills.
- Location: The geographic location of my work is important to me.
- Ethics & Values: My work must match my personal values and beliefs.
- Challenge: I want to solve difficult, but interesting problems.
- Wealth from Income: Income from my job is very important./Expertise: I want to become a subject-level expert in my field.
Here were the values that didn’t quite make the list: Enjoyment, Advancement.
Here’s what I don’t care about or actively dislike: Adventure, Entrepreneurship, Social Service, Recognition, Variety, Creativity, People Contact, Independence, Pace, Authority, Aesthetics.
Work-Life balance is extremely important to me. I desperately want a job that I can leave behind at the end of the day. Many of my friends who have worked or are currently working cite this as one of the benefits of their jobs. In grad school, I have a hard time relaxing or downplaying stressors in my life, so I often am unable to enjoy things because schoolwork is hanging over my head.
Moreover, I am extremely risk-averse. My parents can recall, I’m sure, how I chickened out three times over getting my ears pierced.
With Jessica leaving in the next month for a really fantastic and hard-earned career opportunity, I am starting to feel not only stressed, but also dejected about my job prospects. With no “real” work experience, who will hire me? And let’s be honest–I think my MA in French Linguistics is pretty much garbage because I don’t use my French anymore. What if I don’t want to teach ESL for the rest of my life?
I just want a job that I don’t hate. I am willing to sacrifice having a job that I love for a stable job that I can leave behind at the end of the day. I trust myself to make my personal life engaging. Moreover, I don’t think we need to love our jobs–they’re jobs, not playtime. Likewise, I certainly don’t love all of my classes, but I still go diligently and perform my best.
Right now, my dream job would be something that fulfills the above criteria and allows me to continue building my fluency in Korean, preferably with travel.
I’ve considered translation/interpretation before, but the actual professions don’t jive well with the values identified above: inconsistent workload, low median salary, etc. Additionally, my Korean and French are nowhere near the level that I would need for translation, and I would always take backseat to a native bilingual. And as I told the boyfriend this morning, there is nothing specifically about translation/interpretation that interests me–I would gladly take any other job that would allow me to use my languages.
This kind of thinking makes me feel panicked and stressed, which is obviously unproductive. All I can do is take it one step at a time.
So let’s do this instead:
What is my goal? Find a job that capitalizes on my interest in learning languages.
What small steps can I take to make this happen? Actively work towards improving my Korean every day!
I tried to write this post as honestly and thoughtfully as possible, but I apologize if I sound entitled and naive, especially to those who are jaded and cynical about the job market.