Could anyone share their current job and whether they like it or not?


I have no idea what I want to do after college, and all the advice I'm getting can be summarized as "it all sucks but you need to make money to pay rent."

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6 months ago

I am currently a regional director for a nonprofit and I am mostly happy.  No job will make you 100% happy and you shouldn't let your job be the sole source of your happiness. Cultivate a life and relationships outside of work. These are what really matter anyway. This is my sixth different job since graduating 13 years ago, and my first was in professional sports.


It is okay if you don't know what you want to do. You can do almost anything and some of your peers who have spent years studying to be doctors or lawyers don't have the flexibility you do. Know that your first job won't be your last, so you don't need to pressure yourself to find your "calling". It will find you and even if it takes a long time. Remember, the Mark Zuckerbergs of the world are are the exception to the rule. For 99% of us, it takes decades of work until we are the most successful in our careers.


To help narrow down your options, I would focus on your current skills and experiences, and look for jobs that align. If you don't have much experience yet, try to get some. Employers want to hire people with skills and experiences that prove you can do that job. For example, if you want to work in professional sports like I did, look for jobs at your university's athletic department.


Go to your university's Career Center and utilize their help. If you are still unsure what field you want to work in, look at your current interests. What subjects do you find yourself gravitating to online? What topics get you really passionate? Politics? Sports? Entertainment? What was your dream job as a kid? If that is too unrealistic now, break down what excited you about that job and try to find others that are related. E.g. if you wanted to be an astronaut because you love space, look for a job (or volunteer) at a local observatory or science center.


Go on "Informational Interviews" with people in jobs or companies you are interested in. For example, if you are thinking about being a brain surgeon, utilize your current network (ask your doctor), get introduced to one, and invite them for coffee or lunch.  Ask them questions about what their job or company is really like, what is hard about it, etc. You may be surprised to find a job is different than you thought, and a little bit of research just saved you many years and hundreds of thousands of dollars in tuition. On the other hand, you may find you really like something and you just made a great contact within a company. And that almost always gets your resume read.


Good luck and remember that it will all work out. Your first job (or second, third, fourth...) are like bad dates or relationships:  each experience will teach you about what you like and don't, what you're good at and what you're not, what you love and what you hate...  and that will ultimately lead you to finding The One.

6 months ago

Sandra,


This is a hard question to answer, so I'll just share my story of how I ended up where I am today -- successful (in my mind), motivated by my work, recently married to an amazing inspiration of a woman, great friends, and living in one hell of a city that keeps you on your toes.  It took a combination of many things coming together...some calculated moves, some luck, some risk, some guessing, and a lot of support from a network of friends, family, and colleagues. I wish I had something like huttle to go to back in 2009 ;)


Like you, I had no idea what path I wanted to take out of college. I found myself switching majors and minors throughout my 4 years, then I was introduced to Supply Chain Management by a friend in my business fraternity. Something clicked and it just made sense. Here is where I made a conscience decision to switch track my minor from Real Estate to Supply Chain with 3 semesters left to go. That was an intentional decision.  The business fraternity was the network that helped me get into Supply Chain.


Also, timing was great for a  role that involved making operations run more efficiently, negotiating contracts, and saving companies money because the recession had just hit right when I was graduating...in fact only 12% of the 2009 graduating class in the US had jobs lined up after graduation, which meant I was extremely fortunate to be able to start my life of independence right out of the gate. Unlucky for most, but kind of lucky for me....by the way, hard to say that work sucks but you have to do it to pay the bills. It's fun to be in your young 20s and making REAL money for the first time. Trust me, the responsibilities 


I had 3 job offers for entry level procurement roles in 3 different cities - San Diego, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. I spent my entire life in San Diego so I was debating between sticking in a place where I was comfortable and had friends and family to lean on, or try something new. My dad grew up in San Francisco and he was a huge proponent of me moving here to try it out. A little nudge from dad and I was on my way to a brand new city where I had no friends. I always wanted to try being the new kid in school, so this was my chance I guess.


I stuck with a procurement and strategic sourcing role for 6.5 years across two companies - first at Pacific Gas & Electric (our country's 2nd largest utility), then at Electronic Arts. A procurement job at a 100yr old utility is by no means, "sexy." But it's fun to be in a new class of fresh grads and young people shaking things up with the old timers and getting your hand slapped a time or two. Best way to learn something new is to get a stearn lesson from an executive or sr. director.  This is right around the time I met my girlfriend (now wife) and we would play hooky from work, take long lunches and walk around San Francisco's Embarcadero.


Electronic Arts -- I knew I wanted to break into the magical world of tech startups here in San Francisco and Silicon Valley, so I networked my way into Electronic Arts first. Not a start up (10,000 employees worldwide and almost 40 years old. But they are a technology company that every tech startup wanted as a logo, and I knew that if I had a procurement or strategic sourcing role there, I would meet a lot of sales pros from successful startups trying to sell their tech to EA. Boom, 3 years later, one of those guys introduces me to my now current company where I am having a blast. I even made another career change and moved to the other side of the table - now I'm the sales guy negotiating with IT leaders and their procurement people. Funny how that works, eh?


So what is the point of this story - the point is to focus on what kind of life you want to live and where you want it to take you (even if that life goal is to have mystery and move whichever way the wind takes you), and use your early jobs as stepping stones to support that life. Eventually a "career" will just kind of happen and things your decisions will become more and more calculated and the pieces fall in place and you have more data points in your life to make decisions from.


Have a blast these final days in college, focus on early wins like building a network of people who share similar goals and you know will be successful someday. Keep asking questions, and make bold moves while you can :)


Long winded, I know, but I hope that was helpful! 


-Mike

6 months ago

Well I'm semi-retired now (so my current "job" is pretty awesome), but I was at my last employer for almost 12 years.  Was it perfect?  No, but no job ever is.  Was I happy everyday?  No, of course not - but there were a lot of good days and I did a lot of things that I knew were a positive impact to my clients, my colleagues, and to my community.


Every job has a bunch of BS that you have to navigate.  I guarantee you that even people like Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg and Jeff Bezos have days where they go "Oh crap, I gotta go and talk to these people again.  These people are such a pain in the ass."


However, this concept of "it all sucks but you need to make money to pay rent" is the wrong way to approach it.  If you have that attitude going into your first job, it will become a self-fulfilling prophecy.  I didn't know what I wanted to do after college until sometime in my junior year and it took me a couple of jobs to find the right mix.  But I did things that I was passionate about and worked with great people that had my back and thankfully someone was willing to pay me to do it.  If your first job doesn't work, keep trying different things until you find the right mix.

6 months ago

I've been doing operations at ecommerce startups for a while now, and I love it. In the beginning, it was a lot of learning, and then I made my way up the ladder. Eventually was able to pursue my MBA and come out as a Director.


Building teams and watching people on my team grow has been very rewarding, and I continue to learn every day.


If you do end up hating your job, start figuring out what you like and go after those interests instead. Not everyone has to hate their job, but a lot of people hate their job because they aren't willing to change their current situation.

6 months ago
6 months ago

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