TED Conversations

Ipek Ozkanoglu Alkan

Project Manager, ADBA Integrated Marketing Communications

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Are you really happy with your job?

I kind of feel like nobody is fully happy with their jobs. It is kind of a sickness, these days. It's mostly, we have been grown up being told we have to earn money before we can run after our dreams.
If you are happy, please tell us the secret.
If you are not happy, tell us the reason.

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    Feb 3 2012: It's like the song says, "If you can't be with the one you love then love the one you're with." Ideally do something that you love; if you can't do that, try and love the thing you're doing and do it as well as you can.
    In the meantime, try and do what you love as a hobby.
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    Feb 5 2012: If you are seeking fulfillment in work and not just another paycheck, I suggest reading a book called "What Color Is Your Parachute" by Richard Bolles. In the second part of the book, he walks readers through exercises to identify their true talent and dreams. The book changed the way I look at my career.

    I recently started a new job and I am happy. Of course its hard to see the direction of things in less than one month, but I like it thus far because I believe in the work I am doing, it challenges me in a good way, its very flexible, and I like the team of people that I work with. Those are all traits I have come to realize factor into my happiness.

    Two years ago, when I was working in a job I wasn't so happy in, I felt that the work was misaligned with my skills, talents, strengths, and capabilities. I felt like I had been labeled as non-management due to a prior experience with a poor manager in the department and that if I stayed, my future was bleak and limited. I felt that at 29, that was way to young to reach a career plateau and it was time to move on. I stayed in the job I didn't like for five years. I stayed about three years too long.

    If you don't like your job, quit. No one nails our feet to the ground and nothing is stopping us from finding our career nirvana. Just do the homework on what your passions are before quitting and use that to guide your way.
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    Feb 4 2012: Yes, I am happy with my job. The secret is, put it in park and ask what kinds of work made you happy in the past. Good, now ask "who makes (or does) this?" and then go find those places. Good! Now park on their job boards until they hire you doing what it is that makes you happy. Believe it or not, not all work places are dominant, hostile and greedy. Should you find yourself in a hell hole, start again.
    Many are not happy. They randomly scour the job boards for a place to plug in instead of cherry picking where they want to be. Adrift and looking for an escape, they grab at any branch and find they're again "stuck". Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.
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    Feb 5 2012: Just after college, living in CT the insurance capitol of the world, I took a job with a local, nationally know insurance co. I was so excited about the "opportunities" and the pay that the co offered me as a recent college grad in a really grim economy. So I took the entry level job on the phones with the goal of moving up within the first year. I knew within the first week that the position was not for me but it took me 2 years of misery to realize that money has nothing to do with happiness and that the co had no intention of helping me develop a career with them. Also, I realized I have the ability to create opportunities in my life, I don't need some big corporate insurance company to create them for me.

    So with the support of my husband and family, I left my job and opened a home child care. The days are long but I am able to find joy in every day. It was worth the pay cut and the risk!
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    Feb 4 2012: Potentially enjoyable jobs become despised because of the ridiculous amount of paperwork and petty bureaucracy that comes with them.

    It is important for many people to feel trusted to do their job to the best of their ability. Because the amount of paperwork is inversely proportionate to the the amount of trust, it will come as no surprise that any interest in the job will simply vanish.
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    Feb 4 2012: I don't have any time to waste in a job...I'm very busy with my own things.
  • Feb 7 2012: I'm happy with my current job but I believe that there must be something else that I can do better and love more. To me life is a journey to find the reason why I live and what I like the most. Work is just a part of it, probably a tiny piece. As many people here said earlier, I totally agree that if I don't like my job, then I should quit it and don't waste my life. It is, however, a painful and difficult decision to make.
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    Feb 6 2012:  
     
    > “...mostly, we have been grown up being told we have to earn money before we can run after our dreams...”

    You don't have to have a job to survive or to “run after a dream”. And if you don't like the monetary system, you can always take a year off and do the “Christopher McCandless” thing (do it smartly of course so that you know how to grow your own food, build shelter, keep danger away, be self sustainable, etc). Then you'll be free to do anything out in the wild. And once you've tried it and like it, then go back to the city, show others how it's done and get those who are interested to join you.





    (I'm only half serious)
     
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    Feb 6 2012: I am completely happy with my present job. There is a lot of reason behind this first of all i would like to say that my previous job was terribly tough and challenging and i never wanted that sort of job. But i feel really relax and comfort with my recent job. Actually everything is depends on your perception and the way you receive it, if you think that you can not cope with your job and end of the day it will really difficult to go with the rhythm therefore i would say that take everything very simple and easy way and let it go as we go. Cheers. Probir
  • Feb 4 2012: I work as a Nursery Assistant at a large Nursery in England. I love my job and i cant imagine doing anything else I am on a low wage the work is physically demanding and can be emotionally draining. I see this as my calling in life helping children to develop is very rewarding. The positive out weigh the negative aspects of my job everyday! I think I could not go to a job I did not enjoy and have sympathy for people who do. Earning a low wage can be difficult and I do struggle but I am generally a happy person which to me has more worth than a big house/car. I also have a lot of self respect and pride within my role which in turn means I am respected as a practitioner. I guess enjoying my work means Im a very lucky person?