When it comes to deciding what career is right for you, your skills and interests are the most important things to consider. But it’s also key that your job makes you happy and fulfilled. So to help you figure out what that is, we spoke to a wide range of young professionals to hear what they love most about their jobs.
1. Being part of a team
We asked our 60 Second Interviewees, why do you love your job? And what we found is that many of them said their colleagues were a big part of it. Construction site manager Jay told us that having “a sense of belonging to a team” was one of the best things about her job.
2. Helping customers
Lots of the young professionals we spoke to said what they love about their job is the satisfaction of being able to really help customers – and seeing their reactions.
Neil runs a jewellery business. He told us: “The best thing about my job is definitely the the reaction we get from customers when they receive their order. I get to see some amazing pieces of diamond jewellery. Working with customers to create bespoke products from scratch that will last them a lifetime is very rewarding.”
It’s a similar story for bridal consultant Grace. “The best thing about my job is being able to help the brides choose their dream dress. It’s such a special time for them and to be part of it is a special experience.”
For financial advisor Joe, being able to give customers advice they can rely on made him feel useful in his role. Having a sense of purpose is crucial to making sure you’re happy in your career. He told us: “It’s nice to help people understand the complicated world of tax, savings and investments, so that’s a huge bonus. You are helping them understand something quite complicated and you are often working with sophisticated individuals, so it doesn’t feel like you are patronising them or doing something anyone could do. The face-to-face element is key for me – I couldn’t do my job over the phone or by Skype all day, and I don’t think many of my clients would like it either.”
3. Creative freedom
A job that allows you to use your creative flair and come up with clever solutions to problems at work is a big motivator for young professionals. And creativity is a valuable skill in loads of different jobs – not just ones in the media or the arts.
Kate is a compliance instructor, which involves teaching her colleagues new skills and information. What she loves most about her job is “the freedom to be creative. My day is not dictated to me, and the tools and methods I use are entirely up to me.”
Actor Jordan has very a different sort of creative freedom in his role in Cats The Musical. “I think the best thing about my job is that I get to be someone different most nights. And a lot of the show happens in the audience - it's great to see the audience's reaction when a cat runs up to them and touches their hand with a paw! The faces are really exciting and it definitely gives you a buzz.”
4. Making a difference
Lots of our interviewees said making a meaningful impact on people’s lives was best part about their careers. Care assistant Jessica explained: “I love my job as it’s very rewarding and knowing that we make positive impacts on our residents' lives makes me happy. This job has also allowed me to meet some very inspirational people. I don’t just look after old people, they are people who have done amazing, exciting things in their lives and if you take the time to listen you can learn a lot.”
Physiotherapist Helen has a similar experience at her work. “The most rewarding part of my job is seeing people regaining their independence. For some people it might only be the ability to feed themselves, for others it might be walking with the end goal of getting back to work. It's what is important for the person, and the journey we can experience with them”.
6. The hours
One of the perks of being freelance or running your own business is that you can make your own hours. Managing your time is a big motivator for plenty of people.
Michael, who is a merchant navy chief officer, has an even more unusual set-up – and that’s one of the things he loves most about his career. “I only work half of the year! I have no daily commute to work, my cabin is several decks below my office and the ship’s bridge, and for every day I am onboard, I earn 1 day’s paid vacation. This job really takes the old saying “work hard, play” hard to the limit.”
7. The variety
Most people like to shake it up every day, so a job where there’s lots of variety can be rewarding. Management consultant Dr Shirani said: “Very few days are alike, especially with the chance to travel. Having worked for global companies before, it was always cool to enjoy the perks and travel to parts of the world I would never have dreamed of visiting!
Pictured, clockwise from top left: Joanne, Jay, Neil, Jessica, Dr Shirani, Joe.