Qu 9. Consider a previous or current job – what specific activities have you done that you enjoy and find engaging?
I remember really enjoying being an accounts clerk in my university summer holidays. The previous year I’d been a chambermaid, which I absolutely hated, so I was delighted when I got the accounts clerk position.
The work involved basically sorting invoices and entering them onto a database, and helping customers with queries about their accounts. I loved the repetitive nature of the invoice/database work. You didn’t have to think too hard – you could just get on with things quietly, focus on the job and get so much done.
I also remember really helping a particular customer – I can’t remember what the issue was but I remember running around to different departments, doing a lot of digging, searching for old invoices and statements, basically trying to figure out what had gone wrong. I loved it. I loved getting to the bottom of it, resolving the situation and seeing how happy she was.
I also took part in the warehouse audit where we went around each department counting everything. Again I enjoyed this. There was a real sense of team spirit the whole firm pulling together. I also liked establishing order, categorising things, checklists and ticks! Basically anything that requires good organisation and structure appeals to me even if the activity itself is repetitive. I think this is what attracted me to programming.
In another job (heading up an operational area) I loved the data analysis side – looking at what the stats showed, identifying patterns and trends and using these to debunk misinformation about the area. There is power in data and I love it when we can utilise this power.
But I’ve also enjoyed every time I’ve needed to pull together a group of people, maybe to pass on some difficult messages, and been able to turn this into something positive, a moment where they come together as individuals but leave as a team with a strong sense of mission. It sounds so corny but I love it when I can tap into something with a group of people and see that I’ve moved them, inspired them, motivated them. And usually all it takes is a moment of truth, a telling it as it is with honesty and authenticity, and of course showing them that you believe in them and that they can meet the challenges ahead. I’ve always enjoyed being the champion of the underdog.
And finally in all my jobs I’ve loved the 1-2-1 time when I’ve been able to truly engage with someone, really understand who they are and help them resolve some issue/difficult situation in work. I know what it’s like to feel overlooked/ignored/taken for granted etc (pretty much my current situation – and there is no one I feel I can turn to in work for help and support right now). I really try to make sure the people who work to me never feel that way, that they know I have their backs and I will support them. I think that has been the best part of any job I’ve done.