living happily ever-after

May 13, 2019
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… want to be happy?

The 2017 Push-Doctor survey of 1000 participants reveals that only half of UK adult males consider themselves “happy” or “very happy”, falling to only 42% in the case of women.

Although what makes us happy is likely to vary according to the stage of our lives, as a working proposition for this blog let’s assume the survey is specifically applicable to, say, 30 year-olds, and that 20-year-olds would have at least a passing interest in what will impact on their happiness over the next 10-years.

So what is the magic secret that splits the adult population in half?  According to the Push-Doctor survey the recipe is quite simple; divide your life equally between work, play and sleep.  As sleep and play are individual choices, let’s focus on the somewhat trickier mission of being happy at “work”.

… whistle while you work …

Again according to the Push-Doctor survey, only 62% of men, 67% of women, consider themselves happy at work; these are dire statistics, bearing mind that we spend around one-third of our lives at work, and that we are likely to be at our most productive if happy to be doing the job.  So how, as a 20 year old, do we go about making sure we enjoy the rest of our working life?

The answer is not, of course, simple but it is worth taking a little time out to develop your own “working-life” plan, perhaps scoped-out around ten years ahead;  this “plan”, which needs to be reviewed and updated regularly, might ask and answer the following questions:

* What working life would you like to have in 10-year’s time, and what do you need to do to achieve it?
* Of the things you need to achieve, which of them will you tackle in the next 5-years?
* What are your career-related targets for the next 12-months?
* What tasks do you need to start tackling to meet your targets?

… transitioning from school to work …

Many young people experience an agonising transition from school to the world of work, with for many simply signing-up for a University course being the easiest option.  It’s what many parents expect, and helps to postpone making harder decisions for another three years.

The transition becomes much easier when it is appreciated that the school experience is nothing like the world of work, which is much more enjoyable – and results in pay!  Also, it is helpful to appreciate the difference between education at school/University, and jobs-skills training which is much more enjoyable.

Above all, having a “working life” plan in-place makes the transition to the world of work much easier, and helps to inform key decisions on what to do on leaving school.

… your job-search toolbox …

Armed with your working life plan, you can now equip your job-search toolbox with what will be needed to implement the plan; these include any academic qualifications you will need, together with evidence of relevant technical/job-related skills and the skills needed to apply successfully for job interviews.

Performance at job interviews will also be key, the need being to convince your prospective employer that you have researched what the job is all about, are suitably qualified, and can evidence you have the skills to do the job.  Thankfully, there are a host of enjoyable online training courses that can help in all the above respects – including University degrees and Masters.

Alongside this, potential employers will also be interested in your experience, in which context holiday employment as a shelf-stacker or bar-tender is unlikely to impress.  This is where international travel, undertaken with a purpose, can help to round-out why you are the right person for the job.

… gap-year style travel with a purpose …

Providing gap-year style travel with a purpose is the hallmark of Global Grad whose participants combine the sybaritic pleasures of foreign travel, in a balanced way with using online learning to acquire the qualifications and skills to apply successfully for their dream job when they are ready.

Almost equally important, participants are provided with high-quality local work hubs in which to pursue their studies, a feature of which is that they come into daily contact with local entrepreneurs and business start-ups which gives them a wealth of material to discuss at their own future job interviews, as does their general travel experience.

Find out more here!

About the author

Terry Nash is an adviser to the Global Grad initiative.

He is a former Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel Development, the Chartered Institute of Marketing, the Royal Aeronautical Society, and the British Institute of Management.

Terry is a “generalist” who started his working life as an engineering apprentice with the British Oxygen Company, subsequently serving in the RAF before holding senior posts in the public, private and “third” sectors.

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