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Image / Editorial

The perfect job might not be so perfect in reality


by Colette Sexton
03rd Jul 2018
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Colette Sexton, news correspondent at The Sunday Business Post, on why the grass might seem greener but it is always worth doing the research before switching careers.

The exams are done and the 2018 batch of Leaving Certs now anxiously await their results before they head off on the next step in their lives, whether that is work or further education. But it is not just teenagers that dream of their perfect jobs.

One in 10 people in Britain have a current intention to change their career, according to research from the Guidance Council in 2010, and this is likely to double over the next 20 years.

Irish people are similar, with 45 per cent of professionals here saying that they are not working in their desired field, according to a survey from CV-Library, a job site. Over a third of Irish professionals (37 per cent) of the 1,100 workers surveyed said they are unhappy in their current role.

So if they had a choice to pick their perfect job, what would they go for? The majority (25 per cent) went for the predictable, make-the-mammy-happy role of doctor. But this was closely followed by social media influencer (24.6 per cent). Rounding off the top ten were more traditional roles flight attendant (20 per cent), accountant (16.4 per cent) and athlete (16.1 per cent), brand manager (16 per cent), mechanical engineer (15.6 per cent), sales manager (15.1 per cent), teacher (14.6 per cent) and business analyst (10 per cent).

It is interesting given the amount of hate and vitriol that is spewed at influencers online that nearly a quarter of the population actually wants to be one. Of course, they do seem to live the best lives. They are their own bosses, they decide their own working hours, they get free gifts and luxury trips and people outside the industry probably think they do very little work for it. It is easy to forget, however, that like the rest of us, influencers only put their best moments on social media. It is rare to see the less Instagrammable side of their lives. This can include dealing with hurtful or even frightening messages from anonymous followers, endless editing, demands to share every aspects of their lives and, like most self-employed people, badgering companies for payment for work done.

Social media influencer is not the only role on that list of desirable jobs that has its downsides. Doctors might save people’s lives but they work under extremely difficult conditions with long shifts in highly pressurised environments and not every patient can be saved. Flight attendants might get to see the world, but they also have eeratic working hours and have to deal with some nasty passengers. Accountants might have stable clear career paths but their day to day work can be repetitive and in busy season they work long hours. Athlete win medals, stand on podiums, and gain plaudits but they are required to constantly train and often have restrictive diets.

From the outside, these roles can look fantastic, but the reality is that any kind of high-powered or well-paid job will require tough work, long hours, and sacrifices. It is a brave move to change career, and fortune favours the brave. But make sure that you know everything, the pros and cons, of the job you want to break into before you make a move.

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