This post is sponsored by Wells Fargo
For so many Millennials I speak with, the fear of being stuck in a lifeless cubicle job is right up there with that dream of showing up to school without your clothes on.
As a generation, we yearn for job flexibility, independence, creativity, and the ability to play a significant role in something significant, which can seem as a stark contrast to the cubicle life many of us have experienced all too firsthand.
If you’ve followed me for a while here at All Groan Up, you know that I lament that for years I became all too proficient at what I call “Cubicle Work” – the art of spreading thirty minutes of actual work to fill an entire day.
Yet, I know now that being an entrepreneur has its own set of real problems. And looking back now at my own experience, sometimes a cubicle job can be something to be thrilled about, when it’s the right kind of cubicle job.
How do you know the difference between a cubicle job you’ll thrive in and a cubicle job you’ll be desperate to escape?
5 Signs You Should Be Thrilled About Your Cubicle Job
- When you’re supported and challenged to grow by good leaders
My first cubicle job out of college was not in a career field that I saw myself staying in. I didn’t love my job, but I did love my boss and the responsibility she gave me from day one. She believed in me and demonstrated her belief by giving me challenging assignments that were slightly over my head, while supporting me in the process.
I was able to grow a range of various business skills–from recruitment, marketing, event planning, public speaking, interpersonal communication skills, etc.–that were forming in me a foundation to build my career upon.
Even if you don’t see yourself in the exact career track you’re in, if you’re being challenged and supported by good leaders who are helping you grow, then you can’t put a price on that kind of education. You’re grooming skills now that you can leverage and harness later.
- When you pick a company with a good reputation and strong values
Often times, what I call our personal “soul values” and the core values of a company are overlooked in the job search and job matching process. What do you value most and what does the company value?
Just like in a relationship, sometimes one of the main reasons for a bad “fit” is simply contradicting core values. Look for a company that knows its values, believes its values, and lives its values in day-to-day business operations. Then, how do those values align with yours?
How do you figure out what a company really values? Talk to people who already work there. Do they feel like the values of the company are just words on a website or a nice piece of art on the front lobby wall? Or do you they feel that the company’s values are something that truly guides the company culture and day-to-day business operations?
Understanding what a company values can help you make a more informed decision on whether or not the company is a good fit for you, and you’re a good fit for them.
- When you pick a company that will invest in your career development and future success
Pick a company that is invested in investing in you.
If a company you’re working for, or looking to apply to, is invested in your career development, it’s hard to go wrong. Companies that have a structure and plan in place to help you grow in your career skills and goals is worth exponentially more than just the paycheck and benefits you also receive.
That’s one of the main reasons I have partnered with Wells Fargo in particular; to highlight the range of job opportunities there for Millennials. Not only because they have a strong reputation with lots of different fields to work in like marketing, customer service, security analysis, accounting, communications, etc., but also because, in all my interactions with them, it’s evident they are invested in your career growth.
As you’ve heard me say before, I truly believe that success in your twenties is more about setting the table than enjoying the feast. When you work at a company that is actively helping you set the table, that’s the kind of place that you want to invest yourself in because you know the feast is on its way.
- When you want to learn how to lead, manage projects, and learn the nuances of an industry
Working a cubicle job in marketing was one of the most positive, instructive, intense, and important parts of my career education. I learned how to manage budgets, create multi-faceted marketing plans across print and digital platforms, juggle a range of projects at once, collaborate across a range of specialties with interesting personalities to create collaborative, win-win, marketing plans.
It was a fire-hose of marketing know-how pointed directly at me every day, giving me skill-sets that I never would’ve possessed otherwise.
When the ceiling for what you can learn on the job is set high, that’s the type of job you can call home for a while.
- When you’re allowed to take risks and be intrapreneurial
When you’re given the latitude to take risks and really make the projects you’re working on your own, it’s really the best of both worlds. You’re using the problem-solving and creativity skills you would as an entrepreneur, without the risk of having it all fall on you if things don’t work out exactly as planned.
To Cubicle or not to Cubicle?
Whether you work in, or outside, a cubicle, it really comes down to finding the right fit for you–your goals, values, and your long-term career vision. Finding meaningful, fulfilling work is one of the most important things you can find.
While you’re not going to love every aspect of your work, it makes life that much sweeter when you’re able to find work that has a lot to love.
I’d love to hear from you in the comments on this article:
What’s the #1 thing you look for in finding the right job and career fit?