Most of us, including me, want to “love” our jobs because its where we spend most of our time (life). I’m always curious to hear about people’s jobs and how they got into their field because everyone’s story is different and interesting!
In my ongoing research of jobs and industries I reached out to gain insight on this topic from other working professionals with the following questions:
1. What’s the best job/title you’ve ever had?
2. What were your key responsibilities in the role and which did you enjoy most?
3. What education and/or certifications were required to qualify for the role?
4. If your “best” role is your current role, is it a result of strategic career planning?
5. If yes, did you partner with a mentor or career counselor to develop your plan?
6. What advice would you give others with an interest in pursuing the same job/career?
Here are a few responses:
M. Joyce McMenamin – “Chief-of-Quite-A-Lot” weighs in, keeping it short and simple with her reply:
“I’ll answer one of your questions.
Q: What’s the best job I ever had? A: All of them.”
– Thanks M. Joyce!
Cristina Gibson – Operations Manager at Protocol Communications shares:
“My first job, my boss always said find something to do so you always look busy no matter what, best lesion I every got and it gave me work ethic.”
– Great advice Cristina!
Nelsene Toriano – Engineering Consultant gives insight about his experience with start-ups:
“The best job I ever had was with a start-up because it allowed me to do whatever to complete the objective. The next best job is the one I have now…a start-up of my own. For the same reasons. I felt corporate america stifled me.”
– So true Nelsene, many find corporate America isn’t for them. Congratulations on your starting your own company!
Felicia Hsieh – Project Manager, Web Programmer, Marketing Manager, and Jack-of-all-Trades shares her work as a Sr. Project Manager at AT&T:
“My best job as a Sr. Project Manager was in leading the first successful nationwide DSL service deployment at AT&T CERFnet from scratch in 6 months. My team built out the networking infrastructure and developed a complete customer-facing service offering. Kudos goes out to my team, who deserves the credit for realizing this network.
I love being put in dynamic environments because it puts all of my experiences and knowledge to the test. My education had a moderate contribution to the success of the project, and it was my willingness to try something new that I found this opportunity.”
– Felicia, you seem to bring a lot of positivity and empowerment to your role and the roles of others, as evidenced by your willingness to acknowledge your team and work enviroment! Thanks for sharing!
Denise Cicchella, MBA, CIA, CFE, FLMI, ACS, – Director – Construction Audit at Control Solutions International shares why her best job is her current job:
“My current job is my best one. My boss believes in me, I have the freedom to run the show, within realms of good business sense, and no one is overlooking my shoulder every step of the way. I did not look for my current job, they looked for me. The fact that I wrote the book on my area of expertise was really what sealed the deal for me.
I admit it is also one of the most stressful jobs I have ever had but the stress is a good stress. I have to be professional at all times. I do public speaking in my job and I thought that would be the hardest part but I have come to really enjoy it and it is a new fave of mine. So if anyone needs a speaker, check out my profile and please let me know.”
– Denise, it sounds like you’ve got it all; thanks for sharing!
Ron Borland, Process Management Consultant at Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company Details his best job experiences, shares insight and some helpful advice for others:
I’ve had a wide variety of jobs, frequently working multiple jobs concurrently. In many cases I was not actually hired for a specific job, but because of my attitude. I have now had five full-time jobs where one of my first tasks was to define the job I’d be doing. It’s been a blast!
Two examples: I was hired the day after my first interview with the company. When I showed up for work, my new boss asked me what I knew about a topic. I admitted I knew nothing at all about it. He told me to research it and bring him a paper in one week detailing how I would modify what we were then doing to incorporate the best practices I learned about in my research. When I presented the paper, he told me to go do it. That became my job for the next year.
For another job, the day I reported to work, my new boss showed me to my desk and then told me he was leaving for two weeks of vacation that same day. When I asked him what I should be working on while he was gone, he told me he was sure I’d find something to do and left. When he came back I presented him with a marketing plan for the department and information about new areas where the team could really add value to the company. Both my recommendations were implemented, and I was given the task of expanding the department’s scope of operations to match my recommendations.
Now for the funny part, in neither of the above cases did my official job title have anything to do with what I really did during the first year of my tenure with the company.
The positions I’ve enjoyed most were not the result of mentoring or career planning. They were due to the fact that I have had such a broad work experience in many fields and am able to take what I learn in one situation and apply it to others.
I am also very good at translating between tech speak and business speak, so am frequently put into postions where my primary role is to make things work more smoothly for others.
My advice to anyone wanting “the best job ever” is to learn as much as you can about as many things as possible.
Stay fairly current in five or more diciplines.
And, above all, be flexible: Be ready to change direction at a moment’s notice. The world will notice and appreciate the fact that you are the one who makes necessary and positive change really happen.“
– I couldn’t agree more Ron, thanks for sharing!
Jon Van Volkinburg, Chemical Engineer, Biotechnology & MBA Candidate Weighs in with his thoughts, touching on each point decisively:
“1. What’s the best job/title you’ve ever had?
Associate (current title) – My primary duties are of a chemical and process engineering nature, but my general job description is “whatever we need you to do and whatever you feel needs to be done.” There’s not many of us here, so, in general, if you aren’t doing it then it’s not getting done.
2. What were your key responsibilities in the role and which did you enjoy most? When I was a “Chemical Engineer” as well as “Process Technologist” my duties were to develop, improve, and troubleshoot pharmaceutical processes. That was a lot of fun. I do that now to some extent, but I do that and more. Still, I like figuring out how things work (or why they are broken) and the fix and improve them. This includes the businesses as well as sophisticated machinery.
3. What education and/or certifications were required to qualify for the role? Chemical Engineering degree, the rest was learned by doing; project management, quality engineering, and statistics were some of the skills I had to develop. In order to contribute more I am working on my MBA.
4. If your “best” role is your current role, is it a result of strategic career planning? My current role is my favorite, and it was not a part of strategic planning. I was laid off from my last job and not many people want to hire an engineer getting an MBA, since it sends a mixed message. They either want an engineer or they want an engineer who has his MBA.
5. If yes, did you partner with a mentor or career counselor to develop your plan? When I was laid off I met with career counselors to help define a career path. Unfortunately, those paths were not available at the time I needed a job and still are not available due to the economy. However, I have continued to meet with them and have found mentors in my current role. This has lead me to reevaluate my career objectives and the manner in which I wish to utilize my education and background. I think that sometimes we need to figure out how to make opportunity with what we have rather than plan out a path and follow it. Career management should be a dynamic and ongoing activity.
6. What advice would you give others with an interest in pursuing the same job/career? Be patient, network, and get involved in the industry learning as much as you can. In general, for anyone pursuing any job/career it is important to never stop learning and growing as an individual, strengthening your offerings. “
– Great info, Jon – Thanks!
Hamish Taylor – Consultant & Coach shares the satisfaction he finds in his current role:
“…my current one. Always was and always will be as I make the most of the opportunities. Must say that I prefer what I to do today to what I did before, but again that was always the case as well – that I believe is defined as progress. What is consistent is that I enjoy working with smart people – both as colleagues and as clients, so them I say a big thank you!
– Thanks Harnish and everyone for your insightful replies!
Now, a little about my best jobs!
Out of sheer luck, my first role after The U.S. Marine Corps was Front Office Coordinator at a San Diego Staffing Agency in 1997. Little did I know that my acceptance of that $8 an hour job would be my foot-in-the door opportunity to my lasting career in the Staffing & Recruiting Industry!
Active Duty marine was my best non-civilian job. I gained diverse experiences from the military! I sometimes miss the excitement of firing live rounds on the rifle range and running 5-7 Miles a day in combat boots and camoflage fatiques with fellow marine platoon members.
My memories of being a marine are surpassed by my passion for recruiting, social online media, networking & keeping up with the latest industry-technology!
That being said, Being a Recruiter is the Best Job Ever!
As Always, Happy Networking!