You’ve probably seen posts similar to this on a couple blogs this week. From Shopping to Saving wrote an excellent post on seven things to consider when assessing your happiness or satisfaction with your job. The post stuck with me for a couple reasons. First, I love reading about people’s jobs. There are so many different types of jobs out there, I find it really interesting to read about jobs that I’ve never heard of or that don’t exist around here. Secondly, the post made me stop and think about my own job. I’ve never really sat down and critically thought about my job. I thought it might be interesting to go through the seven factors and really think about my current position as an Environmental Planner.
- Salary – I make approximately $54,000/year. I am happy with my salary. I think it’s pretty well on par for a junior professional 2 years out of school with a Masters of Science. I receive bi-weekly paycheques, based on how much billed time I submit. I have consistently received raises (read about my latest raise) at the end of each year, in addition to a year end bonus. The bonus is a profit-sharing type bonus, so the amount varies depending on how much money the company makes. There’s also a 3% matched RRSP contribution program. In terms of benefits, we have medical/life/critical illness and disability insurance. Unfortunately, no dental or vision benefits.
- Job Duties – I’m a bit of a jack of all trades in my position, as I have a stronger science background than most planners, so I work on lots of different types of projects. I do some typical planner work, like environmental assessments, but I do get to do other jobs like development charges and work involved with environmental stewardship and monitoring programs. I’ve worked on developing websites, print material, given presentations, but also get called on to go to meetings all of sorts with all sorts of stakeholders. I generally enjoy what I do. It can be very challenging at times, as I’m still learning the ropes of dealing with all the politics that go along with municipal projects, but I’m getting more and more confident the more projects I get to work on.
- Location/Commute – I drive 30 minutes (in good weather) to work. It’s an easy commute (in good weather) on a quiet country highway, usually the only thing I worry about it is Bambi jumping out in front of my car. I love the town my office is in, it’s a beautiful small town with lots of historic buildings, an awesome beach and boardwalk and lots of great restaurants and shops. The office is just off the main centre of town, so it’s within walking distance of lots of the shops and restaurants. There’s a YMCA in town where I go during lunch to work out too. The office building itself is a former Victorian-style home, so it’s full of amazing architectural features – in fact, my office has a fireplace in it! The only thing I dislike about my office is that there’s only one shared bathroom on my floor and it can get pretty nasty sometimes.
- Co-workers – I work with a lot of great people. I get along with pretty well everyone at the office – my officemate is fun and in the same age group as myself, so we get along swimmingly. I’ve made some really great friends at the office and everyone is pretty cool. There’s only one person who makes my blood boil, but I don’t have to deal with him on a regular basis, so it’s ok. I’m lucky too that I have a great boss. I’ll admit that sometimes he overshares and can get on my nerves with his stubbornness, but overall he’s been a great mentor to me.
- Atmosphere – It’s generally pretty easy going. It’s a professional office, so aside from phones, it’s pretty quiet. I think my favourite thing about the office is how open it seems. Everyone always has their door open, people are welcome to go into other people’s offices for chats. Also, the company is very community-minded, so we participate as a group in community events like Hockeyville, which means tomorrow everyone is wearing hockey jerseys to work. I am beyond excited to wear my jersey to work. Comfiest work day ever!
- Flexibility – Generally, I work 8-5, with an hour for lunch. I do have the option of banking time and using it later. I can also work from home, which is so great because I’m not pressured to try and get to work when the weather is bad. Getting a day off isn’t hard either.
- Advancement – There are opportunities to advance in the company. A long term goal of mine is to actually become a partner in the company (if not the first female partner). In the shorter term, I can see myself working my way up to becoming a senior planner. While there’s no chance of further education (like getting a phd paid for), the company does send me away to conference, seminars and courses to keep me good and educated.
As you can probably tell, I’m pretty happy in my current job. I’m really fortunate that I was able to get into my field right out of school, with a great company, in the part of the country I wanted to be in. There are days when I’m bored silly and just want to go home, and there’s other days when people are threatening to sue me for suggesting that their town need sewers, but those days are few and far between. The challenge that comes with dealing with the public, municipal governments and other levels of government is something I really enjoy. Having the support around me to be able to do my job well really helps in maintaining my happiness (and sanity) in the office too.
How does your job treat you?
Have a good ‘un