Each month I’ll pick three of my random musings, in the hope they’re useful. They might have been things I’ve experienced, read about or become aware of. Enjoy!

These are the October monthly musings. Three short ideas to give you something to ponder…

How do you choose your career?

Some people look at their career as a mathematical formula (right location + right work x right salary = career). Other people are more free-spirited and follow their heart and think about what they fancy doing, regardless of any other factors, which they’ll just make work.

Neither of these are wrong – I know people who are thriving in each world. But it might help you to think about your thinking as you begin a career, or career change or just your next steps. Think about your negotiables in a role, but also have a go at crossing off the things that are dealbreakers. Are you into shift work? How far would you travel for work – or would you move location for it? Any things that you can rule out, or rule in, are really handy starting points for narrowing down your search. Think about your budget too – if you’re paying rent, or have dependents – how much do you need the salary to be in order to stay afloat?

Never apologise in the workplace

What a load of rubbish. I’ve heard this banded around recently – that you shouldn’t apologise to colleagues as it makes you look weak or means you’re admitting being in the wrong. I don’t mind putting it on record that I think this is absolute trash. If you refuse to apologise in the workplace, it doesn’t make you strong, it makes you rude. It puts a distance between you and others, and if we teach children to say sorry, we’re not going to start thinking it’s fine for adults not to say it. Also, when it comes to the argument about admitting being wrong; there’s a few notes on this. Firstly, if you’re genuinely categorically not in the wrong, you don’t have to apologise for it, just don’t draw attention to it or make a point of not apologising. If you are or might be in the wrong, take the responsibility. Owning when you’ve mucked up gets you far more respect than brandishing your perceived brilliance, which others might well have seen through anyway. Don’t play games, don’t be unkind, and definitely don’t do it for personal glorification. Seek forgiveness when you need to and be ready to offer gentle apologies when you were at fault. Rant over!

Live to work, or work to live?

There are two types of ideal work/ workers: those who’s passion is their work, and those who’s work enables them to do their passions.

For some people, the paid work they do enables them to work to their strengths, and take part in things they enjoy, for example an organised extrovert working in the events sector might well feel that their work fulfils them.

For other people, the conditions of their work – be it salary, flexibility, or other factors, enables them the time, money or headspace to pursue their passions outside of the workplace. They might not love their day-to-day work tasks, but they love what it enables them to do beyond their work time.

Maybe you fit into one of these categories. Maybe you don’t fit into either. How can you weave things you enjoy into your work or personal life? Can you join a social or sports or creative club of some kind? Continue to learn new skills? Or can you request to take on a new project to stretch yourself at work?

So, that’s this month’s musings. What career thoughts have you been musing this month?

Getting further support from The Careers and Enterprise Team at CCCU

You can get ongoing careers support via the following ways: