Wonderful, fabulous work

Some time ago in my previous job I was rather disconcerted to be asked by my new American boss, do you find your job fun? I stared at her in blank incomprehension. My job…fun? Somehow "fun" just didn't come into it when thinking about work. I might have said I found it interesting or stimulating, possibly even enjoyable but I would never have called it fun.

In the current economic climate fun and work would seem to be even less related than ever. However, not unsurprisingly when unemployment is rising and job security seems like a distant dream, it seems that we are valuing our jobs much more. Both the Telegraph (Is the World of Work Working?) and the Guardian (The New Work Order) have recently published articles on this. Those of us in work stop worrying about whether our jobs are fulfilling enough and are just thankful to be in employment. Some work harder to prove their value to their organisation but others sink into resignation and inertia.

 In the Guardian article Angela Carter of Sheffield University's Institute of Work Psychology says "What employers want from their work-force now is employability and skills." Carter believes the employees who will survive the current recession best are those who succeed in escaping what she calls the "occupational work silo": people who think in terms of what they can do across an organisation, rather than what they have done in their job to date.

A recession-appropriate CV, Carter says, should not be a bald list of qualifications and experiences, but "all about your skills. It should be: 'This is what I can do, I solved this problem last year', not, 'I've got this qualification and I've been with that company for 15 years.'

Worth keeping this in mind when you're updating your CV. Where there is stiff competition for desirable jobs, you need to concentrate harder than ever on selling your skills to potential employers.

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