Tuesday, February 05, 2008

A reminder...

Looking back at yesterday, I am reminded why I got a college education, why Scott is working towards his PhD and why it is so very important to work smart more than you work hard. Here is why:
Monday 2/4/2008
7:15AM - woke up
8:10AM - catch the bus to work
9:00AM - 5:00PM- at work
5:00PM - head for subway
5:30PM - purchase new clock radio
6:10PM - arrive home
7:00PM - watch Wheel of Fortune & Jeopardy
8:45PM - go to bed

Now, that, my friends, was a day when my every waking moment was spent wondering why I wasn't asleep. Assuming I went to sleep by 9:15 or so...I got 10 hours of sleep last night. This morning I am still tired, but not nearly as tired as I was yesterday. I shall be repeating this process for the next 2-3 days, maybe extending things a little so I go to bed at 10 instead of 9. I am so glad, so very, very glad that this is not my everyday life. I was so exhausted last night I maybe spoke 3 paragraphs to my hubby...who lovingly took care of me, made me soup and stroked my brow. I programmed the new clock.

I know that many people with college educations, many people actually using those college educations have jobs that take the same amount of time, if not more, every day. My thankfulness is for the positions I'm able to get, even temping, due partially to my college education. This difference is not necessarily in position, as a temp my preferred position is receptionist - a job many people acquire without a college education. But, especially with temporary work, the difference is in the quality of the establishment I find myself at. Funnily enough, not only does this usually mean more pay (the better to pay off the college loans!) it also usually means either less actual work or more interesting work. Even more importantly, the people I find myself interacting with tend to be educated, interesting individuals as well. And this is the reason that, most of the time, my weekdays are not typically a straight slog from job to bed.

The reason for this departure from a normal, happy day that involves actual conversations and making of dinner instead of merely dropping from work to slumber is that I haven't been slumbering nearly as much as I'd like in the last 2 weeks. Which brings to mind the last time this happened - the resulting illness and change of habits.

At the beginning of my "career" as a professional temporary associate (The term used by one of my favorite agencies for whom I worked in Oxford, England.) I found myself in a job that was as sloggy as a slog could be. I lasted 4 months in this position, 4 months of being the lowest bump on the totem pole, the most hammered peg in the block. Finally my body rebelled - I got the worst case of flu imagineable and the position suddenly ended. It was then that I decided to be a little more discretionary with my positions. Fortunately for me, at the time my wonderful hubby was earning enough money with his sloggy job that I could afford to be a little picky in my assignments. This meant that I only worked for companies that I "liked the sound of" or positions that were short term enough that if I didn't like them, things would sort out on their own.

All this experience meant that when I came to Toronto not only did I have knowledge of the types of companies I wanted to work for, I had the experience and the references to ask for them with confidence. And so it is that now I work in "executive level" positions. Agencies (especially Kelly Services, thank you Kelly!) send me to their high level clients knowing that I can put forth not merely a pleasant demeanor but also a wide variety of skills. Sometimes this means I'm working my butt off. Othertimes...well other times I blog when the phone doesn't ring. Because that's the nice thing - the more "executive" you are, the more your receptionist is there to make people comfortable when they come in the door. And that's what I like doing best of all - helping the highly intelligent, unique personalities that are VPs, entrepeneurs, department heads, etc to be comfortable. Right now, I'm learning lots and lots about how the different sectors of the business world all come together. It will be interesting to see where this puts me when I make my next career move this summer or fall. Hopefully I'll be able to pick a path and find a unique niche somewhere interesting and fulfilling.

1 comment:

Doing Better Than I Deserve said...

A lot of people dread getting up every morning, then go to a job that they dislike, then go home and grumble...because they have to have the paycheck. It is worth working and sacrificing to move yourself from where you find yourself now towards a future where you have a job that you actually enjoy doing. I speak from experience.

It sounds like you are doing that - figuring out what you like, working towards it. In your case, this is mostly a matter of getting Scott through his piled higher & deeper (Ph.D.). But it also includes developing your own career path. ("Mother" is a career. I think that it would suit you nicely in the long run. But then, I would think that. For now, focus on the PhD.)