I really hope that my kids don’t struggle with employment like I did. As in doing something fulfilling for an income. When I look back at my best and worst jobs, it’s obvious now that the fulfillment was directly related to my personality and interests. Like lots of people, I’ve taken jobs primarily due to the need for income. Or rather, I wanted to spend money and I didn’t have any. Most of the jobs I’ve taken fit this category, until I got older and the wanting to spend got replaced by got bills to pay and want health insurance.
On the plus side, I’ve been fired or quit cold from 3 out of every 4 jobs I’ve ever had. I’ve often been proud of this fact since it seems to say that I don’t give a crap about most crappy jobs. Or my spirit can’t easily be subverted. Or I had better things to do than needlessly pad a resume with actual work.
On the minus side, I’ve had plenty of pointless, mindless jobs. The absolute worst of the lot was a 1 1/2 year stint working at a financial services company. It combined the worst of the job words: 1. financial = being surrounded by people who worship the dollar and think they all need to be Republicans (strange but true) and 2. services – service-oriented jobs are hard to tolerate unless you REALLY give a crap about what you’re doing.
I took the job for one single reason: health insurance. Then spent 1 1/2 yrs looking for another job (something I managed to screw up in the hottest job market NYC had ever seen). My duties took 20 minutes a day to complete and I would have died without internet access. I had nothing in common with the people around me and still have the performance review noting that I ‘needed to be more social with the group.’
I definitely took some positives away from that job though. I saw the people who had worked there for 30 years, who looked completely beaten down by life, and I did not want to be them. I interacted with people who seemed to care about how much a stock price was only because someone told them they should care, and I didn’t want to be them. And I taught myself how to code webpages, which has made an incredible difference in my life.
Or rather, following my own interests has made the difference in my life. In any case, I hope my kids don’t go through a job like that unless they want to. I can’t imagine what the appeal would be when there’s so much more interesting things to do in life. Next week: my best jobs.