I’m 19 and I’ve already had six jobs since the age of 16. That averages me out to only holding a job for six months. Somehow I have problems keeping jobs, not because I’ve been fired, but because I quit. All this quitting is wearing on me. I’m set up to courses in the fall for a Digital Media Arts and Design degree, which will take me two years to complete, if I don’t take a detour. So here is the perfect opportunity for me settle down. Maybe actually have a job for a while, build my reputation up, become part of the a business and a valuable asset. These are all things I realize will help me in the future.
My life has changed a considerable number of directions since my first “real” job. And although I have been welcomed to come back and work for several past employers, I haven’t. There is always something stopping me. I always am striving for better and to learn more. Once I’ve done a job, I feel I have learned it well enough and I want to find something different.
Jobs these days, especially ones you can get without a degree are not supportive of long-term breaks. I have never sacrificed my desires to travel or go on vacation for a job. Maybe this isn’t something employers want to hear. But I think it is far more important to take care of myself. It’s also easier because I have a supportive mother and a place I can stay. I realize that hiring an employee is an investment as well as a cost. They have to take the time to hire, employ, train, do paperwork, etc. The lower the turnover rate the more money stays in the business. I unfortunately have made myself part of that turnover rate.
So, I thought it wouldn’t be too difficult to find a new job once I rested a bit from China. I have decent work history, good references, and interviews don’t make me nervous. Well I’ve had two interviews within the last week, one at a restaurant, the other at a media store. I wasn’t hired for either one. Yes, it hurts a little. I feel rejected. Like, come on. I’m a good employee. I’ve actually decided to settle down. I will work hard for you. But maybe I didn’t want the job enough. Perhaps I was being a bit hesitant. There are always things I could have said that may have gotten me the job or maybe they just found someone better. I just find it ironic that I was more easily able to find jobs with little to no experience.
Now that rejection has scabbed over, I realize there are other possibilities. I’ve tried retail anyway and didn’t much like it. There wasn’t much upward mobility and the pay isn’t great. After working a couple of jobs for $10 an hour I don’t want to go back to $8 an hour. I thought working in a restaurant might be a solution. I know that with a good restaurant and experience that I could exceed $10 an hour in tips. Unfortunately I have no experience in the restaurant business. I probably would have to start off as a hostess. So it appears I am back at square one.
The jobs I have enjoyed the most have been with local businesses-not corporations. When I work for a corporation I feel much more like a number. I do not feel like an asset. There is micromanagement. I just want an employer to believe that I am a good employee and I will work to exceed that. Also, in corporations it’s much more difficult to work out time off. It feels like there is absolutely no flexibility.
I’m not completely jobless though. Through connections and building relationships I have been working at a bed and breakfast as well as driving a woman around to do errands. Still that amounts to less than $500 a month. I have one more lead to follow-up on and some house sitting in the summer. So, perhaps things will work out better. If I just had one more part-time job I would be quite satisfied. I enjoy a variety of work. Not doing the same things 40 hours a week.
So I leave you with one final thought, and that comes from Mike Rowe who wrote a letter about finding the “right career.” I’m not exactly looking for the right career, but I was looking for the “right job” to have for the next couple of years. Maybe there isn’t “the one.” Rather, I make it the one, by working hard and making myself an invaluable employee.
Here’s the letter.