With graduation just months away, a question looms ever nearer. A question that I have been adequately ignoring: What next?
I need and want to get a job. I need to earn money just like everybody else. And I need to not do janitorial work anymore. Janitorial is what I have been doing nights and weekends for the last six and a half years that I’ve been a student. So I have a couple of ideas about jobs, and I’ve got my eyes open all the time for opportunities. But I’m trying really hard to not over-think it since I really can’t change anything right now. I need to actually graduate first. (Eleven weeks, baby.)
On the one hand, I feel like I could do anything. My education, coupled with general life experience have me well prepared for a multitude of possibilities. I have learned so much in the last decade. I have done so much. While my degree hasn’t equipped me with specific skills intended for a specific job (nursing, welding, teaching, marketing, etc) I do feel like I have the mental capacity to learn, and quickly, whatever it is that my future employer needs doing. Also, I am willing to work. Hard and with conviction. I am reliable. And, believe it or not, I’m pretty cheerful in person. I think.
On the other hand, selling myself is going to be HARD. I made a resume recently, (because I applied for a full time job right before the semester started) (that I fully intended to work while doing five courses) (thank God I didn’t get it) and let me tell you, I don’t look that good on paper. Before I was a student and janitor I was a stay at home mother. Being a stay at home mother is a lot of work and a valuable experience, don’t get me wrong. It is just that it leaves such a giant hole on a resume. And before that (which feels like an eternity ago) I worked at the mall.
And then I also have this faith. And I’m always reminding myself of all the instances of perfect timing and so-called-coincidences (I don’t believe in coincidences) and opportunities and the right people in the right places that God has always provided in the past. I know that He must be mildly amused by my silly worries. I know He’s got me in his hands. Past, present and future. So I keep reminding myself of these things and I just relax and enjoy the educational ride. I’m not actually that worried about the future job. This is all just speculative.
I read a lot of stuff about finding your passion and following your heart and doing something you really like to do. And I get that and I believe that. It’s why I switched back from the Bachelor of Business Administration program to the Arts, where I pursued English and then (surprise!) Philosophy, which I love, love, love.
But I can’t just wander down the street and get a job doing philosophy. Especially with a mere undergraduate degree. (More on that in future post.) (Oh yes, I am serious.) So I’ll need to find something a little more practical (that has NOTHING to do with scrubbing toilets, thank-you very much) but that I still enjoy. So I sit here wracking my brain, trying to figure out what I love.
And here is the answer: I love lots of things!
I love instant, visible results. My husband tells me that one of the most satisfying jobs on the planet is said to be demolition person. Ka-boom! And you’re flooded with a sense of accomplishment. And I have to say, that has definitely been one of the great things about cleaning. I walk into a mess. I make it pretty. I survey my work well done, pat myself on the back, and leave.
I love a good cause! The bulk of my janitorial work has been at our church. Now on a pay-scale, I earn beans at the church – about a third of what I earn (on an hourly basis, I mean) when I clean offices. They simply can’t afford to pay me more. And I don’t care! Whenever I have had to drop contracts in the past because of time-crunches, dropping the church as a client has simply not been an option for me. Even though all I do is clean, I feel like I’m contributing to something so much bigger. I also feel like I’m part of a team there. Even though I work mostly alone, and my work might not be an obvious contribution to the ministry, I do feel like a co-worker with the rest of the church workers. I feel involved in everything they do. I love providing a supportive role to the very important work done there. The thought of not working there makes me very sad. (Even though I feel like I’m reaching my limit when it comes to urinal maintenance.) But you know, other good causes would work just as well for me as the church (or almost as well anyway). I’d love to work for an organization that helps people, helps the planet, or that generally makes the world a better place.
I love reading and writing. Obviously.
I love people! I really, really do. I love all people. I love working with people. I love knowing people. I love shooting the breeze with people. I love teamwork. I’m a peacemaker. I would work well with people.
I love to work alone. As an introvert who has a particularly active family and social life, going to work and getting my alone time in at the same time has been a definite bonus.
I love customer service. This is surprising to me. It just sort of happened. My last retail job before having kids had a huge amount of training in this area and I thought it was fascinating. Also, during the time that I was a Pampered Chef consultant when my kids were small, I tried really hard to provide good service (and felt super-bad the few times I dropped the ball). I get all happy when I am on the receiving end of good customer service. I find it irksome when, as a customer, I get bad service. I think this is an interesting area of business and I would be interested in being involved with this somehow.
I love routine. Having as many balls in the air as I do, I have become efficient in many areas of work. And I find that in every place that I work efficiently, it is because I have the perfect routine in place.
I love opportunity to act spontaneously and be creative. Breaking the routine is exhilarating and fun. And it always helps bring freshness back to the routine.
I love being free to work. I am so used to doing my own thing, at my own pace, and doing it well under no supervision, that I think being micro-managed might kill me a little. I’m a self-starter.
I love research, and I love trying new things. I will need to be in a job where I can learn new things. A lot. Or I will wilt.
I love tweaking. Any system can always be made better. Change is good.
I love beauty. Whether it is making something beautiful, appreciating something beautiful, making somebody else feel beautiful, or spreading the beautiful, I love it. I think beauty is an end it itself.
I love organization. And maybe control. A little bit.
I love women. I love men too. But I love men because they are mysterious and intriguing and powerful in ways I do not comprehend. I love men, but to me, men are over there. Women, are right here, in my face, in my heart, in my brain, in my understanding. I like to help them. I like to look at their beauty. I like to hug them and do fun things with them and work with them and talk with them. Especially about books. And men.
I love hurting people. People who are hurting, not making people hurt. Because they’re real and vulnerable and messy and oh, so human. I love them because I know God loves them and holds them in His hands. I know we have been given to one another in this broken world to help one another. And I want to understand their hurt. And I want to help them feel better.
I love food.
I love art.
I love furniture.
I love houses.
I love colour and design.
I love beautiful fabric and things made out of beautiful fabric.
I love health.
I love kitschy, useless things.
I love thinking outside the box.
I love wine.
I love landscape.
I love things that grow.
I love personalities.
I love new things.
I love old things.
I love … I could go on for ages.
So, in short, thinking about what I like is not helping me narrow my career prospects. That’s all.