So in my last post I made a reference to clay...I think it's a great metaphor for life in general. You shape your life like you might shape clay. You see a vision and you try to create it with the clay...sometimes you get it just right, sometimes you fail...and sometimes it turns out nothing like you envisioned and yet...you unexpectedly create something amazing and beautiful that you never intended to...a mistake becomes a beautiful and interesting work of art. I bet museums are full of wondrous mistakes!
For so long I have felt like I don't have a clue what I want to be when I grow up! Everything I thought of required more school or would require me to intern and start at the very very bottom....and I wasn't prepared to do either of those things. Which kind of tells me if I'm not willing to work for it, maybe it's not a career I can get really passionate about.
I think part of my problem is that I'm not really a career person. I am much more passionate about spending time with my family and friends. I would rather spend time decorating my house, making dinner, watching TV with my soon to be husband...eating out with friends, playing board games...enjoying LIFE than working. Don't get me wrong, when I find a job I like I do it well and it's very important to me that I do well. Actually...now that I think about it I have been pretty dedicated to my jobs...I do feel a strong sense of obligation and feel guilty if I don't do everything I can for the job and the people I'm working for. And perhaps I feel more of an obligation than I should at times...I have been told more than once that managers have taken advantage of the fact I will help out whenever I can and that as loyal and hard working as I am, the particular position I am in doesn't really give me back as much as I put in. All fair points. However...I don't think my dedication to a job is a bad thing...I think it shows integrity and a strong work ethic. I happen to like that I feel I should do right by other people...even if they won't do right by me. Why should I make myself into a bad person just because someone else is? But I digress...I just think I need to find a position where the people there will appreciate my attitude and willingness to do my very best and my dedication..and one that I enjoy enough that it is its own reward.
And I think perhaps, finally...I may have found my line of work.
Awhile back I worked in an insurance office for a couple of years. I did not SELL insurance. The agent wanted me to and I gave it a go, even though I didn't like the idea, and I hated it. So I kept to my administrative duties. Ok, I'll just say it. I was the office bitch. BUT...I seemed to pick up on the ins and outs of policies really well...and I always said I loved the customer service side of things and I would have loved to explain policies to people and tell them all about those policies to help them understand what they had or help them know what they needed and wanted, but I wanted nothing to do with selling. I didn't want any quotas to meet, I didn't want to get paid for telling someone to buy something....I just didn't want the pressure. So after I left I stayed away from insurance, even though I understood it well and loved helping others understand it and I even loved the processing and working with the policies on the computer, I stayed away because I figured I wouldn't be able to get away with not selling for long.
Then I moved back home to KC. And eventually I got a job in a call center for flood insurance. Agents call and ask questions on policies, customers occasionally call in too. And I have found that, once again, I have a real head for insurance. And, not to brag or anything, but I have done really well. I was out of training and on the phones by myself in record time, I was the newest person to be selected with 3 other people to start processing policy changes and most recently I was put on the monitor headset for 15 minutes...you don't know what that means, but trust me, it's kind of a big deal :-)
Unquestionably my insurance customer service background helped me get to where I am so quickly (and ok, I'm really in the same place I started...but I am doing it really well and people are noticing), but at the same time...I get it. I get the insurance stuff. And I ENJOY it! AND! I think I figured out what I want to do. I would love to train people. Teaching was something I wanted to do when I was little and, though I abandoned the idea for a while, I eventually came back to it and it's been in the back of my mind ever since. But I don't want to go back to school. So I think being a corporate trainer might be just the thing for me :-) I have always felt that I have a knack for being able to explain things to people...if they aren't quite understanding at first I can look at it from different angles and find a way to explain so that they do understand. And after all, what am I doing all day now but training agents over the phone?
And it feels so good to finally have a grasp on what I want to do! Sometimes you just stumble across something that you really enjoy. Do I want to answer phones all my life? No. But it's a starting point for something that I think I could really love doing. I have found my piece of clay, I have started molding it...and the vision of what it will be is finally emerging.
Most people spend more of their waking life at work than at home...more time with coworkers than with friends and family. If you have to spend all that time at something....you might as well enjoy it!
So go...find your clay. It doesn't matter if you don't know what you're making with it yet. Start playing with it and mold it into whatever you feel like...eventually you will start to see something take shape...you'll catch a glimpse of something that interests you...and when you start to see it you can mold the rest of the clay around it and see how it looks. And if you stumble across a shape you don't like...remold it! That's the great thing about clay...it's so darn flexible!