J is for Job… I’d really be interested in other people’s views on this one…
J.O.B. ~ Just Over Broke.
There’s a difference between a career and a job. A career is the kind of thing you study towards and set about doing for the rest of your life. Think of the Nursing fields… or Police officers, Armed Forces … there are plenty of others, but you get the picture. A lot of these career roles are service positions, but also there are the career techies, teachers, lawyers, and quite a few technical or trades people. I also include Fire Service personnel and Ambulance officers, even though I’m aware they’re often filled by people who do it part-time as an extra, or perhaps have an extra as well… but I know how much training and commitment goes in so I would consider them a ‘career’ rather than a job. A job on the other hand seems to be something you do to get paid. Often part-time, short-term, or somehow not quite as ‘important’ … or is it? Others don’t really seem to think you’ve made any great commitment to it. However, there are plenty who will stick with it and work their way up the ladder (corporate or not). Having been in the situation myself of trying to find the thing I wanted as a career, and not knowing how to get there, I ended up in a job. It was ok but not exactly my choice ~ it was available and I wanted to leave college. Careers advice then was … Limited, shall we say. I was useless at typing (better now) so secretarial was out, there was almost no encouragement for me (being female) to pursue the things I would have liked, other than nursing which although I had no objection to it, and indeed had an excellent role model in my mother… it just wasn’t quite right for me. I wanted to teach, but had a horrible time at school. I loved cooking! but that wasn’t a real job (???) and study towards it was unavailable to me. A job at McD or KFC was available but I knew that was NOT what I meant. Consequently, I took what was offered while I worked out what I did want. I ended up in a line of administration or sales jobs that I have a skill for, but that left something missing. I liked to write but Journalism and authoring were not options either. I needed qualifications that just weren’t quite there. Over the years of traveling and moving about, I tried many different things and discovered I was good at lots of stuff. I like people and relating to them. I’m good at giving instructions and relating info to others, and can also take instruction well. I have an eye for detail; am creative but also (reasonably) ordered; I can be methodical but am flexible too. I keep my head under pressure and am not particularly squeamish at all. After stopping work to have children I was ready to re-enter the workforce. Great, let’s have another go at finding the job to really get into and make mine for the rest of my working life… Or not. There simply wasn’t much about. So I ended up in an admin role that was ok… it had aspects that were awesome, and aspects that were awful. But I stuck with it for the next nine years. I was loyal and committed, which did me no good at all. I had to leave before they sent me completely loony.
J is for Jilted, and also for Jaded… This leads me to a series of jobs that I would have loved to take further, but for a number of ‘business’ reasons, ended in redundancy. First a few years in the Design field, thoroughly enjoyed and learnt several new computer programmes very quickly. That ended as a something like a tax dodge, I‘m sure, making all the losses in one business and CLOSING it, while all the profits went into another. Out of work for a couple of weeks over the Christmas period and got another job straight after Christmas before the kids went back to school. It was another admin job that grew rapidly as the boss realised I could do so much of the twelve or so different jobs she looked after… and took on an extra role and learnt it overnight, then set about fixing two years’ worth of mistakes. Unfortunately the new Big Boss there had his own agenda and installed his own imported staff. My job was restructured, with strings attached … except when it came to do it the restructuring it didn’t happen, but I was gone by then. About a month later I was offered a job by someone I had worked with previously. New job, great boss, she knew my skills, and her boss said to hire me! He had met me before. Spent a few years there, our branch was well-regarded throughout the nationwide business as being very successful… sadly the owners sold the company anyway and … here we go again. However, all is not lost, only a couple of months later, I was offered a position in a similar business; once again my skills were recognised so I clearly have something to offer! A few years working with a fantastic team of people, great boss, good work that I feel is really worthwhile. The whole company seems to sing our praises… awesome! As with any big business and certainly any that are part of a network of other companies, there were re-shuffles going on, but still the business that I was part of was held in high esteem. Or so they told us.
J is for Judas… a termed used for a person you feel has betrayed you… I’m sure there are a few I know who would agree with that sentiment. Although to be honest, the first two redundancies were also the result of this sort of attitude. Do you know, in the first of these four positions, I was asked in the interview ‘was I prepared to stick with them, commit for years, and not just use them as a stepping stone?’ I assured them I was, I’d been 9 years in my previous position and saw no reason I wouldn’t commit at least that to them. He said he liked that answer. Bastard, he only committed a couple of years before doing the dirty on us.
J is for Jeopardise… I have to play the game right or I’ll jeopardise my chances of another job with the company… this is frustrating as I have not done anything wrong. I also have to be careful what I say publicly as future employers don’t want someone they fear is going to be outspoken and call them to task on promises they don’t want to keep.
J is for Juggling… a friend of mine from college days went temping after she lost a job for the umpteenth time. Best thing she ever did, she told me years later. Another friend I know has a good relationship with an agency and does contract work. She certainly seems to be happy with that arrangement. And I can see why each of these ladies is happy with the arrangement. A fixed term lets everyone know where they stand; no surprises from the upper ranks that have their own agenda; and if things go pear-shaped there’s no great loss when it finishes. If things are going as well as they say they are, then contracts can be renewed. Everyone’s happy. Is there a down side? I don’t know ~ I’m asking you! I said I wanted some feedback!
J is for Junction… and this is where I am now… at a junction wondering where the different paths will lead. Previously, I have been upset to varying degrees, but not as much this time. Partly because of my attitude, I’m not letting the turkeys get me down. And partly due to the Jaded feeling. Why does a personal commitment stand for so little? I know a company has to make a profit, but it should also have a responsibility to its staff to do the best for the company and for the staff. If a project is neglected and overlooked, how can the higher ranks expect anything more than mediocre, but if a project is showing signs of success surely they should invest some effort and support before canning it?! Ho hum, the Joy of not being your own boss.
J is for Hey Jude… take a sad song and make it better… and that’s what I plan to do. I’ll listen to what is offered but I’ll be looking to my own future not theirs.
J is for Justify… and I’ll have to work out what is best, and there are many elements to this. What are the key deciders for you? Pay rate is obviously a consideration but not the only one. This is the first time I’ve had anything of a redundancy clause, but if I’m contracting or temping that won’t be a factor. There are certainly other benefits to working for the company I currently do, and I am interested in continuing with them.
J is for Just… as in what is Just and right. I’m not greedy by nature but I’m not prepared to be a doormat or a scapegoat. And I’m really fed up with Only Just ~ I don’t expect Robin Hood to help me out but I am getting sick of hearing platitudes from the Upper Echelons like “We don’t want to lose your skills,” and “We really don’t want to do this” and my all-time favourite: “I know how you feel” even if he has been made redundant himself before (from his lofty position in the clouds, with a big fat redundancy pay-out). I’m sick of working hard and only just catching up with myself when this happens again!
J is for Jinx? Hahaha … luckily for me, I don’t believe in these but I might be forgiven for feeling this way occasionally. Who knows what the future will hold, but I know this, I’m going to be careful to read contracts and weigh my options carefully indeed! In the meantime, of course, if you know of a vacancy somewhere between Palmerston North and Wellington, let me know.