The opening entry of this blerg mentioned that I recently left my job, leaving me with quite a bit of time on my hands to be writing these words for you people. When I am not writing or reading #52books (one of my 2014 resolutions), I am filling out countless job applications. Fucking, so many job applications. During this process I have the lovely task of trying to convey on a 2-page resume the education, skills, and experience I have that qualify me for each given position. Somewhere on a jump drive of mine there exists a resume that lists every job I have ever had. Just in case. If you were to glance at that beast of a CV as an employer, you would probably assume I had a personality disorder (or was on speed) and was unemployable. Let me elaborate…
The following is a list of jobs I have held and the time periods during which I held them since I began working in jobs. To put the list in perspective: each set is about a four-year period, and at most I was working two jobs at a time. So there is some overlap but there’s way more “transitioning” between jobs:
High School (2001-2005)
- Four Season’s Restaurant (Midway, Tennessee’s version) busser and buffet attendant
- Bluewater Lodge busser and buffet attendant
- The Blue Chair Bakery and Cafe barista, baker, cook, cashier
- I think I babysat a kid or two in high school. Not big on chullren.
- Office assistant (mostly filing charts in my parents’ medical practice)
- ESL teacher
- Campus gymnasium/rec center operations manager
- Campus basketball arena event staff
- Coaching middle school basketball
- Coaching fitness classes at several gyms
- Nutrition education for kids
- Sex education for high schoolers
- Health outreach worker (3 temp gigs, 3 countries)
- English teacher
- Summer camp counselor
Post-college/Grad school (2009-2013)
- Oh, the restaurants. I have put in my goddamn time waiting tables. Paschal’s, DBA BBQ, Neiman Marcus’ fancy pants dining room, the Barrelhouse, I’ll stop.
- Pink Pony. Yep. I worked at the Pony for a period. I was not a stripper though! I was a shooter girl, so I wore some clothes. Sorry mama.
- Old folks’ activity center manager
- Social media maven for a nonprofit startup
- Fundraiser for a different nonprofit
- Personal assistant to a dickhead
- Singer of songs in smoky bars
- Health outreach worker again
- More fitness and personal training
- Music venue/bar general manager
You can glean two things from this list:
- I haven’t exactly found what I like yet. Aside from coaching fitness (which is like 5 hours a week at most), I haven’t stayed in the same job for more than a year save for two exceptions. And those jobs were both more about the social aspect– all my friends were in those places at the time. If you are a potential employer reading this– I know it looks terrible. It is pretty terrible. But…
- I have a LOT of different skills and experience. It is hard to put on a resume that I can sell and upsell my life away, bake a real mean pastry, network my face off with musicians/bands/DJs/artists/sponsors/clients/customers/benefactors/donors/online communities, take care of old people, teach, coach, lift heavy shit, get dirty, lead people, organize anything alphabetically by color, do CPR, help you lose weight, and generally just adapt to anything I need to learn and do.
The thing is that even though I didn’t stick with any of these paths for long, I did them well. I work really fucking hard. Maybe that contributes to my burnout factor. But you can look at that list and say, “Wow that girl can’t commit to shit” or you can look at it and know that I actually I did really commit to all of those positions, and then realized they weren’t for me. Had the balls to move on and not be stuck in something I didn’t like. Keep moving. I like that outlook better, though I am sure it unsettles my parents, who were fortunate to find the singular careers they love and just do that for the last thirty years.
A huge part of me is terrified of getting old and looking back and saying “I wish I had done this…” So right now– young, unmarried & un-tied-down– I want to taste a little bit of everything I am capable of trying career-wise.
Now, a giant parenthesis:
With every intention of not sounding like some kind of spoiled, entitled, commitment-phobe generation Y-er who doesn’t know what it means to work in a job, let me follow up a bit… I could be cheap and say that the years from 2009 on were a result of a strange economy and there weren’t any jobs in my field, bla bla bla. Probably the truer analysis is that the indecision and bopping around (I think “hesitance to settle” sounds better) could be a result of my upbringing (mom and dad have always said I could be anything, but that I should be happy in whatever it is. God bless them for that. Seriously.); OR it may be a result of my generation not really digging the cube/9-to-5 life (see THIS article); OR it may just be that I haven’t found my thing yet and I am okay with farting around until I do find it.
I do believe that people deserve to enjoy what they do and that one should not have to “live to work” or be caught in a job that sucks their joy away. Call me a romantic. Perhaps even naïve. But that’s what I think and this is my blog.
In the meantime as I am currently filling out applications to some new, crazy, awesome gigs, I tend to whittle down the resume list to make myself look like a sane person, and I go into each of my new undertakings with an attitude of dedication, open-mindedness, and just hard work. Give me a job and I will do it to my best ability. I truly bet you could call most of my former employers and get a positive review after an initial comment like, “Oh yeah Ally, she was only here for like 5 or 6 months.” You may also hear something about me being mouthy… Working on it. For now, being chronically broke is not the worst thing in the world. It is also not forever. I’m okay with where I am because I know it’s temporary. To be clear, “where I am” right now on January 15, 2014 is making $100 a week or so teaching fitness and living on some savings and Christmas money. Hashtag poverty level. Nothing new. Let me repeat that: I am okay with where I am. I afford my own rent & beer & dog food. Acceptance Ownership is empowering.
So to all of those former employers: sorry for flaking the hell out. Kind of a dick move. When I’m good and ready, I’ll use this expensive wall art debt pile prestigious degree to do something meaningful and hopefully earn a living and contribute to society.
Now any of you may feel free to buy my broke ass dinner in the form of a cold sixer. Thx