Lessons of an Employment Vagabond   2 comments

July 24, 2017 – What Kind Of Lessons Could Anyone Learn From What You Do In Your Career?
Are there life lessons that people who aren’t in your career could learn from? You might be amazed.

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Related imageI’ve been a fair number of things in my employment career. My first “real” job (not working for my mother’s daycare or babysitting the kids down the street) was washing laundry and running the cash register at a laundromat. Then I was a waitress at a family-style diner, a janitor, a maid, front desk personnel at a campground, a cashier in a few businesses, a reporter/journalism, and then I went into administration. When I first decided that I needed a job that actually paid money (reporting wasn’t providing me with a living wage), I decided my existing skills best suited office work, but I didn’t have any experience in that field, so I signed up with a temporary placement agency while I was still working as a reporter part-time. I showed what I could do. I also learned that temps, though they aren’t eligible for benefits, make more money than full-time employees, so I actually temped for about 2 1/2 years in a variety of offices — medical, legal, insurance, University of Alaska, did some research for private investigators, took minutes for some boards, and transcribed a lot of depositions and the minutes for Doyon’s annual meetings.

Then I took a break to spend time with my daughter when she was little. That company went out of business, so I had to start with a new company when I went back. I didn’t like it so well, so as soon as a temp position offered me a full-time gig that I thought I would like, I landed a “real” job. I worked in a construction company, a travel agency, and then went into the mental health field. Now I work in transportation.

I’ve probably had 25 “permanent” jobs in my working career, one for 15 years and then the one I’m working now will probably be the one I take into retirement. I expect to work about 12 years here. That job number is not unusual for Americans these days. We’re all employment vagabonds. The era where you took a job right out of high school or college and worked there until you retired has been over for about two decades. I’m not sure whether that’s a good or bad thing for society, but this one thing I learned from my own employment journey … be flexible.

Image result for image of flexibilityFlexibility is the most important tool an employee can bring to any job. Even in the long-term job I had with the mental health agency …. I used a variety of skills, the demands shifted from time to time and I had to learn new skills occasionally to continue to do my job correctly. The job I am currently in added a component to my position that is journalism-adjacent. I aggregate the transportation news for Alaska on a daily basis. Although I had a background in journalism, it required adding new skills to my set because it had been nearly 25 years since I’d worked in the field.

Flexibility keeps employees in demand and, as an indie author, it provides me the confidence to say “I can do that.” Maybe I’ve never done “that” before, but I am confident that I can learn how to do “that” because I have been acquiring new skills and being flexible my entire working career.

Flexibility is the key to employability.

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Posted July 24, 2017 by aurorawatcherak in Blog Hop, Uncategorized

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2 responses to “Lessons of an Employment Vagabond

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  1. Goodness, what a lot of jobs you’ve had! You’re right though, the days of one permanent job until retirement have long gone.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You right about the flexibility. I’ve also had many jobs, usually only finding a new one to leave an old one when the treatment has been subpar. That’s the beauty of freedom, we can go somewhere else if we don’t like it, picking up new experiences along the way. Thanks for sharing.

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