June 15, 2005

What to do, what to do

Have you ever seen that Walgreens series of commercials...."In Perfect"? You know, "In the land of perfect, your camera is always loaded, your clothes are always clean...." Yeah, well in my PERFECT everyone would be happy, well rested and doing exactly what they love to do.

My beloved BlogFather is actually in a position to do what he loves to do for a living. The down side on that? Tryin' to figure out exactly what that is. And it's not an easy thing.

When I left Tropicana I took a bunch of tests. Tests to help me find out what my strengths are, where my interests lay, how to use my personality to make a living AND be happy.

The results? Sales. Outside Sales.

So....I redid my resume, highlighted those achievements and strengths and Voila! I was an outside sales rep. Wanna know a secret? I really didn't like it - let alone love it. Oh there were parts that appealed to me - but the down side was huge. I loved the freedom, but craved structure. I loved working from my home, but damn it was lonely. I love the challenge of sales - but a driving factor with me is secruity. Commission? Not so secure.

So...while the tests were right - I was good at it - they didn't capture those small but important details. They are a tad bit generic.

I knew when I was moving up here I had to make some decisions BEFORE I started the job hunt. I needed to set my priorities. So that was exactly what I did. As soon as I finished that, I started doing the old Alpha/Omega list. What I love. What I hate. You know what the hardest part of that was? Being honest. That surprised me. I had no idea how difficult it would be to put down, on a piece of paper, what was important to me. But it was....and it took a long time to work that list up.

I was lucky. I had worked in a job that was a close to perfect for me as you could ask for....but in examining it I discovered it wasn't just the job...it was the people, the product, the time in my life. If I was offered that same job, with the same expectations now - I'd turn it down. It wouldn't be right anymore. I've changed.

So......I made my list of priorities. I knew I needed to make a minimum amount of money. I had responsibilities now and I know I don't function well if money is something I worry about. I knew I wanted minimum travel. I have Cody now, and to be honest - I want to put down roots. I want to build a network of people in my day to day life. I want a life.

As the list of priorities finally reached an end it was time for that Alpha/Omega crap. I hate these. Every time I do one of these I feel like such a self-centered twit. I am always amazed at what makes me happy and what pisses me off. Such silly things sometimes. But - it's a great tool. Really it is.

Alpha - I LOVE PEOPLE. I want to fix things - situations. You know, be the hero. I love analysis. Team - building and being a part of a team.

Omega - Commission. Nope. Can't do it anymore. Travel - as little as possible.

And so it went.

The last step in the whole self discovery process - just list out your skills. For me - I'm good with people. I'm good with analysis. I'm baaaadddd with repetition. Etc. Etc. Etc.

Did I find the PERFECT job? No....but that's because not only did I change jobs I'm changing my life, and that chafes a bit. BUT.......I got the things that were on my Alpha list. And that is important.

So Harvey - as you have this opportunity to change your life - grab it with both hands. Lok at what you enjoy, what you're good at.

You've got a loving and supportive wife, a creative streak that is amazing, and a family that ADORES you!!

Good luck sweetie. I hope this helps a little bit.

Posted by Tammi at June 15, 2005 04:41 AM

I took one of those tests and it said I should be a meat cutter since I didn't like working with people. I meant I didn't want to work with the PUBLIC! Anyway, from meat cutter to aerospace engineering, go figure.

I just always knew what I wanted to do. But now... I don't know if this is what I want the rest of my life. Time will tell.

Both my blogfather's are in the same type boat now. I don't think I've really wanted two people to find 'the right' job and be happy as much as I want them to now.

Posted by: Bou at June 15, 2005 05:27 AM

When I got layed off in August 2003 I did what Tammi did but didn't actually write anything down.

I knew I was at a point in my life that there were certain things I demanded from a job/company.

I also knew that I could actually take my time in finding the exact job I wanted because I had a hubby who was working and we didn't really need the extra income for at least a year.

I was determined to only take a job that would make me happy and further me along towards my eventual goal in my career.

It surprised me that it only took 7 weeks to achieve that, but while I may bitch, whine and complain a lot about my job, I love every minute of it. The job and the people I work with.

I'm glad I didn't settle.

Harvey, you have a chance to find something you love. You know the time frame in which it needs to be done, stick with that and don't settle.

Posted by: Machelle at June 15, 2005 07:47 AM

Great post! The closest I came to taking one of those tests was buying 'What Color is Your Parachute?' after I quit one job... eons ago. It did help me zero in on my strengths and weaknesses. ;)

Posted by: pam at June 15, 2005 07:54 AM

Ok, so "What Color Is Your Parachute" is a good resource?

I was hoping to find something like this on line, since I'm lazy, but I may have to schlep down to the local library and poke around the shelves a bit.

Good point on "it's hard being honest with myself". I do a lot of navel-gazing, but sometimes it's really hard to pick the "true" answer instead of the "I'd *like* this to be true" answer.

Posted by: Harvey at June 15, 2005 08:31 AM

Tammi...did you take the strengths quest? Cause your Alpha's sound like my 4 strengths when I took that recently. Kinda funny.

Posted by: Sissy at June 15, 2005 03:29 PM

Great post. I think it'll help our blog dad a great deal.

Posted by: michele at June 16, 2005 09:35 PM