Wednesday, January 31, 2007

How's my job going these days? (a summary in numbered lists)

Incredibly, I'm still maintaining the job I landed last summer as a server at a downtown Chicago Chinese restaurant. Much more credibly, I'm once again feeling the pull to move on (anyone surprised?).

What I've Done with My Desire to Change Jobs AGAIN

1. Feel dissatisfied with my current job and focus on all the sucky things about it (easy apply to any situation).
2. Feel like a a loser because obviously I can't -- just cannot -- stay at one job for very long.
3. Start to contact job placement agencies for some new employment possibilities and then realize I have no idea what kind of job I want.
4. Feel lost and send an email to all my friends asking for any advice.
5. Receive various comments, including the suggestion to work with a life coach.
6. Decide to go with the life coach idea since they'll be able to help me through the process of assessing my skills, interests and strengths and finally figure out what I want to do for a living that I will really enjoy and that will really make me happy and where I can settle in and @#$%-ing STAY for a few -- oh my god -- years, without initiating yet another job search a few months after landing that job.
7. Call about ten life coaches (recommended by people I trust) and interview them on the phone for a good fit.
8. Take a few weeks to choose one.
9. Start a three-month period of regularly meeting with this life coach and having him help me figure out the job/career issue and generally improve my life so I'm happier (or at least less sucky).
10. Be reminded of what a loser I am by the more than half dozen W-2 forms that are now arriving because I spent so much of 2006 being unemployed, underemployed, temporarily employed and just plain badly employed. And just plain bad.


So far with my life coach I have accomplished the following, working through Chapter 10 of the 2006 version of What Color Is My Parachute:

1. Looked back over my life and figured out what transferable skills I have (such as communicating well in conversation and gathering information by observing people).
2. Decided which of those transferable skills I actually enjoy using (emphasis on my enjoyment, not on what's most respectable or marketable).
3. Made a top ten list of my strongest, most enjoyable transferable skills.
4. Brainstormed a list of subjects and interests I have some knowledge of, however informal (from bookkeeping to voice instruction to how-to-find-a-man to the history of Christmas).
5. Am now in the process of figuring my top ten list of subjects and interests.

In the meantime, I've improved my restaurant job performance by:

1. Getting some salesmanship training and improving my ability to sell more $10 cocktails, $40 bottles of wine and $4 cappucinos. This has improved my tips, surprise.
2. Taking advice from my boyfriend to stop being so stiff and forced with my tables and always reading from the official "script." He suggested being myself more and not being so afraid of everyone. I've done this and now I enjoy waiting tables much more. And no wonder: who would enjoy a job where they constantly hide their personality and never make jokes and have to pretend they're a robot? And who would enjoy being waited on by a server who behaved this way? What a loser I am to have been a humorless robot for so long. I'm sure none of my customers could stand me, so no wonder the tips were so unimpressive. Being more myself has improved my service, too. I feel like such a failure to have taken so long to have made this adjustment and to have to be told by someone I don't even work with...

That's how my job is going these days.

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