Category: work

What I’ve learned…

In the interview for my current job, they asked me how I defined success. I said that I know everything can’t always be perfect, but I consider it a success if I’m able to learn something from it.

I was pretty impressed by my answer. So, it would seem, were they.

But I keep thinking about that concept, especially this month. In my new job, I learn something new nearly every day. And, I’ll admit, quite a few of them are by learning from mistakes.

I want to get back in to my writing. This time last year, I was writing my book for NaNoWriMo. Now I spend my spare time watching Extreme Couponing or the Food Network. My excuse is that I spend the majority of my work day writing - emails, reports, proposals, etc. But it’s not really an excuse.

So I’m going to get back in to posting here by talking about what I’ve learned this month.

I learned that you should always backup your computer. Yup, I learned that the hard way when my hard drive failed while installing Snow Leopard and I then spent two weeks trying to figure out if I was ever going to be able to see hundreds of pictures again. 300 dollars later, I have them. And a new hard drive. And an appointment with Time Machine every Sunday morning.

I learned that when you budget your money too tightly, something inevitably happens that you have to spend a huge amount of money on but can’t afford. See above.

I learned that New York City isn’t so bad afterall. And that the best part of a trip can be eating good food with a person you love.

I learned that when your museum director says jump, you write a million e-mails about your plan and then jump. Even if you think it’s a bad idea, because they’re your boss.

I learned that when you really need it, someone will help you out if you just tell them your problem.

I learned that you have to get over being shy, quick, when you’re at a conference where the sole purpose is networking and getting to know as many people as possible.

And I learned that food tastes better when someone delivers it to your room and you get to eat it in bed.

I don’t know how much I’ll follow through with my renewed posting here, but I’ll give it a shot.

When it pours

Ten months after finishing my MA, I finally have a job worthy of my two degrees.

After almost six months of unemployment, four months at a nowhere job, nearly a hundred job applications and several interviews, my throw away year is over.

Next Monday I start a job that will be, hopefully, the first step in my career in museums.

The funny thing is that the day before I found out, I got an interview for the government job I’ve been waiting for since September. When it rains, it pours.

It’s like the world decided that I was ready to move on. Ready to move forward. That I served my dues, that I had gained sufficient humility and insight from the experience and finally they would let me move on with my life.

But I have learned many things in the last 10 months.

I have learned what I want and what I don’t want. I have learned how to find worth in your life outside of your job. Because not having a job doesn’t make you worthless, though it certainly makes you feel that way. I have learned so much about myself from working a job just for the pay cheque - a job I never anticipated, with people that I never would have met otherwise, for better or worse.

I’m terrified to start on Monday. This job is so big. I know that I can do it, but I know it will be so hard. But I’m ready for a challenge.

Maybe I wasn’t ready in September, fresh out of a 160 page dissertation.

It’s 5:52 am and I can’t sleep. But it’s from the excitement of it all, I swear.

Working at a day job

Anyone who has read this blog for a while and/or knows me personally knows that I have a lot of anxiety when it comes to Going Somewhere, Doing Something and Having a Plan.

None of which I have right now.

But you know what? I’m having fun. More fun than I’ve had in a long time, working at a relatively easy (though occasionally crazy job) that is NOT my career, but hanging out with fun people and generally messing around a bit.

Because I needed a break from Real Life. At least a bit.

Somedays, I get caught up in the anxiety again and I have to stop and remind myself that I’m still Going Somewhere… I’m just taking a little rest stop on the way. Which is a bit hard, since I’m not the rest stop kind of person and I often drive eight hours straight without even stopping to pee.

But being that kind of person is tiring. And I’m learning a lot about myself right now, in this in between time.

And I’m working at a day job while I decide what I really want to do…

And when that isn’t enough, I turn, as always, to a song to comfort me. This time it’s Kate Miller Heidke, who generally inspired my embracing life when I was in England, and who’s song Apartment is pretty much my mantra at the moment.

I’m living for the present
I’m living day to day
And I don’t have a trust fund
Don’t feel the need to superannuate

It’s almost summer, and I’m determined to enjoy what I can of this summer - live day to day and stop worrying so much about Where I’m Going.

The capitalized words can wait until September or thereabouts.

Still here

So, I still exist. It’s just that I got a new job and therefore have a lot less time on my hands. I’ve also become addicted to Dragon Age Origins. As I do when I’m stressed.

I was just talking to Fae about anxiety issues and how hard that makes it to start a new job. That’s my real excuse for not blogging recently. New jobs make me incredibly anxious and I don’t blog when I’m emotionally overwhelmed. Now the job is less overwhelming, but the way things are going it may still lead me to a life of heavy drinking.

In which case, I promise I’ll attempt to blog drunk. Or from AA.

They should hold AA meetings in the hotel where I work.

Anyway. On top of the anxiety of starting a new job, I am having a sort of quarter life crisis. Like, what do I really want to do with my life? Now that I’m making at least some money, where do I go from here?

Same questions, just another day.

I am, however, going to make a conscious effort to get back to my writing. Both here and elsewhere. Not only because I’ve had a couple of people ask me if I’m going to update my blog recently (*cough* Alaina *cough*) but also because I’m happier when I write and I’m in desperate need of some sort of purpose in my life.

Lesson learned

December 17 – Lesson Learned What was the best thing you learned about yourself this past year? And how will you apply that lesson going forward?

Hard work pays off, but not as much as it should sometimes.

I’ve developed a philosophy when it comes to school work that I am hoping I can apply to life in general, when I someday find a career. It’s probable that lots of people will disagree with this, but it definitely works for me.

Sometimes, hard work and stress are important and worth it. These are the times that you really need to take things seriously and put your all into it. Like my Theseus.

Other times, it’s just not worth the stress and it’s better for everyone if you just do what you can and focus on the things that are important. Like, my museum studies class. That I got a merit in for a total of 4 hours of work.

Basically, sometimes no amount of hard work is going to get you any further than a medium effort.

It’s about balance. It’s about knowing when to slack off and when to get your ass in gear.

It’s not fail proof, by any means, and occasionally (aka often) leads to last minute assignments. But I think I’ve refined the system over the years and usually end up spending enough time on the things that matter.

On reflection, I’m not entirely sure this was a great lesson to learn… remind me not to reference this philosophy in a job interview.