Considering Your Employment Options

There’s a very useful department at the local college. It’s called “Career Development” and I surely wish I would have used it. Foolish youth that I was, I didn’t think I needed any direction from anybody. This approach brought about a very checkered job history that is no longer relevant. I beat the odds and finally found my chosen field. Let me tell you the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

What does a person in the Humanities choose for their field of work? I was an English major, and philosophy minor in college. I might have been enterprising and sold insurance or real estate. In some corners it is presumed that an English major thinks well, and a philosophy minor knows some of the angles. But this was wrong in my case: I’m not particularly outgoing nor do I plan terribly well. How about a home business selling your own product, whether it be food item or arts and crafts? I have done some of this while serving as a seamstress who was mainly a dress designer. It was however intimidating to meet the lady who painted on bamboo tee-shirts, with beach designs, mermaids and underseas scenes. I’m not an artist, but just an artisan who likes to make people look good, though I don’t have much experience in detailed tailoring. My years as a seamstress were not terribly lucrative.

Teaching English at the local high schools is the job I fell into, partially by inheritance, and partially by design. My parents were old-fashioned and believed the main occupations open to women were teaching and nursing. Also, I live by a well-known teachers’ college in a large city, where many teachers are employed. But teacher training hit a few bumps. My Supervisor hated my reading of African American poetry aloud to high school sophomores. I see now that this was an idealistic thing to do in the civil rights era, and, I might add, a commendable thing to do. But such poetry was not on the curriculum so I was considered to be unorthodox. So, I spent much more time leading my students through “Tom Sawyer”. I do like children and teens, and teaching is a respectable and worthy occupation, but not necessarily for me. My Supervisor agreed and gave me very mediocre recommendations. I ended up being a substitute teacher.

Since I was still not considering my options, I stayed in this job for fifteen years. I was fully employed only once, as a summer school teacher in a remedial class. I learned a very valuable lesson in patience and increased my listening skills. For the rest of this career, I taught strange and often hostile teens for a day or two. They didn’t know me and I had not known how to find their school until that very morning, when I received a call in the wee hours of the morning assigning me to their class. At least my driving skills improved as their were no G.P.S. direction finders installed on the dash boards. Driving to a new destination was hit or miss.

If you are making a career change, and I understand this to be a far more frequent process than in times past, research fields that you are interested in. Even if you are mildly interested only, look into these fields because you may just not have thought of training in them before. Nobody’s intellect can cover all bases. By the time I was in my fifties, I finally found theater: I write plays and do some acting. But this was only after a great many hits and misses on the employment dart board. As I mentioned, I was employed fairly successfully as a seamstress and I could have beem employed in that capacity much sooner if I had only kept an open mind. When I was in college, I was sent a test from the counseling center to test manual dexterity. It was little more than placing round pegs in suitable holes, and square pegs in other holes, but I was told by letter that I was extremely gifted in the area of dimensions and designs. I ignored this direction.

So, here’s my travels in the job arena: waitress, student paper grader, department store clerk, telemarketer, gas station attendant and home helper for the aging and/or disabled. As might have been expected, after all these job changes I became somewhat disabled myself. I have arthritis. Let me tell you about each occupation.

As a waitress, I worked in the night shift at a restaurant by the waterfront. I was taught that any and all employment is honorable, so I’m proud I had this job. If you have a job which requires vast amounts of education or a high IQ, you can become tired very quickly, and suffer burn-out, over the long run. With waitressing, it is not tiring greeting new people and talking with them, if ever so shortly. Also, the physical exercise if walking around the restaurant, carrying heavy trays and filling up coffee cups and drinking water is very good for a person. It’s probably equivalent to walking around one football field per day. I’ve always liked walking, so this was fine with me. In the day and age when I worked as a server, men were allowed to comment and even pinch the waitress, if no one was looking. It was done in fun, and usually when the flirting was mutual, though I am not condoning this practice. The fishermen used to come in this restaurant from the tuna boats and I enjoyed the attention. However, this job had one huge setback. I worked the night shift from nine to five in the morning and was alone except for one cook and one other waitress. It was lonely and there was no privacy. The restaurant was surrounded by large windows and the passerby’s could easily look in and see that I was alone much of the time. We were located by a freeway, which was a four lane highway of the day. I felt, and perhaps not wrongly, that someone could see me by myself and come in just to talk to me, not seeing the others who were working there. I didn’t feel it was dangerous, just very public. I like acting, as I think I have mentioned that I am in theater, and I don’t mind being looked at if I’m in another role than just myself, or when I’m planning on an audience. But just being seen in the wee hours of the morning was a surprise I hadn’t counted on. Probably I was the only one who would take this shift as the other waitresses had more time on the job and could pick their schedules. I was just working in the summers between college semesters. I got very tired of filling water glasses because the restaurant was deserted in those hours. The after hours crowd would come in and leave big tips, and I seldom had a problem with their behavior. I wasn’t a terribly friendly person so this was the wrong job for me. My stand-offish ways revealed themselves in my very low tip amounts. One of the other waitresses was very friendly and pretty, and she made great tips. I envied her, though this wasn’t a good thing: I should have been grateful that I was able to attend a good college and live in the dorms.

I graded student papers for about eight years. This helped my own writing skills a great deal, though I was disliked by the high school students. I picked up student papers from the teachers’ boxes after hours in a program which was tailored to meet the needs of over-worked teachers who had to come home after school and grade large numbers of student compositions and exams. I particularly liked grading a series of essays for a contest at one high school. The essays were great and the writing was often better than what I could have done. But underneath it all, I knew the students disliked me because they felt that their own personal teacher, who knew them, should also grade their papers. They weren’t entirely wrong, and they were eventually vindicated when the program was eliminated.

The telemarketing job was fairly challenging, but tiring after I had already worked teaching school and grading papers. I was putting in a twelve hour day. Even then, I usually had to face the summer without the school jobs. I set up appointments for solar water heating information. To this day, I do not like calling people up at dinner time. The true salesperson, which I am not, would undoubtedly be able to justify this disturbance by saying something like “If they really needed this project, this might be the only time they could be reached”. I didn’t feel at all justified. The product was very forward looking and the company was a good one in a nice office. Not only did I receive a minimum wage but I also received a small stipend for every sales that was later made by a visiting sales person. We were selling padding that wrapped around water heaters and warmed them, as well as panels for homes and swimming pools. These systems enabled all heating of home and water to be partly accomplished with the sun’s energy. This is a very popular system today, and I am ecology minded. I was tired by the time I got to work, so it seemed as if I was working and running, driving and running, and then working again.

I hit a personal bottom with the gas station attendant job. I had to have employment for the summer months between school sessions, when I taught and graded papers. I worked in a small booth handing out tokens in exchange for money, so customers could put the tokens in the gas station pumps, for gas. It was very, very cold at night for me. I’m an arthritic, who has suffered with arthritis since I was forty years old or so. Occasionally I would have to leave the booth and clean the gas pumps. Oh, by the way, this job was also at night. I didn’t think anybody cared much about me, or wanted to meet me, so I just passed out tokens with very little conversation. Since it was again the wee hours of the night, I needed to be brave in order to leave the booth and clean the pumps in the inner city, in the middle of the night. I kept having to stamp my feet, I wore gloves and I was bundled up. But I was still cold. Out of sheer loneliness, I invited a friend into the booth with me, which was strictly forbidden. He, in turn, stole forty dollars from the till and I was fired. I was pretty discouraged when a special delivery notice arrived informing me that I had been sacked. I was relieved, and they very kindly did not demand that I return the forty dollars.

For eight years I worked as a caretaker for the elderly and disabled. I had patients anywhere from slightly disabled and needing only thorough cleaning, to bed ridden clients who had bed sores. I can’t tell you all the stories they told me as I loved companion care. There was the man who had worked in the nuclear industry and burned his hand. There was the woman whose mother had marched on the Trail of Tears, which was the American Indian march from Florida to Oklahoma. Her grandmother was an Indian and on the way she met a rancher and settled down with him to marry and have children. She looked very Indian with thick, straight long hair then turned a grey-white color. Some of my patients were very talented cooks and taught me what little I could learn. One woman was a news buff and we watched every news program we could find and stayed informed all day. I stayed with one lady for at least a year; she had been an orphan and was trained as a veterinarian, one of the first women to train in this area. She was very intelligent and we discussed medicine; she treated herself when she developed leg sores.

I am not a trained nurse and several traumatic experiences did occur. One lady’s son asked me to reduce his mother’s sleeping pills. One day I was stirring a tapioca pudding in the kitchen, and she fell out of bed three times, probably trying to get her pills. I quit the job immediately knowing I was not qualified and she died eleven days later. The moral of that story is “Don’t take on more than you can handle”. I don’t blame myself because I was following her son’s orders and she was terminally ill, but that job required a qualified nurse. Another lady had a nose bleed that lasted for about one half hour. She screamed for me to lay her on the bed with her head hanging off, and put ice over her nose. I did so and the bleeding lessened and stopped. She wouldn’t let me call the ambulance. It’s my theory that the generation (of the 20′s and 30′s) did not rely heavily on medical personnel so “yours truly” had to act as a nurse practitioner. And I’m not qualified! Though I was a top student in psychology and biology, this was merely an interest in human beings and how they work. I write plays to carry on with this interest in my current life.

A few of my patients were close to the end of life, including severe stroke patients. Oddly enough, some of the minor problems were more bewildering than the serious: one lady lost a toenail and it bled furiously. Of course there were lots of sores draining and lots of blood, and I do not like the sight of blood. I did gain a few lessons from this employment: it is extremely rewarding to help one’s fellow men when he is most in need. There’s nothing that feels better than getting a patient all cleaned up and comfortably reclining in his/her bed. There’s just nothing more rewarding. I can see why nurses are so dedicated and they’re truly fortunate they have the fortitude to do this kind of work. I also learned to give people the benefit of the doubt: if they’re cranky or mean, they might be in pain or depressed. Many of these patients show up as characters in my plays, though they are changed and sometimes combined with someone else. They also show up as I act characters in my drama class: the more people you have observed, the better you can portray a certain type of person. So thank you one and all for being my patient and putting up with a somewhat unqualified person. At least I was always kind and caring, I hope.

Much of the time I seemed to be playing the role of nurse, and this could be disastrous. One time I had to lift a very heavy patient off of a bed for a job interview. I pulled and pushed three times but nothing happened. Another time I tried to lift a relatively small woman and dropped her, fortunately slowly, onto a wooden floor. I was somehow able to get her up. Another patient was a quadriplegic: she was in a water bed for a good part of the day and when I would bounce her off of that into a wheelchair she would repeatedly demand to be straightened in her chair. I was so exhausted after lifting her, that I couldn’t pick her up any more and this lead to unfortunate disputes. Fortunately, I didn’t get mad at her and I did the best that I could, which wasn’t very good. So, it more than pays to find a job that you are physically and mentally capable of doing.

You might be asking: “How did this end?” The last job I had was as Emergency Contact Person for a disabled persons’ apartment complex consisting of about fifteen apartments. I received calls about any and all sorts of problems. The man downstairs kept lighting fires in his apartment. He was mentally disabled and when I tried to talk to him he began to pound on my door and threaten me. Fire engines had been there several times, and this time I called the police. They came with rifles drawn just as this resident came walking across the apartment patio. I yelled “Please don’t shoot” and he went down on his knees. He was safe but he later terrorized me by showing me dead animals on a stick. These types of incidents were all too common, and my job fell somewhere between policewoman and manager. It was lots of responsibility for $200 a month. But, again, I saw some real characters and they were placed in my memory bank for further use.

During this time, I volunteered to edit a housing newsletter in which I wrote articles and included recipes and poems. Hooray! I finally found something I like to do but I wasn’t paid! Things just don’t have to turn out that way if you plan your future with yourself in mind, and don’t try to become what your parents want you to be, or what you think will get you the best salary. Strongly consider your own interests, and though you may not be able to train for exactly what you want, hire on in something close to your interests. You can work your way up, and you can retrain later when you can afford more expensive schooling., When I was a little girl, I always wanted to join the carnival. Whenever I would think of this I would feel terrible and guilty. Actually, I have always been oriented toward the theater. I acted in choirs, triple trio’s, marching corps, dancing performances and high school plays. Later, I sang and acted in college productions.

That childish desire to join the carnival, which was so strong I could taste it, was a longing for the stage. I would have liked to ride the bareback horses, standing up. Once I was in a staged production, riding side saddle on a mule. We performed for a man visiting the stables in San Francisco where my cousin worked and trained horses. But I knew that that was a terrible life for a young woman and this would have destroyed my parents. They hoped that their gifted child would go on to college and become a teacher or nurse. Well folks, I tried both to no avail. When I was about sixty, my friend gave me a course in Dressmaking and Design and I started working privately in a field I both liked and was naturally gifted in. But sixty is a long time to wait!

I spent two years doing home study in this field and was already taking in sewing jobs. I constantly read in this subject. I especially liked making costumes by putting together several patterns and designing my own. I worked with an amazing girl who was a future Edith Head (famous costume designer in Hollywood). She designed a Marie Antoinette costume, Statue of Liberty, Gypsy and many others. And she could sit down and sew anything. She was my student for two years and I learned from her. I designed and sewed “Wonder Woman”, Dorothy from Wizard of Oz, sea creatures, Biker Girl, costumes for junior theater, the lawyer in “Tom Sawyer”, and many others. Notice how creative I was becoming and that was just the beginning.

I began writing plays and realized that I loved it. I don’t write screen plays but I develop stories from the Bible and sometimes from my own head. I like to write family and general audience plays and I’ve had several accepted on Christian websites. It’s about time I did something I liked, don’t you think? The frosting on the cake was when I began to attend a Senior Drama Class and realized that I love acting. Being in a class with elderly actors is loads of fun, and doesn’t have the stress of film acting. I could write an entire essay on learning acting and I will write it in the future. I recently researched Scottish plays and came up with a funny one from Glasgow, Scotland. My friend, who is partly of Scottish, and myself, of similar heritage, acted in it and had so much fun I can’t describe it. I performed a public reading of Shakespeare’s “King Richard VI Part III” in which I was Queen Margarete and got to say “Off with your head.” Those milestones are recovery from a bleak job record.

Don’t wait until you are sixty to find out what you are good at and go for it. At least make tentative plans and lay achievable goals according to what your interests and abilities are. And use that office that calls itself “Life Options” or “Aptitude Testing”. You’ll be glad you did.

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Employment Options – 3 Current, Hottest Employment Options employment options

Having the right job is the key to financial freedom. People contend themselves with simple, low-paying jobs even though they are capable of earning better. In the current job scenario, there are certain fields that are recruiting people all the time. There are many well paying jobs available nowadays, but one needs to know what kind of skill sets are in demand. An individual can always upgrade his skills and qualifications to obtain the dream job. A few of the hottest job careers are listed below:

1. Medical Profession:
There are quite a number of jobs available in the medical field. There is a dire need for doctors, nurses and other medical professionals and hence they are in great demand. Of course, one needs to be professionally qualified to take up medical related jobs. The necessary skills can easily be obtained by any interested person, through training. This is a very rewarding career mostly paying a six-figure salary. A current job search for medical professionals will yield numerous available positions in different states.

2. Information Technology(IT):
The World Wide Web has changed the world dramatically. The result of advanced technology and the development of the Internet have had a profound effect in our daily life and its importance will continue to grow, with the opening of newer avenues. IT professionals like computer programmers, network engineers, It consultants and web designers are in great demand. It would be prudent to specialize in a particular area in relation to Information technology, as this will help to find a rewarding job as per your expertise.

3. Finance:
The financial field can be very lucrative in terms of well paying jobs. These jobs entail handling of other peoples’ money and being paid for it. If you search for current employment positions in the finance sector, you will find vacancies for financial advisors, investment bankers and accountants. A finance professional should have knowledge of financial trends and stock markets. He or she should be trustworthy enough to be given the responsibility of handling money. Financial professionals need to undertake training and should have a certification for their specialized field. Many educational institutions provide the training necessary to obtain a degree or certification in the chosen financial specialization.

There are varieties of jobs available and the choice is almost limitless. One can look for jobs that promote career advancement and are rewarding in terms of payment and job satisfaction. It is quite easy to get a job, but it is a different ball game finding a dream job.

Employment Options – 3 Current, Hottest Employment Options