Thursday, March 24, 2011

Answers to Questions

In my last post, I ended with a few questions to answer. Here we go:

Question #1: What did I learn?

One of the biggest lessons I learned from losing all of these jobs is what I am willing to allow and not allow in order to make money working.

For example, I won’t work like a dog in volcanic heat. I can’t handle the heat. I ended up with heat exhaustion from a temp job in a thermoplastics factory last year. I decided for my health, making $9 an hour wasn’t worth me dying.

I won’t take less than what I’m worth. Most employment agency managers, in order to fill the job and get paid, will tell you, “This is what the job pays.” Whether you can feed your family or pay your bills is the real question. If you have experience, training, education, then don’t just settle for what “the job pays.” You will be miserable. It’s hard to go to work day in and day out where you feel like you are getting ripped off. Your time has a dollar value. Don’t sell yourself short. Do the math and figure out what your minimum pay should be and stick to it. Don’t settle for less just to collect a paycheck.

One of the most amazing things I learned and what happened when I decided for myself when I set my boundaries for what kind of job I would do and how much I wanted to be paid. I was patient, waited it out and found a job that paid MORE than my minimum pay. And while it was hot in the summer, I wasn’t melting each day I went to work.

Question #2: Are you !@#$% nuts? Why are you telling the whole world about this?

Am I nuts? Yes. I’m a woman, therefore, I am nuts to a certain degree. But the safe method of doing the traditional route of hunting for a job isn’t working for me anymore. I find the gap between jobs growing each time I do it. It’s time to try something else, something radical. I know what I want and what I don’t want. I’m moving forward within those parameters, and I’m keeping an open mind.

Another lesson I learned is you never know what is going to come along. Sometimes you just have to see how you feel about something.

For example, I have a degree as a paralegal. The market for paralegal jobs isn’t the greatest where I live and with gas prices being what they are, I can’t afford to commute to the Cities to work. Yes, there is the train, and the bus, but I don’t know if that will work for me. I’ve done the long commute before for a job that paid more and I never saw my family. I was tired all the time and depressed.

I’ve always thought about getting some kind of job working as a paralegal at home. I was watching “Criminal Minds” last night. One of my favorite characters on the show is Garcia. She is the computer guru who finds the baddies and doing Internet research to help the profilers with their cases. I’ve always thought if I had a job like that where I could work at home (or even just go to work doing it) I would be in Heaven.

Later on, I was surfing the Web and I read an article about how hard it is for those with a criminal record to get a job, because most employers are requiring a criminal background check be done before an interview is scheduled. Something in my tiny little brain went “ding, ding, ding” and the next thing I’m checking into how to become a background investigator. Turns out, there is a program you can do at home, to be certified and it’s accredited, accepted, and recognized in my home state. I can do this from home or start my own business. Wow.

This pairs two things I love: research and the law. I can help people. I can have contact with people daily fulfilling my social butterfly needs. I can do this to make money and still pursue my writing career! No commute. No need for gas in my car.
Win, win, win!

So there is an option that came out of the clear blue and would fit with my education and experience. I never would have considered it if I had not let my mind stay open. Open to the possibilities of what I know and I’m trained to do and find a job that fits my needs, not just my bank account.

Please understand. I know I need to make money to pay my bills. The sooner the better because I’m getting cabin fever, and I’m not saying I’m above working crappy jobs to provide for my family. I’ve proven that over the last year or so. I feel life is too short and it’s time I choose bliss as well as bucks.

Why am I telling the whole world about this?

Someone out there, maybe lots of people, are grieving for the jobs they lost, the lifestyle they used to have, but while it’s been painful, it’s for the best. We are all finding the importance of people over things. Experiences matter more than status symbols, and when those experiences are with the ones we love it’s worth a cut in pay or fewer billable hours.

Nobody on this Earth, if they have a heart, will ever say they wished they had spent more time at work instead of with the ones they love. We never know how much time we have and when we spend the majority of our time working to make a living, instead of making a life, our lives get out of balance and we don’t even realize it until something terrible happens.

I don’t want to wait for something terrible to happen. I want to work, but I want to do work that matters. I want to do work that helps people, provides a service, or helps them better themselves and still provide what I need for me and my family.

I don’t think that is too much to ask, do you?

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