Monday, June 2, 2008

Job vs. Career: On the Job.

I graduated from high school. That was my big accomplishment, that was my goal in high school. To graduate. And I did. But I didn't strive for more than that. I didn't think that going to college was an option for me. I would say I was a 'B' student, but with a little academic pushing, I could have tried harder and made better grades. I didn't see the point though.

I probably should have gone to the cosmetology vocational class, but I didn't think my parents would want to pay for it. I could be a hair stylist--everyone's got hair. Well almost everyone. I could have gone for scholarships and that, at the least been encouraged to go to community college to study something.

I was pushed to get a job. I dreamed of moving out of my parents house and providing for myself. To do all of that, I needed a job that would pay me. I had standards, I wouldn't work at a fast food place--couldn't stand the thought of any job that might include hairnets. I wasn't afraid to work or learn something new.

A couple months out of high school a friend recommended a place. A cafe. It was a sandwich shop open for lunch in Geneva, Il. I didn't go there right away, until summer was almost over and I was getting desperate. I got the job.

I quickly moved through the ranks at the deli, and was soon babysitting the head sandwich maker's 10 year old son a couple nights a week. After I bought my very first car, on my own--a Red Geo Tracker w/ white ragtop. I was promoted to the chain store the deli owners had in St. Charles, Il. I had a nice thing going there, working at the deli 6 days a week, never past 5 p.m. But I eventually wanted more.

I needed to get into a world where there was more room for advancement. A friend and I applied at an upscale discount retail chain that was building a store in a blossoming Batavia, Il. We were hired. For a while before the store opened, we worked stocking shelves and training on cash registers. I worked the deli by day and went straight to the discount store after the deli as many nights they would give me.

I eventually got promise of full time hours at the discount store, so I quit working at the deli and went full time for the big corporate chain store. That is where I took my first and only maternity leave from. That's the last 'Real Job' I had.

Thirteen years later I'm trying to decide if I should just get a job or follow a passion or a hobby and make a career. Am I too old to start a career. Does a career have to revolve around only one area of expertise? Could I still be a fashion designer or an architect? A writer or a business owner...entrepreneur?

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