The economy has not been good to some over the last five years. If you are unemployed you certainly have to work twice as hard to find a job then you did in years past. You have to figure out exactly what you’re good at and then go for jobs that you know you have a chance in hell at getting. Back in 1980, just out of high school, no job and no real place to stay, my personal economic status was a sinking ship. It was unemployment in the worst of times for Frantastically Fran. It was an ordinary day in a not so ordinary life.
Golden Finger Tips
In high school I took advantage of typing classes and by the time I graduated I could type 65-70wpm. My fingers were golden. Back then (in the 80s), if you could type, you damn well had the job. I got into some of the top most prestigious non-profit organizations and fortune 500 corporations. I scare myself when I think about places I’ve worked and how I managed to get in without a college degree and stay a couple of minutes. It’s about perfecting and utilizing what skills you have and doing the doggone thing.
You will never believe it when I tell you the places I have worked. I am thankful for each and every opportunity and the experiences they afforded me. They all exist because I had a better than average typing speed and the tenacity of a determined 18 year old. Of course, there were stumbles and bumbles along the way but there was no time to dwell on discouraging thoughts.
It helped that along the way Bill Clinton was president. 🙂 I speak of him fondly quite a bit. Jobs were quite plentiful during his administration and unemployment rates were down. For that I am grateful. Also to his credit, the way was paved for the family/medical leave act (FMLA) which enforces job security while away on sick leave or caring for an ill family member. Monumental!
With respect to jobs back then, I jumped around a lot. I had no problem leaving a job if the environment was not to my liking. After all, I could type 65-70wpm. I had golden fingers. Each place I landed, I took away a little more knowledge then I had before I got there.
I’m happy to have served at:
- The City Atlanta Parks and Recreation
- Mead Paper Company
- Paradies Gift Shop in the Atlanta Airport
- First Atlanta Bank
- Coca Cola
- Atlanta Journal and Constitution
- Pizza Hut Special Delivery
- United Airlines
- US Sprint
- Hewlett Packard (formally Digital Equipment Corporation)
- American Red Cross
- DeKalb County
- Wells Fargo Bank (formerly Wachovia Bank)
- Avon Products, Inc. (Corporate)
- Emory University
As I look back on this list, It’s definitely scary but it is representative of, at least in the beginning, someone who decided that any uncomfortable situation was reason to keep it moving to the next stop; representative of working two jobs at a time; representative of trying to fit in, sometimes unsuccessfully; representative of I just didn’t like the work, the people or the company; and representative of someone who kept a job to sustain no matter the economy or the circumstances.
Finding Your Niche Is Easier Than You Think
Currently, society dictates that you have to have a niche and you must network in order to find work. Younger generations are computer literate by the time they start kindergarten and by high school graduation they most likely can run circles around the average administrative assistant who’s been in the work force as long as I have. These very skills are valuable and a niche that can open doors if college is not in your immediate view. Bottom line, find something you’re good at and get to it. A door will open.
Fast forward to 2013. I have my degree now and I have broken my own record being employed at the same place for 10 years. It’s a record that I had not planned but it’s okay. I think I like it here at Emory University and I think I’ll hang around a bit longer.
Are you one of those that stayed on your first job until retirement or did you have an eventful work life as I had? Do you regret it?
Photo credit: Wikipedia Commons