Operation Boss Lady is a series all about becoming a strong and established female career badass.
As millennials, it’s often we find ourselves veering way off the path of “what’s expected.” Somewhere along the way we wake up dazed and confused, working a temporary part-time job when we were supposed to be 2 years into our 5-year plan. How did we get here? Well we’re not quite sure. All we know is that what felt like a billion years of schooling isn’t enough to land us a job in our field, and we’ve got to pay the bills somehow – right?
This is a struggle I know quite well, trying for over 3 years post-uni to get a job even remotely related to my field – (spoiler alert: I finally did! But more on that later…) So until now, I’ve worked almost exclusively in customer service based jobs. Although I now have a buttload of experience in human relations (see how I worded that to make it sound fancy?), I will be the first to admit that the brief, transactional nature has gotten to be quite draining. One year ago when I was faced with the prospect of yet another job serving people, I had two choices: I could either hate my life and dread coming to work every day, or I could make the best of my situation and bloom where I was planted.
When it comes to your job, blooming where you’re planted is about more than just “making the best of a shit situation.” It’s about dissecting your role and figuring out its purpose, its impact, and discovering its true importance. No matter where we are in our career journey, (because ultimately every job you hold is a part of it), be it a temporary serving job, or a permanent full-time dream job, anytime we put in hours and work, we are making an impact somewhere. Remember that movie with Ashton Kutcher; The Butterfly Effect? It’s like that minus the moody sepia tones of the early 2000s. For that reason alone it is absolutely vital not to underestimate your impact at work. Once you figure out your raison d’etre of employment, then it’s time to start figuring out what your job can do for you – because you can get a lot more out of a job than just strong forearms from carrying trays.
Here’s an example:
I started at my current job as a host at a restaurant and decided to bloom where I was planted. It didn’t take me long to start developing awesome relationships with a lot of our regular customers, and management noticed. Soon I was strictly working the weekday shift, freeing up my nights and weekends to be home with my partner. I started taking on additional responsibilities, and ended up creating a pretty stellar network with local business-folk, as well as developing some extensive community development skills. All of a sudden my “temporary restaurant job” was serving as a truly impressive piece of my resume. As you can imagine this was a win-win situation for both myself and my employer. I gained some invaluable skills that are absolutely transferable into the human resources field, and my employer got an enthusiastic employee who was always happy to take on the next challenge.
So, the next time you’re dreading going into work, or the next time you think to yourself “it’s just a job,” I challenge you to try and bloom where you’re planted. Not only will it likely work out in your favour, but I guarantee your quality of life will improve – because nobody thrives while miserable. We are the generation who will have more jobs than any before us, so let’s make the most of them shall we?
Until next time,
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