During my usual 3 minute commute home, I heard a NPR segment of a career adviser suggesting recently laid off folks NOT pursue a job in their same field but, instead, ask themselves what they would do if they had to work for free? If you absolutely had to work for no pay, what would you choose to do? The adviser explained creative thinking might inspire a new career path.
In a second, I completed the exercise and had my answer. Sales in the decorative plumbing industry, with a fabulous employee discount while working 2-3 hours a day*. My last 11 working years have been somewhat easy but boring to the point of draining. Maybe I was due for a change.
With no plan or goal, the "what would you do for free" question stuck in my head.
Not even a month later, I was picking up a repair part at a local business and offered a job on the spot: doing the very thing I did in the past, which was, selling pretty shiny plumbing stuff!
Much angst, many sleepless nights with the oh-shit-did-I-really-quit-my-job panic attacks have occurred. The last 5 weeks have been muy stressful.
NOT knowing how the hell to access the hopelessly idiotic DOS quotation and inventory computer system, I told my new boss I wish I could spend 5 minutes with the guy that designed it.
"Do you really think you could learn it from him in only 5 minutes?"
"Fuck no!" I say, "I just want 5 minutes with the asshole because the guy who wrote this cumbersome and retarded piece of shit system is someone I KNOW I can take. I am confident I could beat the shit outta him."
The boss thinks I am funny. I'm glad he does but I wasn't joking. Please, mother fucker that is making my life miserable, please visit our location soon. I'll smile and be professional and when heads are turned, I'll do a 4" thick product catalog karate chop right into his pencil neck and then I'll perform a #6 on him, that's where I go a-ridin' into town, a whompin' and stompin' every livin' thing that moves within an inch of its life.
But I digress.
New job stress level is sometimes likened to a move or divorce and although I knew the transition would be tough, my time is not my own and I am still struggling to find my rhythm and mojo. The once welcome outlet of volunteer work is weighing heavily upon me and I am eager to be rid of some tasks. Earlier mornings and longer commutes are encroaching on my craft room time and ME time.
It has taken 5 weeks to feel a degree of contribution but fulfillment? Got plenty of that.
Helping folks select shiny stuff for their new house or remodel? That's like getting paid to spend other people's money. Which is what I would do for free.
*2 out 3 ain't bad.