Saturday, 1 April 2017

#52Stories, Week 12, Did you stumble into your career or deliberately work and plan to get where you are ? Are you happy in your current role ? or would you like to make a change ?

I stumbled....and I am still stumbling.

When I was little I thought I might be a nurse, or a teacher. That's what girls did. When I started college I wondered about law - I studied Latin. Toward the end of my college years I very seriously considered studying Home Science at Otago University to become a dietician.

To do this I needed to hot-house Chemistry. Great. With my other classes I couldn't make it work at school, so needed to enrol with the Correspondence School and do it that way. Chemistry was never a favourite thing of mine, and what did it have to do with food for heaven's sake. Anyway, I tried. I also applied for a bursary - just in case I didn't pass exams at the end of the year. 

Halfway through the year, feeling very much less academic than my classmates, and spending a lot of the time in the common room in study periods, I didn't have great results in mid year exams. So I decided to leave. I had an interview at State Insurance and maybe (foggy memory now) was offered the job. However the principal at college had different ideas. If I stuck at it she was sure I'd get better results and have a brighter future than working in an office. So I hung in for another term.

I applied for another job, this time at Bank of New Zealand I got that, and started in September. I still thought I might go to uni, but by the time I got the letter telling me I had been awarded/granted a bursary to go, I was earning more than the $32 a week that they were going to give me to study. So I kissed that idea goodbye.

Banking was a great industry to be in, computers were just starting to get introduced, credit cards were a whole new thing and they spoke of strange things to come in the future (boxes in the wall where you could put in a "banking card" and get money from your account) ! It was a very social work environment too.

When I left the bank and moved to Australia my first role was with a Health Fund where computers had never been heard of, where everything was done by hand, people sat at little desks like in school in rows set out as if you were at an exam. No talking to each other there unless you were on a break. You had to "bundy" on and off, and pay came hand delivered by the girls from payroll in a great big box, accompanied by security staff. Pay itself was in a small brown packet envelope in CASH, actual dollars and cents. So last century !

So mostly my jobs over the past 40 years have been admin/office based. Some in the financial sector, some in government. Some in sales (which I never thought was my thing, but hey) and others just process work which was always busy and mostly fun. 

Then there is this job which was full of promise but has turned out to be pretty blah. Slow one day and slower the next. To be fair it is a bit busier right now, but I can only see that lasting a few more weeks until it is back to nothing.

I've never had any great career aspirations, maybe I should have gone to uni and studied while I could and when it was free - I sure can't afford to do it now.

So I guess I will keep stumbling along. Remembering the fun times at BNZ and Yellow and Hawkins and wondering where I might find that again.

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