Educated but Underqualified

Friday, February 03, 2006

Selling Out

I've signed on for a temporary contract, which pays more per hour than anything I had ever received in my previous field. I had never negotiated my salary before, so I was all prepared to go in today with a printout of the median and average salaries of ppl in a similar position in this city makes. I had a list of arguments too as to why I should receive the highest amount of the range previously listed in the job description. Alas, the other person who they had also hired for this position had reached a rate with the boss yesterday. Given that she supposedly has an MBA and more direct work experience in this area, I had to agree to the same amount. Which still isn't bad, as I said. But I wouldn't have minded $2/hour more! Guess I'll work a few hours more per week in order to bill more hours, not that I really want to as I've got other activities/ responsibilities on the go.

Now, I hope it would be somewhat enjoyable and fulfilling. Could just be mindless repetitive, anal work in my cubicle though.
While the organization I will work for sounds somewhat important and impressive, if the union that my mother belonged to before she retired found out what department I will work for.... oh dear.

I did it for the money. It's not like some prince is gonna buy me a house, especially in this city.

Besides, that exec producer never called me back, even though it doesn't look like he's filled that position still. He first posted in October! Picky picky. Wonder if he'd be a nightmare to work with.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Elections & Jobs

I worked as a poll clerk on election night. It wasn't that bad: I had brought along so much food and reading material that I didn't have time to make use of. When there weren't people trickling in, I was busy checking that the number of people who had voted matched the number of ballots given out. That's easy to lose track of if you're working quickly to keep the line moving along.

It was most interesting looking at people's citizenship card photos. They were often taking so long ago; one old man looked vastly different from the smart businessman in his photo, while another woman looked younger in person than she did in her photo with the whole 1980s get-up.

I was reminded that I'm too business-like, without an easy-going sense of humour with strangers...ok, it doesn't come too naturally. But I'm sure other people found me nice too. It's just that when you want to work efficiently and carefully so you don't have to stick behind to fix mistakes, you don't spend as much time chatting with each person individually. After all, we were paid by the day, not by the hour. And contrary to what I had imagined, elections day workers don't get paid much, if you divide by the 14.5 hours that I had put in yesterday.

The fact that I can't even get a job, never mind a career, is getting me down. For simple admin jobs, I couldn't even get an interview? Why? Ok, fine, so I've never worked as an admin assistant, but so what? I know how to use computer programs, I can type, and hell, I've got lots of university and other types of education. I've also got lots of interesting work experience. I'm brimming with talent and would inject more interesting ideas into projects that would result in a great return on my salary. Much more so than someone who went from high school to secretary school.

I find that people who are mere acquaintances seem to more readily offer to help me compared to people who are actually related to me. The relatives do nothing but judge; I think they're quite happy to place me in the slot as the lazy, unemployed loser. Let's just treat her contemptuously without giving her any encouragement. She got herself in this lot, let her get out of it herself.

I feel like June in Amy Tan's Joy Luck Club. My cousin D, especially, is Waverley. There was that scene in which Waverley dismissed June's writing ability disdainfully.

Each time I see D, I'm reminded that she has climbed her way to a good career mainly brown-nosing.

But maybe the lack of support from relatives means also that I need to question my own abilities.

Why is it that I don't have any obvious talents? On the other hand, I feel that I have many talents, but I just haven't found the proper career to focus on and receive the proper training for.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Educated but Underqualified

Nice turn of phrase: "tool for somebody's agenda" - spoken by David Beers of The Tyee during an interview with Fanny Kiefer, in reference to what his father didn't want to become. You can be a tool of politicians, corporations and even technology.

I so do not want to become just another tool, but I do need to make a comfortable living.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

The PR Playbook

The link above makes me want to be an investigative reporter just to sock it to the lying, immoral PR spinners out there. Unfortunately, it's one stressful cat and mouse game sometimes, especially when you're measured by what you can turn in by deadline. And the money-grubbing news execs in private broadcasting or publishing often want to make your job hell too. They're the advertisers' friends, not the reporters'.

Kudos to all the highly educated investigative reporters out there who keep plugging away in the biz even though they can find higher paying gigs in some other field. Vivre le public service!

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Steve's success came easily though

"Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don't lose faith. I'm convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did. You've got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven't found it yet, keep looking. Don't settle. As with all matters of the heart, you'll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don't settle." -- Commencement address by Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple Computer and of Pixar Animation Studios, delivered on June 12, 2005 at Stanford University.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Lessons from The Wizard of Oz

"No matter how dreary and gray our homes are, we people of flesh and blood would rather live there than in any other country, be it ever so beautiful. There is no place like home." -- Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz.
"Experience is the only thing that brings knowledge, and the longer you are on earth the more experience you are sure to get." -- Oz to the Scarecrow, who asked for brains.
"You have plenty of courage, I am sure," answered Oz [to the Cowardly Lion]. "All you need is confidence in yourself. There is no living thing that is not afraid when it faces danger. The True courage is in facing danger when you are afraid, and that kind of courage you have in plenty."

Sunday, December 25, 2005

New Resolutions

Instead of listing all the things I need to work on in my life , here are some Ann Landers articles I had cut out years ago. It's about time I started treating myself and others better.

Ten Commandments of How to Get Along with People:
1. Keep skid chains on your tongue. Always say less than you think. Try to cultivate a low, persuasive voice. Sometimes, it's not what you say but the way that you say it that makes the difference.
2. Make promises sparingly, and keep them faithfully, no matter what the cost.
Never let an opportunity pass to say a kind and encouraging word to or about somebody. Praise good work, regardless of who did it. If criticism is needed, offer it gently, never harshly.
4. Be interested in others -- their pursuits, their work, their homes and families. Make merry with those who rejoice and weep with those who mourn. Let everyone you meet, however humble, feel that you regard him or her as a person of importance.
5. Be cheerful. Don't burden or depress those around you by dwelling on your minor aches and pains and small disappointments. Remember, everyone is carrying some kind of burden, often heavier than your own.
6. Keep an open mind. Discuss, but don't argue. It is a mark of a superior mind to be able to disagree without being disagreeable.
7. Let your virtues, if you have any, speak for themselves. Refuse to talk of another's vices. Discourage gossip. It is a waste of valuable time, and can be extremely destructive.
8. Be careful of another's feelings. Wit and humour at another person's expense may do more damage than you will ever know.
9. Pay no attention to disparaging remarks. Remember, the person who carried the message may not be the most accurate reporter in the world, and things become twisted in the retelling. Live so that nobody will believe them.
10. Don't be too eager to get the credit due you. Do your best, and be patient. Forget about yourself, and let others "remember." Success is much sweeter that way.

Maturity is the ability to control anger and settle differences without violence or destruction.
Maturity is patience. It is the willingness to pass up immediate pleasure in favour of long-term gain.
Maturity is perseverance, the ability to sweat out a project or a situation in spite of heavy opposition and discouraging setbacks.
Maturity is the capacity to face unpleasantness and frustration, discomfort and defeat, without complaint or collapse.
Maturity is humility. It is being big enough to say, "I was wrong." And, when right, the mature person need not experience the satisfaction of saying, "I told you so."
Maturity is the ability to make a decision and follow through. The immature spend their lives exploring endless possibilities and then do nothing.
Maturity means dependability, keeping one's word and coming through in a crisis. The immature are masters of the alibi. They are conflicted and disorganized. Their lives are a maze of broken promises, former friends, unfinished business and good intentions that never materialize.

Just for Today
Just for today -- I will live through the next 12 hours and not try to tackle all of life's problems at once.
Just for today -- I will improve my mind. I will read something that requires thought and concentration.
Just for today -- I will be agreeable. I will look my best, speak in a well-modulated voice, be courteous and considerate.
Just for today -- I will not find fault with friend, relative or colleague. I will not try to change or improve anyone but myself.
Just for today --- I will do a good turn and keep it a secret. If anyone finds out, it won't count.
Just for today -- I will have a program. I might not follow it exactly, but I will have it. I will save myself from two enemies -- hurry and indecision.
Just for today -- I will do two things I don't want to do, just because I need the discipline.
Just for today -- I will believe in myself. I will give my best to the world and feel confident that the world will give its best to me.

Whew, I have A LOT of growing up to do.