April 3, 2008

Don't Wanna (Or, The Tale of the Reluctant Professional)

I was sitting in a room full of professional people, all around my age in the same industry as mine, and we were talking about our jobs and, more specifically, our futures in those jobs. The general consensus was that no one knew what they wanted to do when they grew up. That was interesting to me. And somewhat heartening because I have no clue either.

[For instance, things I would like to be when I grow up: writer, musician, photographer, teacher, secret agent, beach bum, George Clooney.]

But those are all pie-in-the-sky (whatever the hell that phrase means) types of things which generally require a period of starvation and struggle before they're realized. And I firmly subscribe to The Wing Walker's Rule of Career Management - don't take one foot off a wing until the other is firmly planted.

To better myself, enrich my career and make myself more marketable, I did something last year I swore I would never do again - studied for and got a professional certification. I hated the process with every fiber of my being. See, I wasn't a fan of school. I didn't like sitting in classes and I especially loathed having things like papers and - worse - tests hanging over my head. I lived for a month railing against my own high standards for myself combined with an ever-present fear of failure. Of course, it all worked out - I got the certification and, as I mentioned, vowed to avoid putting myself in that position ever again.

Beth always tells me that I don't listen to her but apparently I don't listen to myself either. Later this month, I'll be taking a week-long training class to get me prepared for what? Another certification test. What the hell was I thinking?

Anyway, that leads me to a question for you - what do you do that you hate and how do you get through it? And how bad a sign is it that when I ordered the exam prep book online last night, Amazon helpfully informed me that I should also be interested in There Will Be Blood? That can't be good, right?

Posted by Chris at April 3, 2008 6:34 AM

I personally hate the same thing you do.... school. I have 6.5 weeks until I graduate with a degree in History. Somewhere along the way I realized that as much as I like my pie-in-the-sky career choice, I would like to eat, and maybe even own a home in life. So, I'm going to nursing school next year! Which would be cool accept for the fact that I have a huge load of pre-requisites to complete this year (anatomy, chemistry, microbiology, need I go on?) along with my history classes and thesis. And I am hating every single minute of it. I am actually miserable every singe day, but the reason that I do it is because I know that it will help the family that I am working towards having. I want to be able to make the money to enjoy my future husband and kids, and not have to worry about how we are going to afford things. You already have an extremely beautiful family, so think of them. I don't know if it will work for you, but that goal has seen me through many microbiology exams!

Posted by: Whitney at April 3, 2008 7:35 AM

What do I do that I hate? Not too much, but I do drive 4 1/2 hours to visit these people who are my parents, or claim to be, but aside from that I try not to do things I hate.

Posted by: Maribeth at April 3, 2008 7:51 AM

I envision not having to work in an office or even regular hours, but for the time being, I kind of have to, so I get through it by...keeping my iPod (or some manner of music-listening program/thing) nearby, along with heaping doses of coffee and brief periods of mind-drifting.

Speaking of prep books, I have to take the GRE again this year. Boo.

Posted by: Sparkle Pants at April 3, 2008 8:28 AM

I love my job. However, I know that it can't last forever. At some point, I'm going to have to get my degree or take the next step and go through PA school in the military.

I hate school. I have the same problem. Fear of failure but high expectations. So I spend all twisted up with belly aches, head aches and a very slippery grip on my sanity.

At least for now, I really, truly like my job itself.

Posted by: Holly Selden at April 3, 2008 8:30 AM

There's a part of my job I hate and that's the beginning of Summer. We don't offer courses in my department during this first session so I am a.) one of the few people even on this floor of the building and b.) I have little to nothing to accomplish, work-wise. I usually bring a few books, draw or search for a new job. In fact, this summer I am going to try harder than ever to get hired as a teacher.

And you're right about that career: it has had a period of starvation preceding my actual attempt at attaining it.

Posted by: claire at April 3, 2008 8:30 AM

First, I'd like to talk about the cert thing. I have friends who all are certified in one thing or another. Cisco, Microsoft, Web stuff, Java, whatever, but I've never gone for it. I've been very successful in my jobs, and employers pulling me away from my current job to work for them. My certified(able?) friends have not had any more success with this. ... Do certifications matter? Do they matter where you are? Are you ever a part of the hiring process enough to know whether or not it has been the clincher on someone getting the job?

My experience has been that given a basic education, your knowledge, experience, and ability to communicate well in an interview matters much more than any certifications. Is it regional? Or am I just wrong?

To answer YOUR question... I mostly hate home improvements, but this applies for anything I hate doing. I have to schedule it. If it's scheduled, and the wife knows, and the kids know, then I'm committed and it will be done.

Posted by: Brad at April 3, 2008 8:59 AM

I hate spending time with Jason's oldest sister. She's an evil evil woman who married money and all of the sudden thinks she's God's gift to the universe. She.hates.everyone! but I think she hates me the most! Why? Because of my coping mechanism. I am totally indifferent to her evil witchyness. My reaction to her is non-reaction. I know I shouldn't take joy in others pain, but to know that it burns her up inside everytime I smile at her, or offer to help with the dishes, well, it makes it all worth it.

My advice, hang in there, and just keep clapping for Jesus.

Posted by: Mymilabean at April 3, 2008 9:06 AM

Yeah, I really hate school too. It took me years and years (plus a semester of grad school) to realize this, as for years I was supposed to be "the smart one" in my family. Smart does not equal loving school, let me tell you that.

And I got through it by, um, dropping out. Yeah, so maybe you don't want to take any advice from me.

Posted by: Fraulein N at April 3, 2008 9:12 AM

Okay totally lame but I just put it out of my head. If I sit and fret or whatever about something I hate it makes it ten times worse. If I just do the "whatever" thing without too much thought in the way of emotions/dislikes I have a better time of it. BTW, I hated school as well yet suffered through it all to get not one but two degrees. I am still in awe over the fact that I have a Master's degree and wonder what dumb ass thought to let me get that!?!?

Posted by: Christina at April 3, 2008 9:22 AM

Hmmm....I wipe a lot of ass. Grown-up ass, not babies. I'm a nurse. That's probably the worst part of it. There are other issues, of course, but that one sucks pretty bad.

Posted by: b at April 3, 2008 9:38 AM

Like on radio shows I feel like I should start my saying "first time, long time".

I've always found that when I'm doing something or going after something that is in conflict with what I really "want" to be doing with my life I get this "I'm driving in the wrong direction" feeling. Living with that feeling of "I'm driving in the wrong direction" is so unpleasant. Over the past year I would stop driving and figure out the right direction and I have to tell you, it's scary but so worth it.

Posted by: Cass at April 3, 2008 9:49 AM

There Will Be Blood! What exactly are you getting certified to do? ;)

I've thought about going back to school. An MBA might be a good thing for me in my career, but have you seen what you have to study to get an MBA? Boring. I think I'm learning more by just showing up for work every day.

Posted by: bad penguin at April 3, 2008 10:04 AM

I am a couple of months away from my first shot at the CCIE lab exam. I am truly scared of this one since a large percentage of first-timers flunk it. But to get through it, I just keep on reading and reading and reading the prep stuff.

What certification did you get and what are you going for now?

Posted by: Rex at April 3, 2008 11:01 AM

I hate to shovel. So I rent. Where I don't have to.

Posted by: k8 at April 3, 2008 11:29 AM

I spent 20 years working for other people in offices, following their directions, working the hours they dictated to me, making me feel like shit if I had to take a day off to take care of my son when he was sick.
8 years ago I QUIT and worked for five years in my dream job as a library aide and for my husband's blossoming remodel business.
3 years ago I had to quit the library because our business got so busy.
I'm finally living my dream and I thank God and all my lucky stars every day.
I hope someday you get to do the same!

Posted by: Nancy at April 3, 2008 11:41 AM

I don't know what I want to be when I grow up, either. I had sort of hoped that one day it would just hit me... like an 18-wheeler.

Posted by: GreenCanary at April 3, 2008 11:42 AM

Right now I hate accounting. With a fiery purple passion. Granted, it's only one week into a six week class, but I'm really wondering what the hell I was thinking when I thought it would be a good idea to work full time and go to school almost full time.

Now I remember. If I ever leave my job, I'll need to have at least an associates to get another.

And after I get my degree, there will be much certifications and testings and the tearing of hairs and the gnashing of teeths.

Posted by: Rai at April 3, 2008 11:44 AM

Unfortunately I am at the point in my career of which I need a certification to prevent becoming stagnant. My degree is barely worth the paper it is printed on, it seems.

My hubby just got his first cert...he is now deemed "certify-able"...then we laugh.

Which one do you have and which one are you pursuing? Is it an online course? If so, who offers it? Thank you! :-)

Posted by: Steff at April 3, 2008 11:50 AM

It depends on who's blood it will be (and how much of it).

I am in the same boat. I am 12 years into my second career. With a young family change is problematic. The best I could do was change location.

Posted by: oddmix at April 3, 2008 2:21 PM

Yeah, what were you thinking? *grin* I think the book 'there will be blood' says it all.

I HATE getting up in the morning, HATE it!! Hubby says he's never seen anyone hate mornings as much as I do. I thank God I have a job where I can come in (pretty much) when I want as long as the work is done. My job doesn't require me to even be here at work, I can work anywhere there is a phone and a computer!!

Besides that, scooping 13 litter boxes every night pretty much is the physical thing I truly hate. As far as getting through it, if I didn't scoop, eventually there'd be something where it shouldn't be.

Oh...I'm looking forward to retirement, I'm not worried about college and I've gotten through quite nicely without a degree.

Posted by: been there, done that at April 3, 2008 2:31 PM

You don't like school?! How can anyone not like school? No, really, I love school so much I want to stay in it forever. Sadly, I'm nearing the end of my degree. Happily, I've not had to pay tuition since I work here. I hate intro classes though. One of which I had to sit through last semester. Eeesh. It was awful and it was so hard to drag my butt to class after working all day. It helps to have a friend who will suffer with you.

Posted by: hannita at April 3, 2008 2:31 PM

I hate school too. And that was an awesome Amazon Recommendation.

Posted by: Heather at April 3, 2008 2:59 PM

What I do that I hate - MY JOB! Omg, my job!! how I loathe it!! I also yell more than I would like at times, and stress and think too much at times. But I think that comes with the crazy that I'm certified in - yes, that's right I have openly admitted I'm certifiable! hee hee

I get through the job by reminding myself that it's the only one I've got right now and it, on occasion, puts gas in the car.

I get through the yelling by reminding myself that these small people will eventually realize that I AM the boss of them, whether they like it or not! bwhahaha

Posted by: Kris at April 3, 2008 3:59 PM

I hate, hate, hate driving in the snow. Good tires, front wheel drive, taking it slow & all the advise in the world will never get me over the hate.of.driving.in.the.snow!!! I manage by holding two fingers on my vein in my neck, at all times, counting the heartbeats to make sure I'm not having a heart attack.

Posted by: Lindy at April 3, 2008 8:04 PM

I am working about full time plus over time while voluntarily going to school four nights a week. For fifteen months. For a second/additional career.

It was my choice but I was just kvetching and whining (again) tonight about wanting to drop out.

Because I am a big Wuss.

Posted by: Karen at April 3, 2008 8:43 PM

Hah- I forgot the 'what gets me through it' part.

My boyfriend reminds me that I like enjoy what I am schooling for, and that I would regret dropping out.

And that he thinks I am a quitter and will think less of me if I drop out.

I also remember that I want to have that additional career option, and that I may very likely never be married and I dearly want to adopt and/or do foster care some day.
(I can't have children)

Posted by: Karen at April 3, 2008 8:46 PM

What in the world is all this certification you're getting, Mr. C?

Posted by: Zandria at April 3, 2008 10:24 PM

I'll tell you how I handle it. I have a nervous breakdown, that's what! Have you tried that?

Any chance you'd want to contract a blog design for me? Pretty please?

Posted by: Velvet Verbosity at April 4, 2008 12:26 AM

I strictly recommend not to hold off until you get big sum of cash to buy all you need! You can just get the mortgage loans or secured loan and feel yourself free

Posted by: ROSARIOVirgie21 at June 28, 2010 1:30 AM