The first proper piece of career advice I got was from my Father just before I started my first job.
I was 16 years old, and about to start working as a glass-collector in the local golf club where my Father was an active member.
The Bar Steward, Mr Jones, was a notoriously abrasive man, and I think my Father sensed trouble. Mr Jones was hard work, but he wasn’t the only one: I was an awkward argumentative know-all with all the social skills of a wasp at a picnic.
To him, and to most people I suspect, I looked like I was aloof or arrogant, but actually it was more about my lack of self-confidence and my social clumsiness. My personality is the sort that doesn’t do small talk and doesn’t crave human company for the sake of it, and this means it’s all too easy for me to stumble, as a bull may stumble its way through a china shop, when faced with uncomfortable social settings.
Continue reading “Don’t flick switches if you don’t know what they do”
I used to be a timeshare salesman.
This was a long time ago, and I’m proud to say that I wasn’t very good at it. I am good at getting on with people and making them trust me, but I am not so good at turning that into cash through manipulation.
This is one of my favourite things about me, but it wasn’t one of the timeshare manager’s favourite things about me.
I got fired.
I didn’t care. I was only 25 and was enjoying have an unconventional life that involved living in the sun (a novelty for someone from Yorkshire), and so being fired from a job I didn’t want had no downside at that point in my life.
I now know that there were three problems with my employment:
- Our values did not match
- I don’t associate money with work
- I am not motivated by people shouting at me
Continue reading “The bright side of total failure”
If I were to try to sort out my floundering professional career, I wouldn’t start from here.
A career of humdrum modest achievement that adds up to less than the sum of the parts.
I live in the future, so while I often wistfully run through my many regrets and plan how well I’d do it if only I could go back and do it again, in general I tend to think of everything as just preparation for something else: digging the groundwork for the next thing.
Today is all about tomorrow.
Continue reading “Today is not just tomorrow’s yesterday”