Sunday, September 26, 2010

Work horse or work shy?

Have never really bought into the idea that people should know what they want to do with their life by the time they leave school and if truth were to be told at 42 I still have no idea! I do feel quite strongly though that as with a pair of shoes you have to try on a lot of pairs before you find the right fit.
As a student I had a fantasy list of jobs that I wanted to try out whilst I had the opportunity and whilst non of these jobs would ever have figured in my ideal career list I figured that it couldn't hurt to try out the world a little bit. Between the ages of 15 and 19 I held the following jobs:

  • Checkout girl - loved seeing into peoples world via their shopping basket.
  • Breakfast waitress - chefs are mean and Germans want breakfast far too early!
  • Barmaid - good source of boyfriends.
  • Amusement arcade cash desk - english coins stink.
  • Bakery assistance - the silly hats do not suit anybody and cannot look at a chocolate eclair to this day.
  • Petrol station worker - night shift  on the forecourt is the place to be.
  • Fish + chip shop chef - how on earth I got that I will never know.

  • Cocktail waitress - stuffy and dull.
  • Door to door Double glazing sales person - thankless task.
  • Telemarketing - cold calling sucks.

Plus many more. Now some jobs lasted longer than others and some I did better than others ( will leave you to figure out which was which) but without exception I had a ball, earned enough money to keep me out of debt during college and definitely learnt valuable lessons at them all.
So what happened to this type of work ethic ? I don't see the younger generation in any hurry to go out and get any job - do they have too much money or are they just too precious to get their hands dirty? In Central Europe it is not uncommon for people to have their first job at 24! I just don't get it and more importantly how do we go about changing this mentality? Students leave university with such huge levels of debt these days ( tales of people still paying off student loans into their 30's) that logic tells you that the economic recovery is always going to be hampered if we do not instill a better work ethic into our youth. Jokes are often leveled at the Polish and Ukrainians and their willingness to do any job but my goodness give me this mentality any day over the sense of entitlement I see from the so called educated Westerners.
So, are there any jobs still left over from my fantasy list? Long distance lorry driver!!  I do, however , have some relatively new additions to this hypothetical list including working at Harrods in the music department and working on a cosmetics counter at Selfridges. Both of these are a million miles away from my current life working in the real estate sector in Europe ( which I love by the way!) and neither are motivated by money but who knows what will happen in the future? Its good to have a plan.
What fantasy jobs have you always secretly wanted to do? Drop me a line and share your story.

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