The Professional Me

It was a comment I saw online last night that did it. While trying to keep pace with a resume chat on Twitter, I noticed someone mention that they continuously updated their resume and had it prominently displayed on their blog. Of course! I bet, at least for the people who know how to market themselves, that one’s blog is an obvious place to convey your professional qualifications.

Which leads me to today’s entry. Consider it my blogume’.

I’ve been out of work for almost two months, while actively pursuing the proverbial “rewarding” career for, say about 25 years. I’ve seen more job listings than leaves on trees. An endless parade of positions I assumed I was unqualified for (somewhere, a career advisor is saying you should never assume that; let the employer make that determination) and jobs I felt I was either too good for (another lame assumption) or would hate in a week. I look through them every day.

This all started in high school. Back then, my goal was to make it to June of 1983 with passing grades and no overdue library books. Those two factors would assure my graduation and diploma from Mars High. What was beyond that? I didn’t know. Actually, I didn’t have a clue, neither literally nor figuratively. Sure, I had career interests in mind; journalism, broadcasting, criminology, police work. But I acted on none of them. I just wanted to get done with school and move on.

I got a job at a moving company that first year out of high school, and it could have been…maybe should have been…the last job I would ever need. From the humble beginnings of painting the bathrooms and helping repair furniture damaged in transit, I moved up to an Operations Management position. The owner called me to his office and told me he expected I would one day sit in his chair, and more importantly, park in his space. He insisted that I should have a degree, one that HE would pay for, even (get this) even if I chose to leave his company and work elsewhere!

I knew this was a golden opportunity. I jumped in. He even paid for my books. And after one semester of mixing my 50-60 hour per week job with two evening classes, I wimped out. I could have scaled back my hours to alleviate some of the workload, but I didn’t want anyone at work to think I was slacking on the job. So I didn’t go back to school. I still regret it at least every third day.

Eventually, I lost interest in the moving industry. Too many unhappy customers, disgruntled drivers, unreliable helpers, and stressful days of waiting for phone calls from the aforementioned customers, and I was ready to see what else was out there.

I’m still looking. Here’s what I can tell you.

The only person I’ve met in the last 20 years who I would hate to go head-to-head against in Work-Ethic Survivor would be the owner at the last job I had in Pittsburgh. But understand, Brian isn’t human. He’s protecting his investment, serving his clients, and maintaining a quality product and working environment  all at the same time. Without skipping lunch. He’s a perpetual motion machine. We’d all get sent home from the island before our water taxi even landed.

Point is, I work hard, and I take very seriously the idea that someone is paying me to perform a job function.

I have managing and supervising experience. I climbed my way into it through hard work, attention to detail, and a dedication to getting things done the right way, every time. But without a college degree, putting that experience back to work is nearly impossible.

I have an IL CDL Class B license. I love driving, love being on the road, but also wouldn’t mind going back to an office or warehouse environment again. I learned in my moving days that most of us have two bosses: our employers, and our customers. Our customers are paying our employers for quality products and services, and our employers, in turn, pay us to satisfy those needs. They owe us nothing. Maybe there ARE people out there whom companies would be privileged to have in the fold; I think it’s my privilege that someone is willing to pay me to work for them.

So…You hiring? I’m available, I’d love to talk to you about it. Know someone who’s hiring? Direct them here for me, please. I would greatly appreciate it. In the meantime, as long as there are no leaves on the trees yet, I might as well go look at some job ads.

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