Thursday, January 20, 2011

About that job...

I know that taking on another job sounds crazy, doesn't it? But the thing is, this job is only 8-10 hours a week, and it is at the school. I have 3 days a week, where I have blocks of time between classes, in one case, from 9:45 until 1 PM. So it would be a way to fill up this 'empty time'. Yes. I could use that for studying too, and I will have the flexibility to switch back and forth if need be.

Since my discussion with my advisor last fall, I've been doing a lot of thinking, and I've also been doing a lot of people watching, assessing them (and myself). My strengths are that I am smart and that I am a hard worker. My weaknesses are that I do not have a lot of self confidence. I am also a very casual person, truth be told. I'm likable. I am funny. I am nice, but I am not professional. I am not polished. If I am striving to be a professional person, I have to learn the ins and outs of dressing professionally, of making a good impression, how to interact with other professional people. That sort of thing. I'm 53 years old and have never had a professional job. Never.

I had an interesting conversation with Cara the other day. We were talking about guys. She said, matter of factly, "I'm a great woman. The man who'll get me will be a lucky man." I was a little taken aback. I looked at her, and the words pushing to the front of my brain were all cautionary...'don't get big headed' or 'pride goeth before a fall'. But looking at her, what I saw on her pretty little face was, plainly put, what she thought of herself. And because she valued herself, she will not (and has not) fallen for the first fellow who's come by. She's well liked, with plenty of friends who are boys, but no boyfriends. She's dropped a boy who was fiscally irresponsible. She's dropped a boy because he didn't buy his mother a Mother's Day gift. Her thinking followed the line of 'his parents support him, his parents sacrifice to send him to college, he lives at home when he's not at college, and he is so selfish that he sees no need to buy his mother a gift on mother's day?!!!! Cara does not date selfish men!' I looked at this girl once again, and what I saw was someone who knew her own worth, and someone who would not settle for anyone who (number one) values her less than she values herself, and (number two) has substantially different values. Whoever gets Cara will have to be wise and considerate. That is not a bad thing. My cautionary words died on my lips. "Yes," I agreed.

I have never felt that way about myself. Never in my life. I have made bad mistakes because I looked for my value in the eyes of others, unable to see the value of my own self. I respond to everything on an emotional level ~ I take care of people, I love people: those are the good things. I also feel insecure and unworthy and guilty a lot. I feel as if everything is my fault. I've noticed that people who are polished and professional are able to, at some level, lay their emotions aside, to focus on what they are doing, and do it well. They exude confidence. They speak easily. Okay. Yeah. That part I have down. Maybe I need to focus on not talking so much. If I get this job (and I don't know that I will...as noted, I am severely lacking in professionalism), it would put me in an arena where I would be practicing the skills that will make a big difference in my life. In effect, I'd be getting paid as I learned them.

So, no. I'm not overburdening myself. I see a lack in myself that needs to be addressed. I see an opportunity to address that lack. I'm jumping at the opportunity.

15 comments:

Mikey said...

Cara is a smart girl. More girls should have better self worth like she does. You, you are just like my mother. Caring for everyone else comes first. Her first thought is "What can I do?" for someone else. Same self confidence issues (and I have them too but not like her). I'm forever on her to do something for herself, but that's not what makes her happy. Doing for others makes her happy.

I was worried that your getting another job would be too much, but I didn't want to say it. That is for you to decide!

As for the "professional" people. Let me make this clear. They may seem professional, but they are just folks, and a lot of them have issues that come to light once you get to know them, just like everyone else (i.e. my old boss, who was very uptight and a total professional, but liked his hooker in the morning at a hotel. I had breakfast with him once and met her. Good heavens. Or the ad exec. who got new boobs and had me compare them with another girl, hands on!!). Professional is not all it's cracked up to be!! I found it to be a pain in the ass, having to dress a certain way, not speak my mind and report to this and that person. Basically be a robot. I never could fit into that mold. I fake it real well, but after a time my true outspoken redneck colors always shine thru.
Be true to yourself girl. You ARE WORTH IT!!

Bill of Wasilla said...

Empty time?

How could you possibly have any empty time?

Enjoy your new job. As for me, I would prefer that you spent your empty time working on your book.

Debby said...

And Bill, I'd prefer that you sat yourself down at your computer and explained Juarez, 1969, but that ain't happening...:-D

Mikey, there is sleaze at all level. No matter what I become, I cannot change my own core values. I will be what I have always been. Hopefully a bit more polished, a bit more effective. That's all.

A Novel Woman said...

The basic hallmarks of a professional are competence, knowledge and skill. You have demonstrated those. What elevates that professional to an outstanding level are traits like honesty, integrity, respect for others and most importantly, wisdom. You have all that and more my dear. In spades.

Confidence comes with experience. You're going to be getting the experience soon, so the confidence will follow. Trust.

PaintedPromise said...

JUMP Debby, JUMP! you go girl, good for you!!!!

PaintedPromise said...

oh and Cara - YOU ROCK!!!!! i have a 21-year-old who still hasn't had a boyfriend... i was worried that it was because of what i dragged her through with my own bad choices when she was little, and when i asked her, she said "well mom, don't feel bad but" and i thought OH NO HERE IT COMES... she finished by saying "it's not you, it's watching my friends with guys my age and how badly they are treated..." i was so thankful it wasn't me, and so sad that it wasn't me... but i am thrilled that she values herself enough to avoid the crap she sees!!! me, i just kept trying, couldn't see through the stars in my eyes... she has a heck of a lot more sense than her mother!

so yeah, Cara, YOU ROCK!!!

Mary Paddock said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mary Paddock said...

I'm hip. Believe me. But I will address that on my own blog.

Deb, my bet is that you will be a breath of fresh air and will still manage to be professional at the same time. The demeanor is easier to acquire than you might think.

Jayne said...

Porfessional is just a veneer, the real value is you ;)
Good luck for the job!

quid said...

It's gonna be tough to work another job. I'm rooting for you!

So the insecure mom raised the confident young woman.....talk about giving back! You must be so proud of her.

Funny, I bet she's proud of you.

quid

BUSH BABE said...

Professional (in my opinion) is being able to sort the private response from the public requirement. It's not always bad and it doesn't require you to completely 'lose' yourself... I think you will pick up just enough of it in this job (or one like it that you WILL get when you need it) to give you the confidence you seek.

I think that confidence is slowly building in you - after all, Cara is a result of your work as a mother, no? Had to come from somewhere...
:-)
BB

Bob said...

I took a job in law school working in the library. Like you, I had blocks of time. The beauty of that job was that I could study when I wasn't assisting students.

Your other readers said much of what I would say -- professionalism is in the eye of the beholder. After 28 years of it, I would love to be more casual!

Kelly said...

Such a good post! (on so many levels)

Cara said...

I am beautiful, I am witty, I am smart, and I am a good woman. Life isn't about waiting for some kind of validation of these facts from other people, it's about striving to show the world that these things are self evident.

R Phillips said...

You can use me as a reference Debbie. (For what it's worth...) :) Good luck!