Archive for March, 2009

A Job Summary

March 24, 2009

Some people are well educated, trained for a profession, apprentice in a trade, called to a vocation.

I was none of the above.

At first, I didn’t have a career, I just had a job. Actually, I had many jobs, too numerous to mention. I didn’t stay long enough to get a gold watch, or build a decent pension plan. I tried to choose a job that was challenging, but after a couple of years I had to move on.  In those days, I never worried about being unemployed, I guess I was ever searching… Jobs were plentiful, I was industrious and I managed to earn above average. Between jobs, I would have a few days off, a week at the most, to rest a bit and go to job interviews, and then decide on the most suitable offer.   Ah, those good old days, we had to pay the rent and eat, and the only way to do that was to work.

Over the years I was given a few aptitude tests at personnel agencies (remember those?) and I was always told that I should be in sales. THAT HORRIFIED ME!   I thought that the only people in sales, were people who were lazy or couldn’t do anything else. (Sorry).

As my luck would have it, I was offered a job in sales the year I turned 40. My bosses offered me 25M a year and asked me to try to sell 125M. I said I had no idea if I could do that, and they said “we think you can”! About a week later, I made my first sale for $32.00 (!) and as I was driving home, I wondered “how in the hell can I sell 125 thousand dollars?” That memory was forever etched crystal-clear, swathed in fear.  Equally etched were those three little words:  “we think you can”. That year I sold $135M. The sweetest moment was  the day my sales reached 126M.

I loved sales! I was finally learning a trade with many facets, it was like a kaleidoscope, all the pieces coming together to form a pleasing sight. I had the good fortune of working with patient, knowledgeable, people.  I worked in a blue collar industry, sold to white collar industries and thrived.   It was the printing industry. It was very precise, difficult, competitive work. I never suffered a boring moment. The process of seeing an idea turned out on a thumb nail sketch, become a graphic composition, photography, text, film, paper,  ink and finally a printed article like a brochure, book or magazine delivered to the market was always remarkable to me and 99% of the time, a source of pride. 🙂  So who’s perfect?

All this just to describe the last 20 years of my career-life so that I could say:

Last week, I went to a Company reunion. I saw many of the people I had worked with for that final 20 years.  We hugged each other, howled with laughter, shed a few tears, and I went home feeling like the luckiest girl in the world! Imagine that!

Life is not that complicated. Find something you love to do, and love doing it!