Reply To: Ask the experts
Thanks so much for the quick response Rachel! I actually didn’t notice there was a response until yesterday, I think because I assumed you two would be too busy to respond for awhile! 😛
You make some very great points and things I hadn’t necessarily thought of! HR may not be bad everywhere you’re right, there are probably a variety of positions I can look more into. Ideally one that doesn’t involve constant high-pressure interaction. The main descriptions I find about HR online talk about dealing with people and having a lot of mediation, de-escalation types of tasks between employees and the company although it may have to do also with the positions within the department and what organization it is with. I actually don’t mind people (and miiiight be 10% tribe member) and get along with most people I meet. I have objectively strong soft skills and people skills so I’d probably be good at HR, but it definitely stresses me out to be dealing with demanding and negative people. It did occur to me however that if my job had even 25% of the high-pressure interaction it has now it would still be a big improvement in terms of bearability, so long as it isn’t the type of job that also follows me into evenings and weekends.
Probably the best things about my current position are that:
1) my bosses and coworkers are mostly positive, helpful and encouraging people (and also mostly remote even though I work in a physical center);
2) I often get to go home early if it isn’t busy, so my weeks tend to hover around 32-35 hours for most of the year unless it’s exceptionally busy;
3) The workday ends (and exits from my thoughts) as soon as I clock out!
Also thanks a bunch for the support re: temp position! It definitely feels good hearing that from an expert. I’m still applying to Administrative and related positions, by the way, but I’m getting next to no interviews, whereas when I was still in the temp position I was getting them in droves.
I guess at my level of experience it’s hard to know what “normal” is for a workplace environment. It didn’t feel toxic to me at all until it became obvious they weren’t bothering me to train me anymore because I hadn’t picked up every detail after a few weeks (and I even heard my boss mention over the phone they were looking for a replacement from his next door cubicle). Aside from the obvious negativity at the end (and the fact that it was temp), the job just seemed to flow with my life. It seemed really simple and easy, and was kind of like, “they actually pay us a well-above-minimum wage just to do THIS?”. I never dreaded a Monday, nor counted down the hours until the workday ended. I know there were other tasks they were supposed to train me for that they didn’t bother, but they didn’t sound or appear especially difficult or stressful by my standards. In fact I was kind of made to look and feel like an idiot, for example because they didn’t believe I would be able to handle reception and greet clients alone when my colleague was on her lunch break (never gave me the chance to because they didn’t trust my abilities). I know I have a rather passive, bubbly demeanour and look/sound younger than my age which could be a strike against me in many workplaces.
Certainly research is a big thing I need to do, thanks for the suggestions of how. Google is one I’ve used a lot but the information it gives usually isn’t very specific, and can be very much conflicting, especially when it’s regarding job markets and outlooks. The informational interviews (and even asking questions on Reddit once I unblock it from my browser :P) sound like better options, along with the spreadsheet. Maybe I’ll make narrowing down the choices to 1 or 2 the main goal of the next few months, alongside still applying to the administrative/data entry/reception positions. I know it’s good to have one specific goal like rounding down options, and clear out all the clutter around what family members/society would think of me due to my current low-status position.
Thanks again for the reply, sorry it’s long! I definitely plan to catch up with some of your newer blog posts to also help me on the journey 🙂