Monday, August 12, 2013

why you may be creating a job and not a business and why that may be ok actually ...

grow something - polarity locket
Before I worked in a bank I did taxes.

I had just been through my first tax season with very demanding clients and an office manager from hell, my daughter was two years old and I really wanted something ... ok I'll just say it ... I wanted something easier.

I applied to a bank for a bank teller job - I could have regular hours and unless I was counting money in my sleep I would not be taking any work home with me.

At the time the bank had a management trainee program where candidates started as bank tellers and progressed to branch managers in a couple years.

The person who interviewed me, seeing my tax background, thought I might be a good fit for this program. I just wanted to be a bank teller.

So, (while the interviewer asked me again if I didn't want a couple days to think about it), I politely declined the management trainee program and became a bank teller.

I loved it.

I loved everything about it. I loved my co-workers. I loved my manager. I loved my customers (mostly). I loved the hours and the holidays (we had A LOT of them).

But maybe most of all I loved leaving that branch and never thinking about it again until I pulled into the parking lot the next morning.

I didn't want a career. I wanted a job.

Now that job lasted about a year before I found out that I was actually more cut out for a career than a job (I  became a manager around the same time the management trainees did, but I think I had a lot more fun getting there). When I think about my 10 year banking career, that very first year holds a lot of great memories for me.

There is nothing wrong with just having a job. Sometimes it's a better place for us. It works until it doesn't.

When I started my first business, people were always giving me the advice - "make sure you are not just creating yourself a job." The 3 letter word would come out of people's mouths all puckery and sour and ... small.

I am not a good advice-taker. So, of course paid no attention.

So, I created a business, but what I really did was build a job for myself.

At that time my mother was very ill and had moved in with us; my uncle who was like a second father to us had just died. My daughter, a latchkey pre-teen, was running amok -

(she denies this and to this day declares me totally nuts for thinking she ever gave us a moment's trouble - "you were lucky to raise me", she says and we were actually, but the truth is she was still running amok .. and her south node Aquarius was clashing with my south node Capricorn BIG TIME)

a business would have been a totally unsustainable thing for me to be building.

I built myself a job.

I had mall carts during the holidays and the mother's day/father's day season and during much of the rest of the year I forgot I even had a business.

Now, another decade or so down the road, I really am building a business. But it's because my life supports it now, not because there is a one way fits all way to do this thing.

You can totally build a job. You can totally build a business.

(and you will most likely need to do both these things at some point because the kind of jobs that other people are building are going other places or disappearing entirely - Kodak had 60,000 employees in its hay-day, Instagram has 13 - annoyingly, it took me a long time to pull up this information because all anyone writes about is how much money a company loses. not so much about how many people lose their jobs)

You can totally do what works best for you and you can totally change that thing you are doing when it isn't working anymore.

We don't need to be doing it as big or as small as anybody else is doing it. We really don't.

why not? print by conilab


Jennifer Johansson said...

This is so very true! After 15 years as an art teacher, where my life was ruled by this job, I am so thrilled with part time office/art department J-O-B. No homework, little stress, just work that I like. Now someday I hope that I will outgrow my little part time job and be able to go full time into the art biz. But right now, this set-up works and I'm grateful for it.

DancingMooney ♥ said...

The only way that I could have ever found the opportunity to do what I'm doing, is because my husband and I made a bunch of changes and sacrifices, to make this work... Plenty of stress and plenty of learning and growing, and there are days that I wish I could just wake up in the morning and do 'work' and just walk away from it like a job at the end of the day, but I love what I do and as long as we can keep making this work for us, I'm going to keep building and growing.

Sometimes I think those who are struggling to find success, don't have the same luxury or freedom, to make having a small business work for them, as it works for me. I feel guilty, I don't have kids, and we can afford to live on a LOT less than most people, because we've chosen such simplicity in our lives...

I have no idea how women (or men) with families (and all of the obligations that go with it), find the time or resources, to build a successful business, I just really don't know how they do it.

Regardless, I am forever grateful that I have this opportunity to live authentically, and do something I love.

KJ said...

First of all, did you google the number of employees for Instagram and Kodak? Just askin'

I had a job last year- it was great. When I called in sick the work was not waiting for me when I got back. When I took a vacation I did not have to find someone to cover for me.

I am back in a career position now. Work waits for me. I have to say though, I really do like what I am doing. Mostly, I make the world better for a lot of people.