Ever since the point where I committed myself to start a blog again, I have been receiving a lot of inspiration for stories and thoughts to jot down. The problem is I am having a hard time keeping up with them. It’s a work in progress. Eventually, I think I will find my pace and rhythm in how I write. I’ll chalk it up to the need to learn some unforeseen writing skills.
My Last Regular Job
This morning, I felt prompted to write about my work experience for a bit. I have not held a traditional job since this time back in 2017. It’s virtually four years from the date since I quit my last “9 to 5” job. Since that point, I have been working for myself in a variety of functions. It has not always been easy, but it has been worthwhile. And even though I consider myself good at the jobs that I have done, they were truly dead-end jobs.
The field I feel that I excelled the most in was the call center world. It was for the most part a straightforward job – people call in with problems, and it was my job to fix it. Some problems couldn’t be fixed, but in some of those circumstances I could find workarounds or alternative solutions. I also got to talk to a lot of people, and learn new and effective ways of being a better agent with each call. There were occasions where I would get the disgruntled caller. And no agent likes getting those calls, but to be honest, I felt I not only handled those calls with some competence, but I think I even excelled moreso in those calls than your average call. It was a golden opportunity to impress someone who already had a low or sub-par expectation of the company for which I represented.
The large majority of those calls were (in my experience) due to a lack of communication or information. Once I was able to figure out the root issue with the angry caller, I would implement a UPOD (under promise, over deliver) practice in navigating the call. The problem would get solved. I’d get praise from the caller, AND more than likely, they would go out of their way to fill out a survey saying how great of an agent I was. That part made taking calls worthwhile.
I would not learn that technique until about year 4 or 5 of doing call center work (maybe earlier). But once I figured it out, It was my go-to trick for managing calls. I had others, but that was my bread and butter.
Wanting Bigger and Better Things
I would eventually position myself for a management or training position. With doing call center work for as long as I had at that point, I had a lot of colleagues come to me for help and assistance, and it seems that the advice I was giving them was helping them overall with their performance, and they went on to bigger and better things. So naturally, I felt the desire to follow suit. Little did I know I would be passed over time and time again for someone else for reasons I would not understand.
I tried working with my team leads, supervisors, and upper-level management to groom myself for these positions, but each time ended in disappointment. I would even change companies with the specific intent to move up fast, based upon my experience, but it was more of the same.
At one company, I literally had an 18 year old fresh out of high school become my supervisor. He was wet behind the ears and only knew a tenth of what I knew. Yet, he was promoted within weeks of joining the company (I would later discover that the company was really crappy), so I reached out to my trainer for tips. The information he provided was very helpful, but it bore no fruit. After some time, I would leave that company for another.
The last three years of working in call centers were the toughest for me, as I felt highly discouraged in my efforts to gain traction that would propel me into upper or even lateral positions. People that I had personally trained were now my bosses or managers. It felt like a true slap to the face. So much that from my second to the last job, I had a nervous breakdown at work. It was in no way good. It was also a very low point in my career. One of which had me seek out alternative employment opportunities. Around this time, I discovered the opportunity of trying out ridesharing. That would be my entry point into self-employment, even though it was part-time.
“Take This Job And Shove It.”
The last “regular” job was a true temporary position, but even that job came with some unnecessary trials. I had worked at it before, so I felt good about returning for the season. The problem was one of the colleagues I came into the job initially with had been hired on, and her “attitude” towards me had changed.
We all were temps at one point, either trying to do the best to get hired on or simply taking the opportunity we had and making the most of it. And yet, she looked down on all the temps with a sense of disdain. It was appalling how she became “holier than thou” just because she was hired on. None of the other permanent employees treated us this way, only this one. So being that I was finding early success as a rideshare driver, I just let my manager know how I felt – appreciated her guidance, then made my exit. And that was the last regular job I held. That was around this time, back in 2017.
What I Should’ve Done Was…
Could I have done more to place myself in a position to advance through the various companies? I probably could. The problem was it was not happening fast enough. I had worked in call centers for a large part of 10 years, yet I kept getting passed over for promotions, special projects, or opportunities to use my I.T. skills, for which I went to school. I truly felt I was going nowhere in the positions, and I badly wanted to advance and improve on what I had learned. But in the end, you can only do so much.
I try not to dwell too much on the past experiences of working in multiple companies. But it’s those experiences that led me to take a leap and try something different.
So with that all behind me, I launched full-time into ridesharing. And I gotta say, it’s been a fun and fulfilling experience. I’ve been able to work as much as I want, or as little as I want. Never in my life had I felt so in control of my opportunity to generate income. It hasn’t all been roses – there have been some lean days. But overall, I don’t regret the choice to work for myself. Not only do I not regret it, but I have since looked for other ways to work for myself. I take a lot more chances in trying or doing something new than I had before. Some have been successes, while others have been duds. But I’m at least trying.
Go For What You Want
In doing the ridesharing, there are a lot of conversations that happen between points A and B. Some are light, some are heavy, and some are downright funny. But the ones I remember a lot are where I get asked questions about life, and what advice I can offer. Based upon my life experience, I tell people while you should have a sensible life plan, go for what you are passionate about. Life is way too short to not pursue that which makes you happy. I add that they would need to strike a balance between pursuing passion and keeping common sense but not to dampen the passion to pursue something.
So this post went way longer than I had wanted to go, but I am sort of freewriting as I go. some posts will be this way, but most won’t.
But like with so many riders, I will leave you the same advice: Find a way to pursue your passion in life, while keeping your feet on solid ground. There will be times for a little give and take, but I believe you need a bit of both. Don’t gamble the farm just for one goat, but do strive to make your life better. Strive to obtain that passionate work. Because if you do reach your goal, you will never work another day in your life. Your passion will have become your work, and your work will have become your passion.
Until next time, thanks for reading.