As you all know, or should know by now, I’m going back to school in September, seeking a degree in Communications. This will be a second degree for me, my first being in English. My hope from this degree is that the second half of my career life will be more ‘satisfactory’ than the first. After all, I fell into insurance as a young man and had no intention of staying there for five years let alone 23.
But what do you do with an English degree? Being able to speak and read, to communicate well, and to quote fine poetry (“O pointy bird, O pointy-pointy, Anoint my head, Anointy-nointy”) should be of some value in our world, but alas ’tis not as prized as you think. So it turns out the only thing I could have done with my hard-earned English degree, Dean’s list notwithstanding, was teach or write. I became an adjuster because I had bills to pay.
I won’t call that a mistake. Adjusting has been an honorable activity: it has served me well as I served it well. But now it’s time for me to identify myself, to chase me down, to pin me to the ground and beat the snot out of me until I capitulate and do what I want to for a change.
Why not? I’m certainly capable. Remedial English at six taught me a few things which I have lived every day since. I’m not afraid of change (very handy), I believe in my abilities to learn, and I’m not afraid to talk myself up.
I’m not a braggart, though. In fact, in most ways I am my own harshest critic. But I know what I know and there’s just no escaping it. What is it they said in Sunday school? “Don’t hide your light under a bushel” – so why would I deny what I’m good at? Why would I procrastinate any longer? Now that I’m out of the insurance rut why would I waste any more time not doing what I am best suited to do?
To earn a few sheckles and help out a friend I’ve been driving shuttle for a high-end auto dealership for the past couple of weeks. That allows me to meet people and talk, and talk, and talk. Occasionally the subject of me has come up (okay, quite often) and I have not been shy about telling folks about my plans. This isn’t exactly networking since I haven’t even started classes yet let alone found my way back into the job market, but you never know what friendships and opportunities can arise from simple chitchat. So I chit, and I chat, and maybe some day it all makes a difference. At the very least it proves to me that despite more than a year out of the workforce I still have what it takes to thrive in the business world and indeed in the regular world. It’s so easy to lose those people skills, but I have not.
Oh, and speaking of talking it up, if you’re an employer in the Calgary area who wouldn’t mind some part time help in your Communications or Public Relations department from a mature, responsible student, feel free to email me or leave a comment. If you don’t mind working with a positive, upbeat, happy-to-be-here-working-hard kind of person then I certainly don’t mind earning a little java money.
There. I did it. I talked me up.