I remember when I worked at a community centre, the job was denoted as voluntary but if the owner could, he would pay a small stipend fortnightly. At the time I was just looking for anything that gain me some work experience.
Nowadays managers aren’t giving university graduates a fair shake in the job market, reason being that the paper doesn’t mean you can do the job. Knowledge and skill is two different things. The paper certifies your knowledge, experience certifies your common sense. So experience in your line of work is worth is worth its weight in gold and HR managers were weighting their luck on safer investments after the recession.
So a job seeker would be swift and smart in getting as much knowledge out of very job he/she acquires, and retrain themselves to acquire new knowledge and/or solidify their old skills. So was trying to get an advantage, by getting some experience to naturally tell my next interviewer, “hey i ain’t an idiot”.
It was either that or be a another “unfortunate youth that didn’t get a chance” cause i did not have degree or certificate in anything. But in life you can’t let the disadvantages of your situation guide or discourage you. I learnt enough by then to realise that was a bad way of reacting to things and emotional wisdom was a must.
I started working with a “get things done” mindset, speed and efficiency was my prerogative, it worked out well for me as i was naturally a hard worker. But i still had a lot to learn, one of them was customer service. Something that I would eventually learn was integral to business survivability.
I was given the basic on how things were suppose to go and what I was supposed to do. As I would find out, no one tells you real imperative things to consider about your job. They would have guessed that you knew that already. Usually you should if your experienced. Though even then, I reasoned that no amount of experience can prepare you for everything you’ll encounter at a new workplace, especially if the environment and demographic of customers are different from what your used to.
In such situations learning the mannerism of the beast you face and how you conquer it is important. The speed at which you do this is also necessary for getting the hard part out-of-the-way, and really getting to a smooth business interaction between your customers.
In the community centre, I encountered this implicit need for help, which many customers walked in with and there was also children, who were looking for a place to hang, even if but for a few hours. I was told be a supporter and volunteer of the community centre that this place was built to help the community. I realized the centre was more than just providing a set of services.
That being said I changed how I reacted to things and how I treated people in the many situations the job presented me with. It was good experience and makes you respect the work front desk do, cause when it comes down to it , they are usually the first to get a customers anger and/or frustration and as such usually the brunt.
After a while they didn’t need me anymore and I accepted this and left. Though to be perfectly honest it was funny as I could barely feed myself on their stipend.
But i had no regrets as I had learnt a lot especially from a field i wasn’t used to or expect to enjoy. Now I am working at Portmore Healthcare Services, where I get to help people avidly. An enjoyment I would not have predicted, but you expect the unexpected.
Also i decided to change the picture of the woman to our illustrious Prime Minister, in one of my previous post, i think its fitting.