Friday, October 28, 2016

8.334 Welcome to Adulthood

Lately I've been thinking about how I may be the only one my age who still feels like a kid. Everyone around me seems to be more ambitious than me, thinking about their careers and what their next step in life will be. Am I the only one who takes it as I go? Is it really bad to have only a vague idea of what I want my future to look like?

Sometimes I wonder why I am not more career oriented. I recently watched a few videos from a couple of Youtubers I admire talking about their careers and sharing some career tips. They're both wealthy and successful, and coincidentally they're both in the field of marketing. Hearing them talk about their careers with so much pride really makes me feel like I'm missing something.

I'm stuck between a rock and a hard place as my workplace situation is a bit of a sticky one. Let me step back and start from the beginning (in case you happen to be a new reader here). After I graduated from University, I took my chances and worked in a produce factory to ensure that my student debt would be paid off as quickly as possible. Was it the best choice? Probably not. But in that moment, the one thing I really wanted was for the debt to go away. Taking that full-time job right in front of me was my way of doing what it takes to make that happen. I don't come from a wealthy family, heck not even a middle income one. I didn't know even my family was considered low-income until right around high school when I learned about family class hierarchy.

Within the factory, I met some wonderful people. I learned how to professionally cut fruit and vegetables, and learned more than what I thought I could learn working in a factory. Then opportunity struck and I landed a customer service job at my current workplace. I learned quite a bit about the industry which will definitely help me a lot personally in the future. I worked well and then got promoted to work in the office as a L0gistics C00rdinator. I was able to learn even more about the industry and it opened a whole new world about how importing and exporting works.

Now here is where the conundrum is. Because it's a small company, I eventually had to do 2 jobs. I have to help process sales orders for their sister company (which are few but can get busy at times) while trying to keep up with my main work. On the one hand, I have no degree in this field and I only know what I've been taught, learned through experience and researched myself. On the other hand, I have no real basis to outline what my position is. I'm not like my colleagues in the office who have a degree in the job that they're doing. At least for them, everyone knows exactly what they applied for and what is expected of them. As for me, it seems as if I'm just filling in wherever they need me. Some days I'm so stressed out because I have so much to do and no time to do it. To make things more complicated, I am actually very "valued" in this company. It may not be reflected in my paycheque but it is reflected in how much they involve me, especially in matters that aren't even related to my own department. All my colleagues see how much they trust me, in my abilities and my opinions. But then where do I draw the line? When is the line crossed from being "valued" to being taken advantage of?

I've become the middle link that connects all the departments. Management, accounting, marketing, financial, wholes@le, ret@il, w@rehouse... they all come to me needing something. To put things in perspective, only rarely would the accounting/financial department need something from the marketing department and vice versa. But me? Everyone seems to need me to do something for them at some point.

I've heard people talk about the crappy jobs they've had to go through, the little pay, all in the name to gain experience. I also try to think about the experience I've obtained and what I can still gain. I guess it's hard to keep a positive outlook when you feel underappreciated. Welcome to adulthood.

"In life, there are no shortcuts to joy. Anything that is worth pursuing requires us to suffer just a little bit." -Chris Burkard