It’s become clear to me now how important it is to have a secure job. We are relatively lucky in Australia as we have pretty low unemployment. And I can’t say I have ever had too much trouble getting a job. Sometimes you have to change your preferences a little bit in order to fit in with what’s on offer but I think we as Australians are doing far better off in this area as opposed to Americans. I guess it’s only clear now why it’s so important is because my partner and I now have a mortgage. Without a regular pay you can’t pay off the mortgage and the banks don’t take to kindly to this. I’ve found many of my friends in this position and they end up staying in a job that they are not happy with in order to continue paying their rent, mortgage or bills. It’s a slight catch 22, as we need to work to live but most of us end up living to work. Most things in life can’t be done without the security of a job and regular income so what happens if you suddenly lose this? And what would you put up with in order to not have to go through this?
Do I really want to leave a good job, with a decent pay and my friends behind? Do I want the stress and pressure of having to find another job whilst still having to pay off a loan? What if I can’t find another job? These are all decent and relevant questions that keep me where I am at the moment. Even if it means having a manager lose the plot at me for not putting a glass away or eating tuna for lunch because it’s too smelly. It’s just so much easier to stay in a place that is secure and has a nice looking pay cheque at the end of the week for you. Besides I spend most of my day with my friends and I wouldn’t have this at another job. It’s not often you make such a strong connection with your employees. It’s pretty amazing what’s you’re willing to put up with in the return of money and security. I mean if I can get used to seeing a narcissistic, psychopath every day and humour her into believing that I actually like her, that’s saying something. So I guess I’ll stay in the job for the next few years, or until I’ve at least payed most of the mortgage off. There’s nothing like debt to keep you in place.
All business owners should be told having two emotional female managers is not a good idea. There is nothing worse than coming into work and having your mood decided by the mood of your managers for that particular day. Or being the punching bag of the week. It was fine if you were chosen as the flavour of the week but god help you if they were on a war path and decided you were the cause of it. Emotion should never get involved with business and sadly that usually means women. I have no problem with women in management, just don’t be emotional and be good at your job. It is hell going into work and having the manager backstab you and hear it from another employee only to have the manger be sweet as pie to your face. But the other problem is I actually like the job, and my team that I mostly deal with have become some of my best friends. The pay is fantastic and the work is quite easy. But is it worth putting up with a psychopathic manager for this though. I find myself asking this every day.
When I started on my first day one of the other employees asked what the business owner said to me when I was hired. I explained he looked me up and down and asked one question and that was it. She said that’s how they were all hired. And that here you were hired more for looks than anything else. I was shocked! But after looking around I noticed that every single female employee had long dark brown hair, olive skin, brown eyes and a slim build. Baring in mind though, this was the cosmetic surgery industry so we were all expected to look a certain way. It was fine with me because the pay for this role was fantastic and the perks of the job were really good. I could put up with a superficial boss for this surely. But once I got my mortgage I realised how much I really needed this job. I relied on each pay check to come through so I could pay off the minimum requirements on my mortgage. Although I quite enjoyed this job there were lots of things about it I couldn’t stand. The managers were a big part of that.
To give credit where credit is due they handled it relatively well. They were fine with giving me time off but weren’t happy I had neglected to tell them the truth. It was also really frustrating once I got back to work having people walking on egg shells around me all the time and having to tell management every single little thing going on in my life so they felt like they were on the same page and being included. Once I was well again I decided I couldn’t put up with being the unwell employee anymore and decided to leave. I managed to find myself another job rather quickly in yet another totally different industry. The interview process was very strange though, two middle aged women interviewed me (rather unprofessionally) I might add as they didn’t seem prepared or even that interested to be honest. I was called back for another interview with the business owner this time. He kept me waiting for about an hour and I thought he had forgotten about me. Finally he walked in, looked me up and down and asked me where I lived. Then he told me I had the job. It was very strange.
One of my biggest hurdles was getting back into the job market after I had been off ill for over a year. How do you explain to a potential employer that you have a chronic illness that still affects you but you would love a job. It was frustrating and disheartening being turned down after explained that I couldn’t work full time due to being unwell. So I decided that I wouldn’t tell them. I went through a recruitment agency and told the agent that was looking after my file about my illness and he also agreed that it would be best not to tell my future employers. Needless to say I no longer had any trouble finding a job. I explained my year and a half off was for travel (not illness) and it was never even questioned. I got a job for part time work and I told my employers I was studying on my time off so I couldn’t do any extra hours. This worked for quite some time but it all came crashing down when I got ill again and needed time off. I had to explain to management was my situation was.
And being in the same room as the regional business manager and Australian manager asking you how you would handle certain situations was enough to make me sweat. But yet again I got through and was called back for another one on one interview. It was after half an hour of more questions and back and forth banter they offered me the job. I was so pleased that I managed to get through this. I don’t care what anyone says, the interview process is a nightmare. Now after about a month of this particular job I realised it wasn’t for me at all but the pay was really good. The money kept me in this job for over a year. The other problem with the job was my manager. She was completely incompetent at her role and I did most of her work for her yet she took all of the credit. Looking back at the situation I could have done more to stop this but I was young and didn’t want to be out of work as I was saving for a big overseas holiday.
There was the token loud and dominant few that thought it would be best if they took the lead on everything and spoke over the top of everyone undermining other people’s ideas and contributions. There was the quiet as a mouse type that added almost nothing to the process barely piping up to announce their name and there were the ones around the middle. Not too loud or dominant but could lead, not to quiet but could listen and open enough to learn new things. I was one of the middle ground. It’s not to say that the other two qualities weren’t good, they just weren’t suited to this position. Maybe if it was a management position it would have been a different story but for this particular job the last thing you needed was someone to dominant to take instructions or someone to quiet, afraid to ask for instructions. So we were narrowed down to the middle road people. Yet another group interview was held with the remaining candidates which turned out to be quite fun as we all had similar personalities and interests. We were then taken through for individual interviews which lasted roughly 45 mins. It was daunting as you have to come across as relaxed but not too at ease.
It just means they decided to do something different with their lives rather than going to university. Now out of these new apprentices you are bound to get a couple that dropped out of high school not because they wanted to start their career but because they were lazy and thought this would be easier. That’s usually the kind of person that doesn’t finish their apprenticeship and then are considered unemployable as they didn’t finish school or the job they left school for. And they are left with no qualifications at the end of this. So I did not want to be one of these people or statistics and I kept my head down and worked my little bum off so to speak. At the end of my four and a half years I received my qualification and was finally freed to go do something different. I decided to try my hand at another job which didn’t end up requiring any of my skills that I had acquired from my apprenticeship. The interview process was daunting. It started as a group interview with around 25 other candidates. It was a strange and uncomfortable environment to be in.
I’ve found myself in a situation before where I absolutely loathed my job, but felt trapped as I had not yet completed my apprenticeship and if I resigned id be left without a job or a qualification, which in turn makes you almost unemployable. So I stayed in this job for four and a half years. I put up with bullying, ridiculously longs hours, very low pay, no lunch breaks and no overtime pay all because I knew that if I left this place, I would be left with nothing. Unfortunately with apprenticeships it almost goes hand in hand that you will be treated poorly, overworked and underpaid no matter what trade you take up. But everyone knows, if you can get through an apprenticeship you are considered the cream of the crop for putting up with everything and still coming out the other side with a qualification. The other issue with apprenticeships is it is mostly filled with high school drop outs. I was one and so was nearly every other apprentice I have met. Now of course this doesn’t mean they are unintelligent or not educated.