A career is an interesting thing.
I’ve never been a “career at all costs” kind of person. Probably why I’ve never made millions of dollars or been a CEO.
At uni, I worked at a pizza shop and a liquor shop. The mop was my friend. Things always needed to be cleaned.
I spent the first part of my “proper” career working to get ahead, to succeed in using my brain and to find new challenges to overcome.
The middle part of my career was spent leveraging my specialist skills to deliver consulting services and support others. There was value in status with this role; being seen to be successful and knowledgable.
Now, in the current (but hopefully not last) part of my career, I’ve got no interest in any of that. I don’t really care what others think of me, or what status is assigned to my job. I’m enjoying the effort of being a good manager. As a manager I have an ethos of never asking somebody to do something that I wouldn’t do myself (if I have the requisite skill and capability).
Mopping. I know this. 30 years later, the mop is still as friendly as ever. I feel no embarrassment about being a manager that mops.
Four months ago I took an opportunity for a career change. A move from consulting to managing two Centres of not-for-profit WA Police & Community Youth Centres. It’s been an opportunity to learn, grow and improve. What I love most is working for my staff. The people at Rockingham and Fremantle Centres are first-class. As their manager it’s my job to make their work days better. When employees are happy, customers win. Culture is king.
Today I completed my first week at my new job. It’s been a whirlwind, but every day has been better than the previous one.
It’s been so many years since I started a new job that I wasn’t match fit in the process. I’d forgotten how to ‘start over’, so that in itself has been an experience.
Learning what is expected of me, and figuring out how to implement that without getting lost in the minutiae becomes the next challenge. I need to keep my head elevated and focus on the strategic objectives, without getting too deep into the weeds of daily tasks. An interesting juggling act to think about over the coming weeks.
Today, however, as part of NAIDOC Week, a bunch of the team got together to work on an indigenous-style artwork. We were provided with the starting template and then as a team we “completed the dots”. It was a great way to get to know everybody and bond while doing an activity that was quite meditative.
The team is a wonderful group. I haven’t done a team activity for such a long time, and this was a perfect way to end a first week at a new job.
I am also proud of the painting. I think it looks fantastic!
Most people have a set of skills that aren’t monetised. These skills are often linked with hobbies or interests. Why don’t people make money from them?
Perhaps there is no discernible market for the particular skill. Maybe the joy is removed when a transactional element is added. For whatever the reason, humans are adept at many things, and we often only get paid for a small aspect of the overall talent inherent within us.
A large part of the economy is built around free labour in the form of volunteering (probably much to the disgust of neoliberals - unless they are receiving the fruits of the labour). Many volunteer in some capacity; whether it’s coaching their kid’s sports team, or sitting on the board of a not-for-profit organisation, or singing in their church choir. I’ve done volunteer work such as this, except singing in the choir. Nobody wants that.
What latent skills do I have that could be put to use for some small financial gain? And what are the associated downsides or limiting factors?
|Podcast editing & production
|Personal finance training
|Liability risk; licensed industry
|Apple product know-how
|Apple Store and search engines
|I’m not a coach
|Personal productivity & efficiency
It’s a shame I’m not a handyperson. Physical labour continues to be one area that is clearly linked to a necessity—and a willingness—to pay.
However, if you see a skill of mine listed that you think could help you, let me know. I may be willing and able to help.