Thursday, March 31, 2011

Jack of All Trades, Master of None
Is there something you are really good at? Better than anyone you know? At school I was always seen as one of the smart kids, but I was never amazing at one particular thing. Most of these skills have followed me through to adulthood and I’m still waiting to find my ‘calling’.

I’ve been thinking about it all more and more since this post, when I started to consider what to do post-Europe. I’m a good trainer, and I’m good when I’m training hands-on. I’m best when I’m coaching one-on-one but my biggest strengths are creating training documents and simplifying tricky subjects for easier understanding. I’m not perfect, but the team I work with is amazing and I learn from them everyday. I could really carve out a career for myself in training, but of course every job has its draw backs.

If ever there was a chance for a fresh start, this is it. I find myself looking at my strengths and trying to figure out what to do with them. Of course I am already a Nail Technician in my spare time, and I have a loyal client base. I only have enough lovely ladies to fill my part time hours though, and a lot of them will find other Nail Technicians while I’m away unfortunately. It’s really hard work to build a client base in the beauty industry, but it’s an option.

I’m a good singer and I’ve sung in bands and for events, but I just don’t have the experience. I don’t know the first thing about sound equipment or stage etiquette and this year I haven’t had the chance to pursue any ground in that area. Singing certainly wouldn’t pay the bills but as a fill-in, it’s another option.

I’m artistic, and I can paint and draw reasonably well. Again I’m not amazing, but I enjoy it. I’m a perfectionist though, and that doesn’t mesh well with the idea of finishing an artwork. My too-hard basket is overflowing. Again, I’m never going to be a full time artist, but I could possibly sell one or two pieces.

Of course, I write. I’ve submitted a few pieces to various magazines but to be honest I don’t know the first thing about submission etiquette. Am I supposed to have an agent? Do I approach the publications directly? Do I give them pre-written articles or do they tell me what they want? I’ve had minor successes (more on that in future weeks hopefully) but as with everything I’m good at, it’s an extremely difficult industry to earn money in. I don’t think I’m terrible at it (thank you, readers) but I know I’m indecisive and that can come across in my writing. Yet another thing I can pursue but which will likely never be a career.
I’d love to be a tour guide or educate kids at a museum like MOTAT. I’d love to work with the SPCA or the Guide Dog Association. I’d love to work at a market stall and chat to real people, face to face. I’d love to work with a Foster Care organisation, considering I’m not in a position to be a caregiver myself just yet. We all know I’m nuts for planning, I suppose I could plan holidays for people. Maybe I should go back to studying and get my BA in Classical Studies. I may never use it, but I love it.

So much potential but nothing I’m amazing at. Slash was born to play guitar. Meryl Streep was born to act. John Grisham was born to write and Neil Armstrong was born to walk on the moon. Some of my teachers at school were born to teach and some were definitely not. Some people were born to run businesses; others just don’t have what it takes. So many people seem to float through the world doing what ‘needs’ to be done and not living.

A blogger I follow, unfortunately I can’t remember which one (if you recognise this please tell me so I can link it) said she asks herself everyday, “If this were your last day on earth, would you be happy with the life you lived?”… It’s not as morbid as it sounds. Think about it. It’s scares the jeepers out of me when I do because although I love my job, I don’t want to die knowing I sat in an office for 11,520 hours (I just worked it out) dreaming about could-be’s.

A lot of the perpetual travellers whose blogs I follow had successful careers with incomes to match, picket fences and ladders to climb before they decided to throw it all in. Courts isn’t a big fan of the idea of perpetual travel. He is an amazing singer and although he’s not in a band at the moment, he does guest spots that he couldn’t do without the many years worth of connections he has here. He could be swayed to live overseas, but I think he’d need a home base rather than to just explore for years on end. I’d be quite happy being a nomad, working for accommodation and getting money from odd jobs around the world. I’d be miserable without Courts though, we’re a team that can’t be broken, so we will need to find a middle ground. In the meantime, I need to find a balance between a job and career I really enjoy and an insatiable curiosity for new adventures and experiences.

Do you know what your ‘calling’ is? Is there one thing you do that you enjoy more than anything and that few people can compete with you in? How did you find it?

Is this what they call a Quarter Life Crisis?!