In a recent job interview, the person interviewing me commented on the many crossovers on my resume. I’ve worked in human resources, accounting, as well as marketing. He wanted to know, which one of these fields I thought I performed the best in. I don’t remember exactly what my answer was, but it got me to thinking – what field do I actually excel in?
I’m a mull-er. I think about questions or conversations long, long after they could really be considered relevant, and that was a good question he’d asked me. I realized, I’m pretty much good at whatever I decide to do. It isn’t that I’m particularly that much smarter or hard-working than the next person. No. Where I excel is that I had a teacher who taught me how to learn. The private school I went to growing up didn’t exactly have teachers in the traditional sense. We basically used books and taught ourselves. I learned that as long as I could get my hands on a book that would explain something to me, I could learn it.
As a teenager, I worked as a waitress at Pizza Hut. I was there two years, and what I learned from that experience was that I didn’t want to pursue a career in hospitality or customer service. Back then, the idea of a staffing agency was just beginning to emerge, only the person needing a job paid the agency, not a business. I became convinced that Snelling & Snelling Employment Services was going to be my ticket out of pizza hell. Optimistic as only a seventeen year old girl can be, I plopped my happy butt at a desk and started listing all the skills I had that I felt could translate to what I wanted more than anything – A Desk Job.
The list was short. I couldn’t type; I didn’t know shorthand; I couldn’t use an adding machine without looking at the keys. I knew nothing about accounting, and the only phone system I had ever used was the one line that came into my mom’s house periodically between paychecks.
Not wanting to crush my hopes and dreams, or maybe just to get me out of her hair, the lady gave me an old typing textbook and told me to come back when I could type. I did, about two weeks later. I found the oldest, crappiest typewriter you’ve ever seen and practiced until my fingers hurt, but I taught myself how to type.
Alas, Snelling & Snelling never did land me my first Desk Job, but they did
inspire me to find out what else I wanted to know how to do, and then learn to do it. The internet has made it a million times easier than when I first started out self-educating myself.
With me, the key isn’t picking out the set of skills I’m better at. I’m good at any job that I like doing. I like helping people find jobs. I like taking a struggling company and giving them a solid, positive digital footprint. I like setting up systems that make things orderly and reliable. And best of all, I like jobs that I can continue to keep learning more things from.
In short, I’m an excellent learner. 🙂