Work to Live or My Perfect Employment
My father was a fire fighter. My grandfather was a fire fighter. You can guess that my career path was predetermined since my early childhood. I was going to become a fire fighter. And I did. It seemed that the choice was perfect. As a third generation of fire fighter, I worked well in a team, kept calm under pressure and was always able to meet tight deadlines (fire is the best motivator). My working schedule was quite flexible and unlike my friends from school I never complained about strict dress code. Coming to work in a baggy t-shirt with a huge tattoo over my whole arm was not a problem at all. But it just didn't feel right for me.
My decision about a change of career was a blow to my father. Being a newly retired workaholic, he missed his workplace a lot and passed his time recalling the most vivid fires with my grandpa. And I was on the point of giving up something he couldn't have any more!
- Take your time, son. Don't waste years of your efforts just because you want a smart suit and shiny shoes. Hell, you can get those any time you want.
- Dad, but it's not about a suit, or a tie. Shiny shoes also have nothing to do with it. What I want is a job satisfaction.
- Do you really think that nine-to-five working day will make you happy?
- I don't know what will. But I feel as if I'm running out of time. I'm afraid I'll end up hating my job!
I took a year out to do some voluntary work and figure out what to do next. The options were piling up in my head. I am good with figures, so should I become an accountant? I am a great listener, so maybe a psychologist is the right kind of profession for me? At the same time I have an eye for detail and can easily engage anyone in a conversation, which is very important for a journalist. I was reliving the worst months of high school when I just heard from my friends (I was always going to be a fire fighter, right?), that the counselor discussed numerous career choices and benefits with them. I remember laughing at their frustration back then and deeply regret it now.
Then one morning my father gave me the employment classifieds of our local newspaper and said:
- There's your proper full-time job.
My eyes ran through the page and my heart missed a beat:
- They need a CV. I've never written one in my life.
- Well, you'd better start writing then, - my father said. - Write about your education, qualifications and work experience, mention your strong sides and explain why you are interested in the job. Don't forget to write about your experience as a volunteer. You are a people person, after all. Just don't lie or exaggerate, and for God's sake, and yes, I'm talking about your “fluent Spanish”. I know what Spanish sounds like and that ain't it. I'll make some time to look over your CV once you're done with it.
- But how do you know all that stuff?
- I surfed the Internet; - he laughed at my puzzled expression. - Why? Did you think I'm still afraid of computers?
That's how I became a social worker.
- fire fighter – someone whose job is to stop fires burning
- career path – the way that you progress in your work, either in one job or in a series of jobs
- to work well in a team – get along while working with other people
- to keep calm under pressure – not to be nervous or worried when you have to deal with a difficult situation
- to be able to meet a deadline – to be able to finish work by a specific time
- flexible working schedule – when the employee has the ability to choose the start and finish time of the working day within core hours
- dress code – a set of rules about what you should wear
- change of career – a change to a different type of job from the one you have been doing
- newly retired – someone who recently stopped a job because they have reached a certain age
- workaholic – someone who chooses to work a lot, so that they do not have time to do anything else
- workplace – the room, building etc. where you work
- pass time – to spend time doing something
- take your time – Don't hurry. Go slow and make sure you're doing it right
- waste – to use more money, time, energy etc. than is useful or sensible
- smart suit – neat, tidy and fashionable suit
- job satisfaction – a term that is used to describe how content an individual is with their job
- nine-to-five working day – normal work schedule for most jobs
- to run out of time – to have used up most of the allotted time; to have no time left
- to take a year out – to stop studying or working temporarily (for a year)
- voluntary work – work that you do for free, without getting payment
- great listener – a person who is good at listening to other people's problems
- psychologist – someone who studies how people's minds work and how this affects their behavior
- good with figures – good at math
- accountant – someone whose job is to prepare financial records for a company or person
- to have an eye for detail – to be good at noticing a particular type of thing
- journalist – someone who writes news reports for newspapers, magazines, television, or radio
- career choice – a process of choosing future profession, who to become
- benefit – an advantage, improvement, or help that you get from something
- full-time job – done for the number of hours that people normally work in a complete week
- CV – curriculum vitae – a short written document that lists your education and previous jobs, which you send to employers when you are looking for a job
- education – someone's experience of learning or being taught
- qualifications – something such as a degree or a diploma that you get when you successfully finish a course of study
- work experience – a period of time that someone, especially a young person, spends working somewhere in order to get experience of a particular type of job
- a people person – someone who enjoys being with other people and easily becomes friends with them
- to make time – to find time to do something or be with someone in spite of being busy
- social worker – someone who is trained to give help and advice to people who have severe social problems
- employment classifieds – employment ads in a newspaper