Friday, November 12, 2010

What Defines a Career?

  1. Usherette at Houston Astrodome first year it opened.
  2. File clerk at title company
  3. Clerk/typist at Texas A&M Library
  4. Lab tech in A&M Poultry Science Dept
  5. Homemaker/mother
  6. Secretary at Bering Drive Church of Christ
  7. Adm. Assistant at BA Mortgage Co in Houston
  8. Adm. Assistant at Waggett-Tawney Executive Recruiters
  9. Legal secretary for Roy Willbern
  10. Public relations account executive at Bozell & Jacobs, Houston, TX
  11. Leasing agent for Wm Swift Co, Houston, TX
  12. Licensed real estate agent at Vanguard Properties, Austin, TX
  13. Licensed real estate broker, Robyn Whyte Interests, Austin, TX
  14. Co-manager Longhorn Ranch Motel and Restaurant, Big Bend, TX
  15. Accounting clerk Apple Annies Café, Austin, TX
  16. Spiritual teacher, poet, retreat leader and meditation instructor
  17. Bookkeeper, All Saints Episcopal Church, Austin, TX
  18. Bookkeeper, Lowell Lebermann
  19. Co-owner Bryte Constructs General Contractor
  20. Director of Operations, Roscoe Properties – property management
  21. VP Operations, Roscoe Properties – property management

The list above of every job or position I have ever held illustrates my multi-faceted background and highlights my lifetime aversion to planning.  With the exception of homemaker/mother there is not one occupation on that list that is the culmination of a childhood dream.  As a child I assumed that I would not work-outside-the-home unless my husband died (divorce was unthinkable) thus forcing me to get a job.  Thankfully, my mom made sure I learned how to type for just that eventuality.

Though I did not dream of having a job, I did dream of being a performer – a singer/actor, perhaps comedian.  I dreamt of being front and center, evoking laughter and applause, maybe even tears.  The performer dream was just that, a dream.  I never seriously considered pursuing it, and lawyer, surgeon, engineer, real estate agent, bookkeeper etc never entered my mind either.

My first job, a summer job, was at the age of 17.  Today I am at that certain age and stage in life when one “looks back and takes stock.”  As I create this jobs list I can remember being in each of those situations; the buildings, the people, the work… primarily the people..  The list of jobs is a hodge-podge that doesn’t add up to much, doesn’t really fit the definition of “career.”   My “career path” was primarily driven by my need to take care of myself and my children as best I could with the skills I had.

As I reflect on all this, it occurs to me that my career has been more about relationships than occupations. 

As I flitted from job to job, occupation to occupation, I rubbed shoulders with good, kind, interesting, challenging, courageous, funny, well-meaning people.  In every case, the value of each job was less about the task at hand and more about my co-workers and clients.  I unthinkingly assumed that I had forgotten most of them and that surely they have forgotten me.  But when I re-visit each job in my mind, I vividly remember the people who were there with me.   Remembering all those sojourners makes the prevailing theme of my working life abundantly clear.  It was about the people, Stupid.

1 comment:

  1. Hey, Robyn,
    You have clearly had an "aha" moment. I love those! They sometimes scare me, sometimes inspire me - but they never leave me unchanged.


My hope is that each blog entry serve as a conversation starter...please feel free to join in!