Learning from My Mistakes

Two weeks ago this Friday was the last official day of work at my “big boy” job. Am a moving to a new one? Well…I was.

See, what happened is an immediate result of one of my biggest flaws: indecision. I am the type of person who has eclectic interests; I like so many things that sometimes it inhibits my ability to stay dedicated to one particular thing.

While my current job had great pay, and I got to work with great people, I got tired of sitting at a desk for seven to eight hours a day. Even though it was only a month into my employment, I was looking for something where I got to be up and moving and working with clients and customers. That’s when I found this:

Ad I found on Craigslist. Note the compensation.

So with the promise of better pay and customer service, I sought this opportunity, had a couple interviews, and got hired. I realized it was door to door sales, and didn’t have too much of a problem with that. But it wasn’t until the day after I signed my paperwork that I started to have questions. Through my curiosity I asked my “team leader” what my base pay would be, and never got a direct answer; just more talk about commission and bonuses that I had heard several times already. That’s when I realized the nature of this business: sales jobs like this contains some level of deception and gimmick, and that’s exactly what happened to me with this employer. So I made the conscious decision to back out…

…but this came after I had already resigned at my current job. When I told my boss I wanted to continue to work, he said he already hired somebody to replace me.

Needless to say, I was distraught. I was–and still am–left without a full time, “big boy” job. Let’s just say, I’m really glad I picked up a second job waiting tables last semester and held on to it.

Yet here I am back at square one. While I may not have an established full-time job, I am no longer upset or scared. Rather, I see this as an opportunity to do something new. Now that I’ve had a desk job, I now have a better idea of what I want to do with my life. I want to work with people, meet strangers, provide them with high quality service that I am confident I can provide. Even if it means going into retail or waiting tables more often, I know that it is a job that I am going to be happy doing.

One of the biggest qualities I learned from my mother was perseverance. No matter what may be troubling you at the present point in time will eventually be resolved if it doesn’t kill you. Rather than wallowing over the consequences of my stupid and clumsy mistakes, I see them merely as lessons learned. Rather than seeing it as losing a job, I see it as gaining an opportunity for reinvention.

Maybe I’ll continue looking for a full-time job.
Maybe I’ll go back to school for my Master’s.
Maybe I’ll finally start up my own business.
Maybe I will finally start on that book I’ve been wanting to write.
Or maybe I will just continue waiting tables in the evening and enjoying the fact that I’m 22, an age where I can still have fun and be a little crazy sometimes.

All in all, I am very happy right now. Nothing is going to drag me down, even if it causes me some temporary stress. Losing my job hasn’t killed me, so I have no choice but to continue down my own path, whistling and enjoying the view.

And, because I want to share my lessons learned with the younger folks who follow me, take this into consideration: Avoid answering ads on job sites or Craigslist about entry level sales and marketing. There are a lot of companies in St. Louis who do this that expect you to do 100% commission based work for 10 hours a day, but won’t tell you that from the start. It is a legitimate industry, but is strenuous and often gimmicky work. Just be careful when job searching. The more you know…

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One thought on “Learning from My Mistakes

  1. Fear not, Nick — you are not alone in the hunt! I am just now starting to formulate a plan, but it involves random jobs until grad school next fall. The journey is so exciting, and I know you will find something that feels right for you! Best of luck!

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