My So Called Working Life

I did say to Janet that I would write a post about my disastrous job interviews, and that post is coming soon. Right now I want to share a little personal post about my current work situation.

Basically I have worked since I turned 16, and all my family members talk proudly about what a hard worker I am. So when I quit my job of twelve years with no job to go to, it was a huge deal. Long story short I am not a quitter and I put up with loads of crap over the years at that place, but everyone has their limits and I had reached mine.

One of my friends has recently been made redundant from his job of 11 years which he also hated, and I have been offering him advise on how to handle the emotions of the situation. Then suddenly I remember that I quit my job, and feel a bit of a dick for doing so!

Said friend has not found any work for over 4 months and is finding his spare time a burden. I completely relate, as I had 6 weeks not working when I quit. I then found a (very) part time job, and I have been searching for a part time job with more hours for the last year and a bit. I have been at a loose end at times, and I missed my old routine. Having more spare time than I was used to was hard, as I am the type of person who likes to keep busy, but I am naturally a bit lazy! Recently I had a stroke of luck and managed to find a job without looking for one! I will eventually explain how I managed this in my job interview post.

A few years back, I remember reading an article in Red magazine about how employment is changing. Basically from what I remember the article said that the number of self employed people is growing, and more people are temping, or working multiple part time jobs, dabbling in a little bit of this and that, and doing what ever they need to do to pay the bills. That career paths are changing and there is no such thing as a job for life anymore.

I also read in this book here (I am such a mid century geek!) that in the 1950’s the American dream was to find a secure job, preferably with a large corporation, and to buy a house to fill with appliances, a large family, a car to park on the driveway, and to go on holiday once a year. It made me think that things have certainly changed since then! In those days large companies generally looked after their employees with family days out and the like, all paid for by the company. Employee felt that their company had their back. Plus it was’nt much of a challenge to find work back then, as jobs were plentiful back in those prosperous times.

My current work situation is very different to 1950’s America. I am basically the subject matter of the Red magazine article. I now have three part time jobs!

I started my new third position last week. This is fairly flexible role and I can work my contracted hours (2 shifts) when I want, within reason. I also have overtime opportunities if I want them, and I often do. The downside to working like this is that I have met people who work for the company 45 hours per week, with just a 6 hour per week contract. But this is very common these days. Perks like sick pay, holiday pay, company pensions and other employee benefits are rapidly disappearing.

I then work 3 shifts a week in the job I first found when I quit my job of 12 years. I am also studying in my own time for a qualification for this role (which I don’t really want, but I have to do for the job.) Then for my third job I do the admin and accounts for Rob’s own company. This third role is unpaid and more like an internship, except I row with the boss and tell him to eff off on a regular basis.

I also have a forth role is as a homemaker (or housewife/kept woman/lady of leisure – I have been called all these. I really hate all those titles). Because Rob is very busy with his business I do all the daily housework and have done for the last 6 years or so, to the extent that Rob has no idea where to find anything in the kitchen, and I do all the food shopping on my own. We are no longer that cutesy couple holding hands in the supermarket staring at the jars of Chicken Tonight™, debating who gets to chop up what and who gets to wash up and who wipes!….Not that we ever were really!

So I keep myself busy and have plenty to occupy my time. I’m also enjoying the structure this third job is bringing to my days. I start this job at 7am (through choice) so it gets me up nice and early in the morning. When I left my long term job, at first the lay-ins were great, but when you have nothing particular to get out of bed for (working for Rob can be done when I want. I fit it around my two other jobs.) I felt like such a waster, I really missed the routine of my old job. I felt I could not justify working part time with no children of my own. But (sorry if I offend any mamma’s out there) I think I as busy as a full time mum who has children in school. Anyway who cares about that, I don’t need to justify why I work part time to anyone or myself (although I have just written a whole blog post doing so*) the main thing is that at the moment it works for us, and Rob and I can pay our bills and are not in debt.

I enjoy the variety of my three jobs, it keeps my days from being groundhog day over and over again. The main thing is that I have proved to myself that I can be adaptable and I am not scared of change. All three jobs are far from my dream job (sorry Rob!) but because I experience them in smaller doses, as apposed to a 8 hour day, 5 days a week, they do not bother me like my last job used to.

One problem is holidays. Try booking time off from three jobs! Plus because Rob is a sole trader running his own web development company** it is extremely difficult to get way from work, as clients will call you anytime. Another downside is Rob and I will often work 6 or 7 days a week.

Who knows what the future holds? I might well be working full time 9-5, Monday to Friday again by the end of the year or maybe I will win the lottery! The main thing is I am flexible and adaptable and I will do what ever it takes to keep a roof above our heads and food in our belly (within reason!)

* Oops!
** Rob has nothing to do with this blog. Its all my own work. As you can tell – it is rubbish.

2 Thoughts on “My So Called Working Life

  1. I really enjoyed reading this. The erosion of employees rights with zero-hour contracts and a huge rise in part-time work (generally less secure and with fewer benefits, as you mention here) is something that has me on my soapbox regularly. But like you say, it can also offer other benefits: having variety in your working life being a massive one.

  2. Helen on 25/04/2013 at 6:46 PM said:

    Thank you!
    Yeah, it is rubbish being just a number with little rights, but then the flexibility and variety are perks.

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