Thursday, September 8, 2011

One of the Lucky Ones

As I stood in line at WalMart the other day, my eyes were drawn to the long list of part time positions available. There were a wide variety of positions and several of those positions had a number of openings to be filled. A quick tally of the total vacancies equalled somewhere around thirty.

As the cashier rang through my purchase, I commented on the amount of new staff that was needed. I asked if it was because kids were back in school. She just shook her head in dismay and said something to the effect that 'No - those are the people that just can't make it here'.

I shuddered at those words. Within a three week time span, from two brand new employers ... these were the words that I heard, "If this position is not for you, that is okay. Not everyone is cut out for this kind of job."

The first time I heard it, it was after five days at a brand new job. The second time I heard it, it was after two weeks at another new job.

There was a third time that I heard the same phrase, but it wasn't directed at me. I started talking with a clerk at the Post Office when it appeared that she was new in her position. This same phrase had been directed at her while she was still in the training stage of a brand new job.

I understand. Training a new employee is time consuming and does not come with a guarantee that the employee will stay once they have seen the job for what it really is. I would imagine that employers have this happen time and time again. Perhaps this is a new phrase to help cut their loss of training time.

As a new employee who is determined to stick it out and make it past the daunting first months, it is disheartening to hear my employers ask if I want to quit.

My answer in both cases was a resounding "No! I want to stay!!" Maybe employers need to hear that just as much as a new employee needs reassurance that they are headed in the right direction.

Small things make a difference. Just every once in a while, I need to be caught doing something right. But asking me if I want to leave? It feels like I am failing.

Thankfully, I am starting to feel things 'clicking' at my new job. I know more answers. I don't have to ask so many questions. The questions that I am asking have a little more substance than before. I am a long way from the comfort zone that I seek but I feel that I am well on my way.

I thought of the resumes that I sent off throughout my one month job search. I sent off 17 resumes. I had a friend who brushed up my resume/cover letter and sent it off to 17 contacts that she had in within our city.

Thirty four chances. Five interviews. I rejected two of those options when I found out more information. I was not successful at one. I was hired at two jobs. I am presently working at one of those jobs.

Thirty four seeds. One of those seeds took root and is being given an opportunity to grow.

If this seed takes. If I make it past my probation period. If I eventually get hired on in a permanent, full-time position ... I will know. I am one of the lucky ones. I am also one of the ones who didn't bail when their employer asked them "Is this job the right fit for you?"

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