I could fill you in on the interviews I’ve done in the last month or so – interviews that have taken me from the dining hall at Little Creatures to a quiet corner in the back room of one of my favourite brunch spots to an immaculate meeting room overlooking a just-as-immaculate park on the other side of the country.
But, you will be able to read about those interviews soon enough on the Jobs Actually site. If you haven’t already subscribed for newsletter updates, I’m going to shamelessly encourage you to do so now. You can sign up here.
Instead, I thought I’d share something that I’ve been thinking about a lot: the often surprising but always crucial pieces of support that keep cropping up. It’s often completely unexpected but always appreciated much more than I know how to express. The words ‘thank you’ seem inadequate a lot of the time.
It’s no secret – at least for anyone who has spoken to me in the last few months – that I’m finding this whole ‘make your own path’ thing difficult. It feels like I’m bush-bashing on year 10 camp and I’m constantly doubting my ability to keep going. I’ve looked back at the path I stepped off many times and wondered if it was really for the best. But, I’ve tried to keep at it and along the way the one thing that continues to take me by surprise is how generous people are with their time and attention.
Colleagues that I’ve only just started to get to know at Breathe have emailed me introductions to their friends with all variety of interesting jobs. A girlfriend who lives interstate went to the trouble of setting up interviews and focus groups with students for when I would be in town. The same friend sent me a beautifully encouraging card in the mail (the real, snail mail) together with a book she knew I wanted to read. Co-workers here at Electron have offered help with navigating Squarespace, suggestions for getting more profiles and of course made helpful introductions as well. A friend who works in design recently gave me a mini Photoshop/InDesign lesson after work one night and had even written out notes on little tweaks she thought I could make to improve the site. Another sat me down in his short lunch break when I was having a bit of a bad day and forced me to write a ‘things I worry about’ list and a ‘to do’ list just to focus my mind.
We’re all very busy and I find it touching each time someone takes the time and the trouble to show a bit of support. I could go on and on with people I am grateful to for little bits of support along the way as the above barely scratches the surface but that would get boring for you and I didn’t set out to launch into a big online ‘thank you’.
What I love about interviewing for Jobs Actually is really getting behind the scenes of other people’s jobs – keeping in mind that our jobs are a huge part of our lives. Of course I’m also interested – and perhaps more so – in why they do what they do and what keeps them going. This is what I’m trying to tease out when I ask people what they love about their jobs, because it’s those bits that keep you going when you’re doing the less-fun and less-interesting parts that all jobs entail.
The actual making of Jobs Actually is both fun and interesting – what is hard is continuing when I’m so uncertain about where it’s all headed. What keeps me going through the uncertainty at the moment is all those little bits of support.
Sometimes tiny, sometimes surprising, but always very appreciated.