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Re: What jobs have you enjoyed?

Re: What jobs have you enjoyed?2011-01-10T00:33:01+00:00

The Forums Forums The Workplace ADHD-Friendly Careers What jobs have you enjoyed? Re: What jobs have you enjoyed?


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i’ve not done anything super-professional before (cos i keep dropping out of education before i get qualified for anything) but i’ve talked my way into a few jobs, and those i’ve loved most have been:

1) working with 7 years olds in a school environment as a classroom support worker, helping to teach art and design stuff, the usual reading and writing and cooking and science and history and the rest of it.

i loved the constant movement and quickly-changing scenarios, the endless questions needing instant answers, having 10 little monsters tugging on your sleeves or waving their arms and yelling “miss! miss!’ like their lives depended on getting your attention. finding the best way to explain or demonstrate something, captivating your audience, seeing that lightbulb moment when they ‘get it’ for the first time, encouraging them to think and ask questions and work stuff out for themselves- fostering confidence and independance and team skills, bribing and negotiating and coaxing a little bit at a time out of special needs learners who really struggled- thats awesome stuff to be part of.

and getting waved at excitedly out of school by kids who are so proud to point out to their mum that ‘thats jen! she helps in my class!’ – who’ll run up and hug you completely unabashedly, and make you feel like a genius and total hero completely unexpectedly, for knowing how to do something that you take completely for granted- like balancing a spoon on your nose, or knowing how to work out the 9x table on your fingers- that makes every day a whole new adventure and a constant reminder of what it feels like to be a kid and truly living in the moment.

2) doing outreach/detached youth work- dragging my frozen arse out in a minibus to the end of nowhere at 6pm on a winters evening- to spend 3 hours hopping up and down and rubbing your hands together for warmth in a creaky bus-shelter with flasks of hot chocolate, or roasting slowly to death lazing crosslegged in the grass of a playground on a late summers afternoon, surrounded by bottles of soda and plastic cups- and the inevitable horde of teenagers who swarm from out of nowhere once someone clues in that there are free snacks to be had for talking to ‘them lot who come ’round to make sure we’re alright’.

again- the thrill of the complete unknown, and having to handle it with the right balance of humour, respect and authority- listening to a nervous untrusting 13 year old who thinks she might be pregnant- but is scared to tell her dad- and helping her work out what she’s gonna do without taking over and making her run, working with kids who are into drugs to help minimise their risk of harm without coming across as another of those bossy smartarsed adults who tell them what to do every day, getting them information about grants and programs they can use to better their community and their own lives, helping them to liase with local government and build partnerships to work towards a mutual gain- watching that whole dynamic shift, steering them towards change a little at a time, and just seeing them change fweek by week from crazy kids to confident young adults.

3) working for a community charity in their office base- doing everything and anything as it comes up- answering the phone and dealing smoothly with a grumpy old stick-in-the-mud one minute, surfing the web trying to find out something obscure about charity law the next, designing fliers and traipsing around town in the rain distributing them and pitching our group to anyone who will listen, smooth-talking companies to give us the stuff that we need to set up and run a girls-football team- for free or in exchange for advertising and good publicity, then running a candyfloss machine at a university freshers fayre after lunch and getting totally mobbed and covered in sugar, coaxing a rabble of reticent teens into writing a press release about what they’ve acheived recently after school, and trying to keep a straight face while watching them taking photos to send to the local paper along with it, then writing a big money funding bid with slightly sticky fingers and rainfrizzled hair at the end of the day, keeping your fingers crossed that you’ll get the cash, while mentally trying to come up with ‘just incase’ contingency plans so the young parents group don’t lose their meeting-room.

there is a lot of having things dropped on you out of nowhere, not having a clue how to make something happen, and getting that black hole in your stomach of ‘oh my god!’ along with the butterflies of ‘this could be awesome!’ – but at the same time grinning widely and saying with great enthusiasm ‘we’ll work something out- i’m gonna get right on it!’ and knowing you will work it out, come hell or high water, one way or another.

i need to do a job that i can go to thinking ‘what the hell are we gonna be infor today’, and come home from completely frazzled and unable to think straight, but having laughed until it hurt, wiped away the odd tear, and done something that really really mattered.

…………i spent 2 weeks doing data input from 9 to 5 monday to friday at a friends workplace once when they were crazily understaffed and behind with paperwork, and i was unemployed- tallying up peoples hours and mileage, and processing payroll paperwork- and despite the good company of a mate and being able to sing along to the radio all day (or at least until the callcentre people upstairs buzzed down and yelled at us for making too much noise) it was quite possibly the longest, dullest fortnight of my entire life. if i hadn’t caught a head cold and stayed home for 3 days in the middle of it, i might have lost it entirely. i was offered a really nicely paying job by the CEO on my last day, and i don’t think anybody has ever seen me run so fast while declining so graciously, and i doubt they ever will again. :D