Monday, July 18, 2011

Quitter Challenge Chapter 2- Toya

This chapter could not have been timed more perfectly as it mentions two things that happened to me on Friday: office going away parties and personality tests. On the same day we were throwing a going away party for a fellow employee who has quit his job to head to NYC for grad school, my office was in PI (Predictive Index) training.  Have you ever applied for a job and had to take a multiple choice test that asked questions like “I am the type of person that can sit for hours at a time” or “I am a self starter”?  You know, those questions that feel like you’re being set up? Well we had a training class on how your answers are processed and it was quite interesting.  It was so involved that I can’t really get into it but I can say this: as he went into the 4 different types of people (A-D’s) and I discovered I was a High B, I almost threw myself onto the floor face down to cry violently. Something had become very apparent:

I am the wrong personality type for my job.

I am a receptionist, excuse me, Director of First Impressions, thank you very much. Yes  I am friendly, outgoing and love to work with people (According to the Myers-Briggs test I’m also a serious ENFP like Jon Acuff) but that doesn’t mean that this job is for me. I rarely get to actually interact with people.  Sometimes we have a steady stream of visitors, sometimes we don’t.  I can’t help but think that maybe knowing how to answer those questions in order to get the type of job I have is what went into my getting the job.  Then again, I thought I actually would welcome a job where I could indeed bear to sit for hours at a time. If I remember correctly, my thought process was that I was so busy being involved in various things outside of work that perhaps a job that wouldn’t require a lot of thought would be a much welcomed break. Maybe it would do me some good.

I think I’ve taken receptionist jobs all of my life because perhaps I am addicted to the side hustle. Perhaps I have also subconsciously bought into the lie that it’s too risky to do what you love for a living. I always said I wanted to but I don’t think I ever really had a plan to get there. Yeah I just discovered this while I am typing right now and I wish you could see the look of angst upon this self discovery.  I’ve heard that a goal without a plan is a dream.  I think I just stopped at dreaming because there is no risk in dreaming. I masked not being a risk taker by being busy all of the time, spinning in circles and not really going anywhere.  I’ve never had an actual plan.  Oh wow.  I think I need a minute. 

15 minutes later…

Whew! Okay so in Chapter 2 Jon Acuff talks about how we often ask the question “What do I want to do with my life” when actually the better question to ask and perhaps the easier one to answer is “What have I done in my life that I loved doing?”  Brilliant! It’s so much easier to work from that perspective! He takes you through a series of five questions which really help to bring some clarity. He also talks about “Hinge moments” which Tia and I will be doing a video blog about very soon. In short, hinge moments are those moments in life that give you an inclination of what you were purposed to do or in some cases not do.  I’ve had a number of hinge moments in my life that made me feel like I was doing something that I would even do for free. Like Jon, I’ve tried and quit numerous things (for instance I was the only person I knew who didn’t move to Nashville to get a record deal and actually wound up with one) but one thing has always been for sure: there has been an underlying thread that ran through every endeavor. I come alive when I know I am inspiring someone.  I live for the light bulb moments.  I love encouraging people. When I get excited about something new, I can’t hold it in.  I want everyone to know and get excited too.   

For example, one of my many jobs was being a counter manager of a cosmetics line (some of you remember my stories about that).  What I loved most about my job had nothing to do with cosmetics really.  What I loved was helping women discover their natural beauty and making it shine even more; to show them ways that they could just be a little more comfortable with who they were.   I remember having customers almost break down over blush and when we talked it out we both knew that the potential break down didn’t have a thing to do with blush.   Through skin care I wanted to help women take care of what they had, correct what they could, accept what they couldn’t and love themselves over all. And if we were able to get REALLY deep at the counter, I wanted to help them realize that they were uniquely and perfectly designed for a purpose.  If I could sum up what I would like to be said about my life, it would be that that is what I was able to do for others. 

So why on earth am I sitting here at a desk answering phones?

Because sometimes the best motivation is frustration. 

I am starting to think that writing this post may have just added another hinge moment to my list.


anotherjoy said...

"Because sometimes the best motivation is frustration."

Oh, how I wish this wasn't the case. It'd be so much easy if I had a better excuse for my frustration than to actually do something about it. :-) That's really great that you were able to find the core of what you love about interacting with people. I'm still going through my writings and stuff from growing up, but I'm looking forward to making discoveries if my own.

Christine said...