A friend of mine suggested me to write my blog about the question if I managed to reach the goals I had when I was age 18. My first reaction was that it did not sound as an interesting topic. But looking better at it I decided to have a try.
To be honest I do not recall very specific idea’ s I might have had at that age. I was actually in a kind of crisis. I just doubled the last year of my high school and was supposed to move from Italy to Holland to start a study at a Professional School.
The general idea I had was to study until I had a diploma and then look for a job that might give me a decent income, just like my father. I never had a real clue of what actually the work of my father consisted in. He was in management and at the time I had very little fantasies about being a manager. I wanted to do practical stuff and technical stuff.
The first years after high school in Holland were a nightmare. I started with the Horticultural School where I found out that the students were to my opinion very narrow minded on almost anything. They considered me as a “Mafioso” since I came from Italy. After two years I decided to stop. I started working and to finish my missing High School year doing a evening school. After one year I decided to use my own money to go to a private school for Hospitality Business. I managed to do two years in just one with very nice grades.
The ‘black years’ had a huge impact on me. I developed the “Colitis Ulcerosa” Illness that lasted for several of years. Funny enough the illness started within the first year I moved to the Netherlands and stopped in the year after I found a good job at IKEA. Stability in my life cased me to have a healthier body.
My inherited restlessness caused me to quit my job at IKEA since I started to get bored, at least that was what I gave myself as an excuse to quit and change, seeking for a more challenging job. I tasted the world of MLM for a while (see my previous blog) and finally I found a nice job at a Hewlett Packard Call center. I was happy with the fact I could use my technical skills combined with my knowledge of several languages.
No surprise that after a while (it took seven years this time) I decided to work for a small company specializing in what I was already doing a lot for HP, Training people on printers, sales and technical. Here my career stopped because the small company could not afford me any longer and did not renew my contract. Since then I am self employed.
In all these years I was trying to picture a perfect career that would allow me to use my skills and allow me to earn a nice salary. I pretty soon found out that knowing several languages is not necessarily something that allows you to make a nice living. There is a bigger chance you can make money by knowing two languages and you did your studies on University as a translator than knowing at least 5 of them on a high level and doing a support agent job in a call center. I remember that I felt abused quite regularly because people not knowing languages very easily asked you for your services never understanding how intense and difficult translating can be, resulting in low rewards for the work you were doing.
I actually never stopped defining and redefining what my ideal job should be. Even if I have a clear idea about my skills it is still difficult to translate that into an ideal job. OK, there is no perfect job. Even after becoming self employed, a step that should have allowed me to pick the jobs that suited my skills best, I learned that making money was the first and the last criteria when accepting a job. Nothing else. Until today, every minute I am working on a project for a customer, the main drive is to satisfy the customer in order to get paid. I can put a lot of sills and creativity in my work, but always limited by money in some way (e.g. the customers budget limiting me to focus on basics with no added value that might benefit the whole).
Back to the question of my friend. She added if I was satisfied with what I managed to make of my goals. The question kind of embarrassed me. I am not very often asking myself if I am satisfied. Not on that level. I am still trying to make a living in a society I almost tried to escape from. I have still a hard time fitting in in the way many others do, performing their tasks within their jobs without asking themselves if the work they do (or try not to do or as little as possible) is contributing to something other than their monthly salary.
In a certain way I am satisfied if I look to what I have learned. I have become very flexible and able to quickly fit in in many different types of jobs, both technical, management, commercial, and even handcrafts. Although I tend to say that I am not drive by satisfaction, I must admit that it is not true. Looking back, at the completion of a job/task I am always trying to find the point of satisfaction for the work I did. But what is being satisfied doing with me? Nothing more than satisfying my EGO! There is nothing practical in being satisfied! It does not serve any other purpose than feeding your EGO.
So, lets’s skip this whole satisfaction thing and do our tasks, work, job with one simple goal: The best interest of all. So everybody benefits from it, you and me included.