Saturday, March 13, 2010

I'm a Part Timer!

Is someone else in here?

Oh hi! I didn't see you there!

It's been a while! I've missed you!

Why haven't I written in a while? Well, mostly because I didn't want to jinx my new part time job. Yeah, I got a part time job! I mean, it is only part time (for now...hah hah hah), I don't get benefits, taxes aren't taken out (I DREAD tax time next year), I don't get my own email, IM, phone, key, or garbage bin, and someone else has to sign me onto a computer. BUT I have a desk, a paycheck, and some pretty fun coworkers, so I'm hoping this goes well and lasts longer than the promised 3 months. Who knows, maybe if I continue to be awesome, they'll give me my own garbage bin. I have big dreams.

As a long time job hunter, I had lowered my standards quite a bit. I was willing to start anywhere and do anything (read: will pick up elephant dung for 5 cents and hour). I had gotten to a place where I was getting pretty excited about jobs that I had long since surpassed skill-wise. This just happens to be that sort of job. Well, at least to some degree. Right now, 25% of my work is learning the ropes of bookkeeping and creating invoices and things. This is something I have only dabbled in in the past, probably because I was thinking "eww accounting!" The more I get into accounting, however, the more I realize how very..."me" it seems to be. It's organized and methodical, but you need to think about everything with case by case specificity. It's not nearly as boring or daunting as I thought it would be, and so I find myself looking forward to my bookkeeper tasks. I know, you just threw up in your mouth a little. Sorry about that. Here's a napkin.

The other 75% of my work involves copying and pasting as I create Excel databases of various shapes and sizes. This is the part of the job that is less than fun, but very familiar. I'm so familiar with data entry that I can tell you there are 3 main types:
  1. The kind where you can just tune out completely and enter data brainlessly. This goes by quickly, mostly because mentally, you're in the Bahamas.
  2. The kind where you have to really think about the stuff you're entering. Categorizing qualitative data (ex. deciding how to label someone's answer to an open-ended survey question) comes to mind. This type of data entry is the most pain-in-the ass, is mentally exhausting, and goes by very slowly because you are mentally present for the whole repetitive ride.
  3. The kind that's a bit of a mix of the 2 above. Usually you have to make decisions about some things, but a large part of it is comprised of simple, non-thinking tasks. This is the kind of data entry I'm doing, and it goes by pretty fast now that I'm used to it.
I think it's because of my familiarity with data entry that I'm so efficient at/with it. I knew what to expect going in and buckled up for the long haul. My skills and speed have been noticed by folks at my new part time job, and I have to tell you, it's quite the self-esteem boost. I went from job hunter extraordinaire, fielding rejection left and right, to part timer receiving compliments from the CEO. Pretty sweet, even if it is only regarding a simple skill.

This has all led me to believe that lowering my standards in my job search was not a completely terrible idea. So if you're looking for a job and feeling bad that you have lowered YOUR standards, I guess all I'm trying to say is don't because you never know what will come of it. It could be a stepping stone to something greater-- or it could evolve into something great. You never know.

And also, being a part-timer is way better than being this guy:

note: since I know SNL will likely take this off YouTube at some point, just google "closet organizer guy snl" for a video of the above.