The Introvert Receptionist: How My Job Is Ruthlessly Killing My Career
A couple weeks ago I read You Are What You Do (the most of) by Christopher Gabriel Núñez and it rearranged my brain. While the whole article has been seared into my memory two points have really stuck.
“You will only ever get good at the thing you do most.” & “DON’T GET GOOD AT SOME SHIT YOU DON’T LOVE.”
What do I do most? Administrative & Receptionist work
What do I love? Acting & Writing
That math don’t add up. If we break it down according to time spent, I’m a receptionist / administrative assistant.
Really? Yes, really but guess what’s not listed on my sidebar (or on my LinkedIn. Go have a look, I’ll wait).
I’m an amazing receptionist and dear moody teenage Jesus cruising Jerusalem in his Birkenstock sandals is it murdering my creativity. Not only does it eat up my time, it runs contrary to my very being. I’m an introvert; an outgoing and occasionally chatty introvert but still an introvert. Massive amounts of social interactions exhaust me. Okay even moderate amounts of socializing exhausts me. I always need quiet / alone time to recharge.
Reception is socializing central: answering phones, greeting guests, dealing with employee meltdowns that you can’t do anything about (if someone’s in your conference room…ask them to leave…). All the fun stuff (I need a sarcasm font). This would be whatever if I was a career receptionist. I could adjust; allow myself to be completely emotionally drained at work then go home and veg out. But I am not a career receptionist.
I am an actor, a writer, a creative. And by the time I’m finished taking care of someone else’s business I have 0 energy left for my art. For my career (that thing I’m in $90k worth of student loan debt for. Ugh, tuition.).
Sidebar: I know what you’re thinking. How can I be an introvert and be an actor? Actors are always on exhibition.
Well while I may perform in front of thousands of people I don’t have to make small talk with each and every audience member (thank goodness, I told y’all how I am with strangers). Simple.
So my current job = sapping my energy and my time, emotionally exhausting, not financially lucrative. I’ve got to get out. Like two months ago.
This was the igniting force for this transformation but it’s turning out to be the one I’m having the hardest time with. Hell I even had trouble writing up this post about having trouble finding the right day job.
Honestly, I hate being a receptionist and waiting tables and doing promo work all for the same reason. When I’m working those jobs I have to turn something on inside of myself and consciously work to keep it on. Herculean effort for a Sisyphean task (Greek mythology moment, sorry y’all couldn’t help myself).
I want a part-time job that pays enough to cover my expenses and let me take regular dance classes. I want a workspace with at least 1 window and an employer who’s not the equivalent of a cartoon bad guy. I want to perform and write and get paid (handsomely) to do it. I like computers and technology and helping people and hour-long lunch breaks and 15-minute sanity breaks.
I’m stumped and still thinking but I’m sure the right gig is out there…somewhere. Till then I’ll keep grinding (and writing posts, heeey!).
Are you getting good at what you love? What’s your dream job (or jobs)?