November 22, 2022
At the ripe age of fifteen, I put on a visor and apron, beginning a twenty-year-long stint of working for the man. My journey went from fast food to retail, to corporate. With many ice cream cones, burgers, and film rolls (before the days of digital pictures) under my belt, I stumbled upon my first corporate job.
When I think of corporate jobs, my guess is most think of “office jobs” where you sit in a cubical, working in front of a screen all day. For me, that was how it started, but it certainly doesn’t have to be just on a computer.
I started working my first corporate job at age of 20, it was 2001. I landed a job as a data entry clerk at Canada Life. I was one of a handful of university kids who entered data into a computer program for others to review. It was a glorious undisturbed time when I could zone out, listening to music and typing away on a computer. My day-to-day life was hectic jumping between university, work, and friends, but they all seemed to work together really well.
Fast forward to university being over, and this is when I started a decade-long career at a university. The beauty of working at a large, unionized organization was the variety of work options available. During my time there, I spent the majority of it managing teams who had various roles and responsibilities. I found managing people was great because it gave me a balance between staring at a computer screen and interacting with people at work.
Working in an office is awesome for bouncing ideas off people- it’s simple when you can walk from one office to the next. Your teammates understand the terms, the acronyms, and the tone to address problem-solving with. The feeling of a community of like-minded individuals was ever-present. Everyone works towards a common goal.
Corporate jobs in my experience have provided me with education experiences such as classes and conferences, as well as a pension, dental care, insurance, and a ton of other financial perks that I will be forever grateful for. Why would anyone want to move away from this? If I am honest, there are some not-so-ideal things about corporate life.
The cost of working corporate is your most valuable resource- time. In the news this past week, Elon Musk has been publicly sharing his expectations for staff to work long work days, in other words- commit their life to Twitter. This is an extreme example, but I too found that when I worked there was never enough time. We never stopped; the tires were constantly spinning to get MORE MORE MORE.
If you really want to test your limits for how much you can manage in a day, have kids. Before having children, a busy day was when I had to text and drink coffee at the same time (JJ). Throw a 6 and 9-year-old into the mix, and shit gets real fast.
Where I live, there is a disconnect between the education system and corporate life, and there is also a disconnect between corporate life and family life. School in Saskatchewan runs daily 9-3:30 pm Monday through Friday. Classes are held 200 days a year with over 50 days off for holidays, parent-teacher conferences, and what have you.
Having so many days off school is one of the reasons why we decided to try a family home business. After being home with our kids during COVID it shed some light on some not-ideal routines at our home. For example, we had to start our days incredibly early to get the girls to before and after daycare. It was so nice to let the kids sleep in an extra hour. PLUS, all those random days off, we didn’t have to use up all our banked holiday days on.
December 1 will be our first birthday at QCGifts.ca, over this short amount of time I have seen many differences. I am looking forward to seeing how this comparison evolves as we commit more time to our home business. I hope the positives out way the negatives!
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