Thursday, 7 April 2016

Evaluating my time and comitments

Today I had a meeting with a career counsellor. Why? Because when I took on my first FiFo (= Fly in Fly out) job in 2009, it was only supposed to be for 18 months. Nearly 7 years later and I'm still doing this kind of work. We have grown accustomed to the work routine but it's been hard. Being far away from home, working 12 hour days for weeks at the time is tough. It's tough for me but it's also tough on Mr S - living a lonly life without his wife for over 6 months of the year. So after I was told my contract is not getting re-newed I was shocked at first but then thought to myself, maybe now I can do something I like and be home more often. I did kind of like the job but working for 12 hours a day is tiring. And I never could get continuity at home. I always calculated how long it will take for fruit and vegetables to fruit, so I needed to plant them while at home and ensure I'm back home when they fruit otherwise they would be wasted. There is many more examples but I want to concentrate on the future, not the past.

Mr S and I discussed and decided that I would get away from FiFo to improve our life and our relationship. So what to do? I went onto Seek to try and find a job and nothing really grabbed me. I worked in Oil & Gas all my life and now we live in a rural area with lots of agriculture around us, so I can't and don't really want to continue with the same sort of career. I decided to go and see a career counsellor to assist me with examining what I'm passionate about but also what I'm trained in and how I can build on that. Yes, in general I knew the outcome. However, as I feel a bit overwhelmed with everything at the moment, it's good to discuss those sorts of things with a person who doesn't actually know me. Once I saw what he saw in me, I remembered what I do enjoy and like doing. 

I started with the Myers Briggs Type Indicator (–Briggs_Type_Indicator) which is one of the best known personality tests. I'm an ISTJ (Introversion Sensing Thinking Judging) Typ, which means I'm quiet, serious, earn success by thoroughness and dependability. I'm practical, matter-of-fact and responsible. I decide logically what should be done and work toward it steadily, regardless of distractions. I take pleasure in making everything orderly and organised -  my work, my home, my life. I value tradition and loyalty. I received a lot of information about this personality type - most of it didn't come as a surprise but reading how I feel black on white is kind of strange. The next thing was the O.S.I (= Occupational Search Inventory) Test by Dr Robert Pryor. It uses preferences in workmtasks, work environments, leisure activities, occupations and work skills to determing your profile which you then can research further via ANZSCO codes as well as the Federal Goverment website Unsurprising to me, my top 3 scores where in Nature and Science (which was a tie for 1st), Organising and Technological. Then you can look at potential careers and we narrowed it down to 3 areas I'm interested in: 1. Management, 2. Agriculture, 3. Science/Engineering. I have to say it was a relief to see that I still like doing what I studyied and learnt. My next step is to research some of the options with assistance of the above mentioned wegpages. I already have a fair idea where this will lead me but especially the Joboutlook webpage will show me job prospects, current vacancies, income ect. 
What does this have to do with evaluating my time and commitments? Well, most of us - including myself work for a living, not because they really want to. In my case I still have a mortage to pay off and ensure Mr S and my life is comfortable and we can enjoy the things we want to do. So I have t work. But - and this is a big but... Who says you can't enjoy what you're doing? I used to enjoy my work and I want to enjoy it again. I will be working for another 15-20 years and I want to enjoy it. I want to do something I like doing and I'm good at. Even if I have payed the house off, I still would like to continue working part-time to continue to put money into my Super. So what do I enjoy doing? Well I enjoy doing crafts and hiking and gardening and spend time with my animals (see yesterday's post about my Top 5 Priorities). So can I make money with that? The short answer is no. I like doing craft but I just started, I make mistakes and it takes me a long time to do something, so no, I couldn't make money with that. there's no money in hiking and also I like gardening I can't imagine having to do other people's gardens fr the next 15-20 years. I love to spend time with my animals but not necessarily with somebody elses. So basically my hobbies are hobbies and that's it. That doesn't mean I can't make any money with them. For example I could do small easy crafts for people or I could look after peoples dogs on the caravan parks while they spend a day doing something where they can't take their dog. And I'm happy to help somebody with some lawn mowing and weeding or mulching but I don't think my body would do this for the next 15 years. So yes, I certainly can make additional money with it but I cannot pay of our mortage.

So I decided to research the career paths suitable for me and decide on something I'd like to persue. Whatever this is, it needs to give me the satisfaction I need from a job to fulfill me. I also need to make sure that this jobs gives me the time and opportunity to do the things I love doing. I need to have time for my Top 5 Priorities. Knowing that I will be able to design my day in a way that enables me to work, take care of my home and family and gives me time to do craft, gardening and spend time with my animals. This will NOT happen automatically - I need to make this happen. I need to plan tasks and evaluate them - do they need to be done, could they be done less regulary, could Mr S help with these tasks ect. For example I used to spend all day Saturday washing: towels, colours, whites and sometimes linen - that nearly is an entire day of washing, hanging the washig up, taking it down again, folding it and putting it away. Instead I could turn on a machine in the morning when I go to work (as Mr S is at home, otherwise I would get it to start in a way hat it;s finished by the time I get up). I then could fold and put items away when I come home and it wouldn't eat into my weekend anymore. Another thing I observed is how other people clean. When I clean, I normally dust and either sweep or vacuum the house. Followed by a weekly deep clean. I have never mastered to 'just' clean the bathroom or 'just' mop the kitchen. I always do everything or nothing. If I would deep clean a room a day, I just would need to do the vacuuming and mopping weekly and everything else would be already done.
There's a lot to learn for me. I need to evaluate my time and comitments - both privately and in my working life, so I will have plenty of time to actually live and do the things I enjoy. I'm looking forward to learn new skills and improve my time management so my weekends/days off are decluttered and free of must dos and full of want tos. Tke the time and evaluate your time and comitments - maybe there is some room for improvement?



  1. Looking forward to hearing about your trip and your journey to find you. Welcome to blogland.
    PS I came here from Rhonda's forum

  2. I think that was a brillant idea, to contact the career counsellor! Because you can do so many things and remind you which work is the right one for you! So I´m happy to read about your decision!
    Carpe diem!