I have gained a lot of experience that is applicable to life and other jobs from the jobs, volunteer experience, and other life experience I have had.
I have been knitting sweaters and hats for kids since I was twelve. This is a very voluntary cause that I have stuck with for more than half of my life. Over the years it has grown from a hobby to a passion. It has been something that I care deeply about. Being able to use a talent that I have been given to be able to help children living in poverty is something that I care deeply about.
In high school I spent my senior year volunteering in a first grade classroom after I got done with school. This is one of those experiences that helps teach one commitment, and punctuality. There were good days and hard days, short days and long days. It was to the point where the other lower end (K to 2) teachers all wanted me. I helped the kids during school hours. After school was also work. I would help clean up the classroom, help get stuff ready for later in the week, take books that the teacher had checked out from the library back to the library and record them. I had made copies, use the die cast for objects for cards and other projects, I tested markers, got new ones out, sharpened pencils, cleaned tables, washed paint brushes. There was a janitor, who I got to know, what I was doing in terms of cleaning was more of what the teachers normally did. What I learned through this experience is that the little things behind the scenes are just as important as the big things. It all has to be done, and someone has to do it.
College taught me how to juggle and balance a class and study schedule that changed each term. Most of my studying and papers got done after I had gone to class. It was my responsibility to keep track of my own schedule each term, and do what I needed to do to graduate. I had an adviser, but as far as my major went I was dealing with my own schedule planning and such. I graduated in four years, I got my self up each day, and out the door to class. I strived to do my best, and did what I needed to do to graduate on time, there were late nights, and long weekends reading assigned sections, doing research, writing papers, studying for tests, all so I could earn a piece of paper that said I graduated.
After college my first job ended up being more like a crazy vacation. I had gone to New York to be a nanny. That only lasted a week, as I was too much of a goody goody (ie not having partied in college) for the mom, so back to the west coast I came. I needed to do that though. I had to do it to prove to myself that I could do it, and not have anything bad happen to me for doing something that wasn’t stupid and that I believed was the right thing for me. I also spent a night stranded at LaGuardia trying to get back to Oregon. That was an experience. The whole thing helped me grow as an individual.
About a month after I got back from New York, I spend a month with Aflac. I was an insurance sales person. I learned that insurance sales, and commission only ate hard and take the right person. I also was not given much training as my trainer left me to go cold calling most of the time on my own (have I mentioned that when I left it had only been a month after I started). It was completely out of character for me.
My next job was working at a daycare. I did it because I needed a job. Of all the classes I worked in there was only one that I liked. I also would do garbage duty which, I really didn’t mind as it got me away from the kids for a while. This was another job where I wasn’t trained and was expected to sink or swim. From this experience (and having a 3.5 year old hit me, kick me and bite me in less than 5 minutes) that dealing with children in a classroom setting, as their teacher is not for me. I knew teaching was going to be hard from the volunteer experience, and had changed my major from education to social science in college. This was more or less because I needed work and to see if I had made the right decision to change my major in college. It was the right decision.
For the past few Christmas’ I have helped make and serve cookies for the Christmas event that takes place at my church. The last year we make them, we had made more than 5000 cookies. We had used the church facilities to make all the cookies and had a system down.
I had the opportunity to work with Rwanda Partners Basket Company (now All Across Africa) for several of their Costco road shows in my local area. The baskets, beads and bags were handmade given Rwandan’s and Ugandan’s jobs so they could support themselves and their families. It is a nonprofit company. While sales is not my strong point, the fact that I was helping support other women, and helping children in the process made it worthwhile.
I have also spent some time working in manufacturing and production. I worked for a luxury sweater company, making knitwear using a knitting machine. I learned a little bit of how to use a linking machine. I spent half the time that I was there finishing the garments (mainly tucking and tagging) as well as being an unofficial manager’s assistant. In assisting the manager, I was doing inventory, re-arranging the yarn, pulling and cutting swatches for swatch sheets, running to the bank to deposit checks, as well as running to FedEx, UPS and the Post Office. I put my own knitting finishing skills to work. I was also trusted with money. I only looked at the checks and receipts to make sure that what was on the receipt matched what was on the check and I had taken the receipt back to my manager. While I worked there, I had to do some problem solving as the owner would place orders for the stores, and not look at the current inventory, and would order items in colors that we had not had in the studio for two years. Many times when I had been given these items, they just couldn’t be done because we did not have the yarn in stock (and you can’t just overnight two cones of yarn from Scotland). That being said, there was one particular head scarf that had been put on my list, and I had let the manager know that we did not have that specific yarn in stock, I had got looking at the swatch on the swatch sheet and was then went over to the shelves that had that particular type of yarn, and grabbed two cones different colors, found the ends, twisted them together (with that yarn, there is only one item that we used a single strand for, everything else we used that yarn for we used double strands), and put them next to the swatch of the color we needed, and saw that it was super close. I then went to the manager and told her about what I had come up with, and was given the go ahead to go with the yarn solution I had come up with.
I have also been blogging off and on for just over 3 years. In the past 15 months has been where I have really dedicated myself to is. I have found that it is an amazing creative outlet, as well as a means for me to share what I love doing, what I have learned, and share what I know and an good at. I don’t foresee myself giving it up anytime soon.
Now that I am looking for another job, being able to write out what I have gained experience in is important. The big question I know I get asked is what do I want to do with my life/ what kind of job am I looking for/ what career do I want. As for a job, I want to do something either knitting or craft related (it would be even more awesome if History was somehow involved, but still trying to be realistic here), or working with non profits to get school supplies, warm clothes, and food to children and families living in poverty or even just struggling in the current economy. I like the idea of working more out in the field/ distribution and getting the resources where they need to go in an orderly fashion.
I have also taken on leadership roles in various things I have done. Both times I have served on Jury Duty, I have been the Jury Foreperson, the most recent time I took on that role voluntarily. I have also been a group leader throughout school, including college. During my senior year in two different classes I was the group leader on my group’s term projects. The organizational skills, time management skills, and drive to get the task done right the first time, have all been skills that I have developed over the years that has opened the doors for me to become a leader.
I am one who loves organization, and putting things back where I found them. Everything has a place. I am creative, I am a problem solver, and I have taken initiative. I have gotten in there and done stuff. I am reliable, and do everything in my power to get to where I need to go and be there early. The fact that I moved 65 miles away from my parents for college, and would maybe see them a couple times a term at best, and lived on my own for all but the first term, and I graduated in four years with a cumulative GPA of 2.78, and my Senior Year my GPA was 3.35, shows commitment, dedication, time management, problem solving, and initiative in my own education and future. College is hard, and it takes dedication and perseverance, and I did not let the challenge and difficulties stop me from furthering my education. By the time I started my sophomore year of college I had seen those who were not serious about being in college drop out, or waste their time. I also spent a lot of time around others who had the same can do mindset that I had, and I graduated with two other young women that I had known since Fall term of Freshmen year. I had had a History class with one, and had lived for a short time on the same residence hall floor as the other.