Friday, February 26, 2016

Teen jobs

If crazy in life how much kids need to learn
And then teens –a huge learning curve
Even as adults it is like a constant phase of learning 

It's interesting for me to observe my own process of having changed careers almost a year ago now and how some days I feel on top of the world and other ones not so much. For some reason this work week is getting to me. Everyone seems to bee postponing meetings or contracts or just not replying to important emails or not paying invoices on time.  
My change of career this week is getting to me. Other weeks I feel it is best thing I have ever done in my life.

It's a process and I am so grateful for the learnings it is providing me. What I like about certain jobs and what I don't like about others , what I excel at and what I am weak in , what conditions my full potential is maximized in and where it is squashed .
How much risk tolerance I can take and how risk adverse I can be .How important the social aspect is to me and how I manage in other ways without it.
Admin work. Running a corporation. Subcontracting. Technology . I am doing it all. I don't have that team to delegate to anymore and it is forcing me to be baptized by fire and learn it ... And quickly!

But while I am in this process of my own  work and change and learning I am mostly enjoying watching our three children experience much of the same thing.

This will be Chase’s third year of real work at various jobs and is amazing to see him bloom in this way. To question things, To find his preferences and his own tolerance levels. For him to figure out how committed (or not committed he is). To see what he is willing to sacrifice for money or the ethics of his commitment and when he is not willing to sacrifice and why.

Has been so far : a tutor , an admin , and outside worker , a dirt bike instructor , a ski instructor , a school janitor , a cegep bookstore worker , a waiter and now as of tonight an office janitor ( hubby hired him to clean his workplace every two weeks and Chase’s preference of time
Is 10-midnight !!!

Bear tutored for a couple of years and always loved the Xmas tips. He also was an office worker, and outside worker and now his first real jobs a ski instructor and occasional waiter. This has been a big year for him as all fairly new. And he too is finding his way and very different these two brothers are when it comes to work! Both unique in their own ways 

And now Beauty entered the real workforce tonight too (gosh it's lonely around here as almost midnight ) Beauty has done more occasional babysitting but this new gig is high paying babysit and looks like she will be called back more regularly and for a couple of
Weeks in summer. I have never seen her look prouder counting that cash and was thrilled that the job included a trio from the McDonald across the street! She will be babysitting it looks like a few weeks in summer. She is such a good skier from all her years of competition that also by next winter will be a full ski instructor at age 15. This is young!
I told her I am counting on her paying the mortgage if my own career starts going wrong ;))

I think it is also important for kids at a fairly young age to manage a lot of their own schedules and parts of their lives. A colleague the other day who has 2 teens who just started working was asking me the other day how I made sure I got them up and out to their jobs ? I thought that was a funny question! I don't get them there at all in general unless they have asked exceptionally for a lift or need one. They have been trained from a very early age for school to wake up on their own with an alarm, make their breakfast, make their lunches, plan out the bus schedule etc. which has been an amazing learning platform for the jobs now.

For our own pleasure and theirs we have always two days a week made big breakfasts in the morning for them, and gotten up out them some days too as we all enjoy it but we have always made sure that since quite young there are a couple of days a week they fend for themselves fully in the morning so that they get used to it. 
This year we added on having Chase do the morning getting up driving routine with them one day a week just to make sure he does not get too used to the cegep late class schedule and still functions at 6:00 am like he used to when he was in high school. It's funny to hear him (from the comfort of our bed!) telling the other two to hurry up and get in the car!!

I worked all summer every summer as well as often part time in school year as of about 14 or 15 and made a ton of money that would last me the whole year and for travel in college too . I used to hide my money under my mattress (original eh?) and count it every night and I was so proud of it. That I could pay my way and had savings. Made me feel so worthwhile and good and successful. I still adore counting money :)

But kids learn through work. I think a great experience. Friends said to me the other day that her teens won't be able to work as too busy with hockey and that is the same type of commitment etc. I disagree. I think sports are great and also camps and other activities but not as a replacement to working. I think work ethic is developed through work and also self-pride and motivation. I think it teaches some major lif skills.

Very hard on the parents schedules though!! A weekday night  tonight  and I had one to get at 10:30pm and another at midnight! It also ruins summers and holidays and days off and time off as a family. And not great for chores and homework getting done as the kids working are never ever home. Makes for a bit (a lot!) of a chaotic house and life and schedules. I have found since having 2/3 over the age 16 yrs  has really made a difference in our lives and schedules. 14yrs  to me is still pretty manageable as I still somewhat control some of her time.

I knew this day would come 
I dreaded it on so many levels 
Now it is here and I am embracing it in many ways (and still resenting it on other levels)
I feel resigned in many ways to just accept that what was... Is Not anymore 
And I feel grateful to watch the process of our children grow into themselves through work 

As I end this blog I just texted Chase and said “are you done yet? Can I come get you now that it is midnight? “

And he wrote “I like cleaning a lot. It is good actually to do janitorial work and reminds me of the job at the school” last summer “(this teen is just so cute and adorable sometimes)

And I realize that I am proud of all of them and the work and contributions they make at midnight or any time of day. It is worth the sacrifices we have to make to have them work and grow. Mostly I am in awe of the gift of awareness they have of themselves through the process