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Last Day Of Work // New Life Begins

Thursday, February 28, 2013
Remember that post earlier this month where I said I had handed in my resignation for later this spring? Yeah, well, it turns out "later this spring" came a whole lot sooner than I expected. Today was my last day at work. If everything goes according to plan (namely, if I get pregnant later this year or early next year) then today was quite possibly my last day of traditional 9-to-5 type work EVER. So weird.

I have a bunch of blog posts waiting to be finished and posted here, but before I get to any of that I really wanted to take time to document the lessons I've learned over the past three years as an administrative assistant in a retail customer service environment. I didn't grow up planning to work in an office, answering phones and transferring calls and responding to emails. Between elementary school and university, my various career aspirations included wanting to be a princess, a teacher, a writer, a marine biologist, a parapsychologist, a wedding planner, a lawyer, a social worker and an art curator - just to name a few! Secretarial, administrative work was never on my list and never something I aspired to ... yet it was definitely part of God's plan for me. 


Being an administrative assistant humbled me. I was offered a job before I moved to Vancouver but, once here, that quickly fell apart and I was left scrambling for new employment. When I was offered the job at the office I was relieved and grateful. It didn't take long, though, for that gratitude to be replaced with a prideful attitude. As someone with a university education, I felt that I was "above" being an administrative assistant. I felt embarrassed when new acquaintances asked me what I did for work and I had to confess that I was "just" an administrative assistant. My friends were pursuing careers in medicine, law, engineering, science, real estate, etc and I felt leap years behind. God used this experience to reveal my prideful heart and, together, we worked through my issues of insecurity and arrogance. It took time but eventually I got to a place where I was able to say, with confidence, that my career does not define me. This would never have happened if I had been handed a career that fed into my pridefulness. 

Working in Customer Service taught me a thing or two about serving other people. I spent my days tending to tasks assigned to me by my boss or working on behalf of clients to resolve an issue. As mentioned earlier, being a princess was the first job I ever wanted and, while I certainly matured over the years, I definitely carried that with me well into my twenties. Serving other people and putting other people's needs/desires before my own is not something that comes easily or naturally to me ... and there I was, working 9-to-5 doing just that. Funny how life works sometimes ...

My job reminded me daily of grace. Over the past three years, I dealt with people who were angry, frustrated and upset. Of course, not EVERY client was calling or writing to complain about something, but many were. I had people call me nasty names, hang up on me, even threaten me. I lost my cool once, hanging up on a man who was threatening me, but most of the time I was able to respond professionally and with kindness. I kept Bible verses on my desk and would read them while one the phone with a particularly difficult customer. I can't say I'm going to miss being verbally attacked by outraged clients, but I wouldn't trade that experience. It was really good practice in dishing out grace, and a great reminder that my strength comes from the Lord.

I'm really grateful for the lessons I've learned over the past 3 years, and the way God has been working in me. He definitely used my job to shape and mold me, and I'm sure He will use my experiences as a stay-at-home wife and (eventually) mother to further grow me into the disciple I am called to be. It will be so strange to wake up tomorrow and not have to rush out the door to work! I'm excited to see what's in store. Stay tuned! :)

xo


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