Sunday, May 13, 2018

Motherly Career Advice

My mother on her
wedding day,
October 21, 1961
For Mother's Day I like to try to post stories about my mother, not only because I enjoy remembering them but also as part of that concept of recording our own lives while we do research on the rest of our families.  For some reason this year what popped into my head was different pieces of advice my mother gave me about work.

The earliest thing I remember is when she convinced me that I should take a touch typing class in high school.  I had been thinking about it but hadn't really decided whether it was going to be worthwhile.  She told me that it would prove beneficial to me later in life.  She didn't have computers in mind, because at the time they were still huge room-sized monstrosities used only by really big companies and the government.  I'm pretty sure what she was thinking of was being able to work as a secretary or something like that.  But it did prove to be excellent advice.  Not only did I make a lot of money in college typing papers, touch typing skills have proven to be extremely valuable now that we are in the age of computers.

Another good piece of advice was to keep all my receipts for taxes, just in case.  Mommy was a bookkeeper, and she was always annoyed when one of her clients didn't have receipts for some important expense.  So I got into the habit of keeping pretty much everything, and it has been helpful once I had a mortgage and was able to claim enough in deductions on my tax returns.  I don't know how effective that will be in the future, of course.

One thing she recommended that I didn't find useful for work purposes was joining Mensa.  She thought it would help me get jobs.  I've found over the 40 (!) years I've been a member that is not the case.  Oh, well, nobody's perfect.

One significant piece of advice she gave that I didn't follow at all was where I should work.  She really, really wanted me to work for the CIA or the United Nations.  She figured that with my language skills either one would be a great career choice.  Somehow, with my sarcastic nature, I just didn't think I would be a good fit for the CIA.  I actually did think about the UN, but what they really wanted at the time (and probably do still now) was interpreters, which is not my strength.  Interpeting requires that you be able to come up with the translation right away and keep up with the pace of a conversation.  I'm much better at translation, where I have time to think about the words.

My languages have proven useful in my genealogy work.  My mother passed away before I started doing genealogy for a living, but I think she would have appreciated what I've been able to discover about my family, on both sides.  She used to tell me I could do anything I set my mind to, so I guess that's another piece of advice I did take.

No comments:

Post a Comment

All comments on this blog will be previewed by the author to prevent spammers and unkind visitors to the site. The blog is open to everyone, particularly those interested in family history and genealogy.