This week I began a seasonal job at a local toy store. My first retail position ever.
Leading up to my first day, I was nervous. In particular, I was afraid of my employer getting mad at me for making mistakes, and shaming me for not learning fast enough. But it hasn't been like that at all.
The store owner and shift supervisors have been nothing but patient and kind. They give clear directions, are generous in answering questions, and don't expect me to know things that I have no reason to know. Even as a newbie, it is satisfying to know that my presence there makes a difference, and that it is appreciated.
When I think about my earlier fears, I suspect that they say more about my current inner world than external reality. The imagined employer who is anxious, mean and impatient? Honestly, that's been me lately, as I've tried to manage myself in trying to make a living.
Rather than drawing on the wise part of me that could create compassionate space for sifting through all my questions about entrepreneurship, paid work and career, I've been letting my insecurities boss me around with their unreasonable expectations, inconsistent demands, and perpetual dissatisfaction.
It wasn't until I started this new job, working for someone perfectly lovely and reasonable, that I even recognized how bad my current inner "employer" is, and how miserable I've been working for her.
My new holiday job will have its own challenges, I'm sure, but I look forward to working in an environment of kindness, and soaking in the lessons for my life.
The extra cash won't hurt, either. :)