I've been busy these past three weeks. Whatever free time I've had, I've spent doing chores and sleeping. I actually started on a new venture just a few weeks ago. I've decided to settle down for a little while and not travel as much for work. I have to confess, though, that I'm going to miss traveling, seeing new places, meeting new people, and just enjoying what different locations had to offer.
But I've been thinking about settling down for over a year now. Mostly, it has to do with going back to school and getting ahead professionally. I started a graduate program a few years ago, before I started traveling for work. I was getting tired of my old company--the office politics, the stress at work, and the never ending ridiculous conflicts that seem to happen on an almost daily basis. The truth was, after two and half years since I started as a professional in the industry, I was getting burned out.
Traveling restored my faith in my profession. It made me remember why I was a service professional in the first place. I've been able to learn a lot working in different locations for different places. My skills have expanded tremendously, and my expertise has increased greatly, earning me more money along the way. And the money has been much better than what I earned working for the old place. Traveling has given me many opportunities to experience different, fascinating places and meeting new, interesting people. Not to mention I've been exposed to a wide variety of clients whose needs I've successfully provided for. I've applied new techniques and ensured tremendous satisfaction in meeting their needs. Some of them have been great customers who've offered me a private position. But I just wasn't ready to give up the freedom that comes with traveling--I like being able to work at a place for a short, defined period of time, making good money and knowing that I can always move on when I get tired, bored, or just want something different.
But as much fun as I was having doing travel assignments, working in temporary locations, I was always bothered by the fact that I had some unfinished business back home. I like to finish what I start, and I knew that I had to go back to school to get ahead in the industry. Actually, I can get ahead without going back to school, but I'd have much more opportunities and versatility with the extra schooling. It would also help me advance much faster in the industry. But I think I just want to finish what I started so I know that I've done what I set out to do.
It's a little strange to be working in my hometown for a company as an associate, instead of a temporary contract agent. But I've met some great people so far. And I can't complain about the extra compensations that come with being a service professional on staff with a company. I do confess though that I started during a very tense and exciting time at the company. The other professionals have actually banded together and started to organize. Though I've not had much experience working for this company, I am familiar with their operations--much similar to other places I've worked at. I can't really complain about management here, since I don't know them that well--I am a very new member of the company. But I can say that compared to my first company, this current one is so much better. But, if the other professionals want to organize, then who am I stand in their way?
The important thing is that our clients are still getting the excellent service they paid for. And as service professionals, we aim to please and deliver the kind of service that leaves our customers satisfied and keeps them coming back when the need arises. Our reputation helps attract new clients. Our confidentiality is guaranteed. And our skills and talents are what keep our clients happy and well cared for; it's what keeps them smiling and returning whenever they need our services.
I do confess though that it was a little strange for me to work some of the hours that first week while orientating, getting to know the particular ins and outs of the company and the services it offers. I've not had to work during the lunch hour in years. I'm used to performing my services after hours and long into the night, entertaining the clients and meeting their needs. And I was asked to be in beginner positions that I've not tried in years. I've been specializing in more advanced services for the very particular and discriminating clients I've met in my years of traveling. And I've forgotten how labor intensive some of these beginning positions are. My thighs were sore after the first week! But some clients still prefer the basic services, and the basic maneuvers are still the best when dealing with new, uncertain clients who are both frightened and eager for our services.
It did feel good to start working my usual schedule though. As good as I am during the lunch hour, I'm much better after hours, when my skills and expertise are put to good use serving our clients. But I'm working more hours than I was when I was traveling. So, I find myself doing chores and sleeping in my time off. It's only a matter of time before I get used to the new schedule. And while the money is not as much as I used to make while traveling, it's much better than what I expected. And the compensation and perks of working for this particular company are excellent.
But I still confess to having some doubts and uncertainties about settling down. It feels strange to be considered a full on associate for a company, rather than a temporary contracted agent. Maybe it's the sense of permanence that unsettles me. What can I say, I like traveling. But in the end, I know that I'm making the right choice. When fall comes, I'm going back to school. And until then, I have the rest of the summer to adjust to my new venture and enjoy some of the perks that come with settling down. Hey, I still have a few days off every week to enjoy myself and take off to entertain myself and enjoy the sights and scenes out there.