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April 09, 2004: Job talk

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This week it's apparently all about the surveys. I haven't done one of these in a while, so here's a Friday Five.

  1. What do you do for a living? I work for a construction cost estimating company. However, my job has very little to do with estimating. Iím part database wrangler (of the not-really-a-real-database Access variety) and part research writer. I spend my days researching and writing about the various issues that are impacting the construction industry. Part of that researching and writing includes a strong focus on sustainable building and design.

  2. What do you like most about your job?
    Do I have to pick just one thing? I love the fact that my job is never the same thing from one day to the next. In the past year Iíve worked on white papers, presentations, news briefs. Iíve built and loaded databases. Iíve compiled and manipulated cost indexes and learned how to do all sorts of nifty things with graphs. Iíve rediscovered how wonderful it is to work in a small office, with a small group of people, in a company where I am not just another number. I love the fact that flexibility is encouraged, and in fact almost mandatory for the things I do. I love the fact that with each new report I write or project I work on I learn more and more about this industry. Overall, I really love my job. I feel like Iíve found a place where my skills are a good fit.

  3. What do you like least about your job?
    This oneís harder to answer. There are times when Iím in full-on database loading mode and Iíve done so much typing that my hands and wrists ache. There are times when I wish the office was closer to home, or at least closer to a public transportation route so I would have more options to get to work (instead of driving). The lawyers underneath us who are always arguing with each other at the top of their lungs over stupid things like who used the printer last can occasionally drive me batty. I know these seem like such nit-picky complaints, but thatís only because itís all I can come up with. Thereís really not much for me to complain about.

  4. When you have a bad day at work it's usually because _____...
    If Iím having a bad day itís usually because Iím exhausted and having a hard time focusing. However, this rarely has anything to do with the job itself.

    Iíve had other jobs where I dreaded coming in to work, and spent the entire day watching the clock, wishing desperately for time to go faster so I could go home. There havenít been any days like that with this job. Hopefully there wonít be any in the future either.

  5. What other career(s) are you interested in?
    Actually, I think Iíve found a good place for me. I adore writing, and this job gives me plenty of opportunities to do that. I like playing with databases and writing code to pull out the data in new and unique ways, and I certainly am given enough opportunities to satisfy that part of my brain as well. I need a job that will keep me busy enough, without overwhelming me, and that will constantly surprise and challenge me, and I usually get that here as well. So Iím not sure if there would be another career beyond what Iím currently doing that I would really be that interested in.

    Well, okay, if someone were to offer to pay me ridiculously large sums of money to lounge around my house knitting, poking around on my computer, and petting cats, I may have to think really, really hard. But I figure the odds aren't exactly high for this sort of thing, so I'm pretty safe.

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