My Journal on Learning a New Career
well, this is my personal journal on learning a new trade and how frustrating it can be. Monday, the 28th of March, was my first day. I learned that all that I had learned thirty-five years ago was antique. Thirty-five years ago I hadn't learned on a computer. Letters were typed on a typewriter. I managed to get my words per minute up to a whopping 19 words. Most clerical or data entry jobs require at least thirty-five words.
Day two was not bad. I got my keyboarding skills up to 22 words per minute. Typed ten different documents and everything was so good. On my way home, there were three police squad cars and three fire trucks and one pulling a boat so it took a little longer to get home.
Day three was so frustrating as nothing went right. Everything I typed the computer grammar check told me was wrong. Then I was working on a three pay document and only had three paragraphs left. The computer froze up and I couldn't do anything. My typing speed was 27 words per minute to start the day. Otherwise, my keyboarding sucked.
Day four out of 6 weeks. Today was the end of the class week. I got done typing words per minute when I got up to 32 words per minute. I added pictures to my documents. I then moved on to ten key on the computer. That was an experience! I lost what I had typed into the computer at the end of the day. We had a meeting with the class today that in my opinion was stupid. It was asking each of us behavior questions. There is a veteran in the class and the question that they asked him reminded him of his time in the war. He answered the question and the teachers didn't like his answer. I followed him outside and calmed him down as he was very upset. It was a good day. Next class Monday again.
Today, Sunday, was a busy day before I go back to class tomorrow. Everything I haven't done all week got done today. I got up and did the dishes, cleaned the house, cooked dinner for my husband and mother-in-law today. I did practice a little bit on my computer at home but most of my time was relaxing. Tomorrow, I know I start working on the ten-key program on the computer. That should be interesting. I love math and computer, but the two together should be something new.
Today was a really good day/ My typing speed still isn't good. It was 29 words per minute today. I went through all my training in Microsoft Axcess today. Making databases is easy. I went through that really fast. I started the part of training in using the internet today. Tomorrow will be another day of that. Not bad but boring. I found out today also that my caseworker is going to see if being I am going to be working with people that maybe they can get me dentures. I have never been upset that my other dentures don't fit but I was excited at the news. Well, will see you tomorrow.
Today was fun. I learned how to search with Google on the internet. I got 37 words per minute on my typing test. I got 84 on my ten-key keyboarding skills. After sending emails back and forth to my teacher I got moved onto Excel. I was really excited. It is the typing but my favorite is working with numbers. I guess the rest of the week is going to be in Excel. That is fine with me. I actually told my teacher it was fun. She was happy with that because the emails she sent me were boring. They were things I would never do and didn't find interesting. I am looking at the fact that the 5th of May will be my last day and then I will take what I learned and try to get a job in a field that will be fun for me. See you tomorrow.
Today was fun again. Every day that I get to work with math is fun. I got 39 words per minute today and my teacher was happy. I told me that was a long way up from 19 words per minute. My ten-key skills weren't too bad for a total. I got to work in Excel again. I made three different kinds of tables with formulas and I had to format the tables also. Made borders around the tables and databases as well. I know now that I can get into the field I have trained for years ago. I feel my self-confidence growing as well.
Today was an interesting day. I got to help not only another student that I am done with the classes now but also a Veteran. I want so badly to work at the VA. Anyway, this veteran needs a new apartment. I contacted me and my husband's landlord and they have an opening. I gave them Al's phone number. Then when Al called the school to talk to me, I gave him the name of a veteran advocate that could help him with his move. He didn't know he could have help. This all went into my class record as being able to help someone with the right resources. It also will help with my ability to get a job where I want one. My typing speed went up to 40 words per minute today and my ten-key speed per minute went to 84. I went on to work with Microsoft Excel and use formula's to find totals. Monday, I think I will still be in Excel and maybe toward the end of the week, I will get into Microsoft Publishing. I was happy that everything went well today. I didn't have many questions for my teachers.
Tomorrow starts week three. My caseworker has started to send me jobs to look at what they think I should like. I told them I want to work at our local VA Hospital and you would swear I am speaking a language that they don't understand. I mean I have told them at least four times and I get job listings for Pennsylvania, Florida, any place but where my husband and I live. The listing is not even for Veteran Hospitals. One of the listings I got was to go to work for Xerox. What does that have to do with helping Veterans? I mean I have called the local VA Hospital and had them put me on a list if a job becomes available, but why to send me a list of jobs I wouldn't be happy working for. I am just saying!!!!
The start of week three and still working in Microsoft Excel. I did two long database documents today. I had one that was doing the produce order for a grocery store. I had to order apples, peaches, and pears and then in the vegetable section peas, beans, and corn. The document I was doing at the end of the day was different than any I have ever seen. It has teacher hours for training. It was a good day otherwise; my typing speed and ten-key speed were the best it has been since I started. We had a new student start today and I was leery of him. He is younger than the rest of us but he is just different and sets off bells and whistles. The veteran I was trying to help couldn't get into the apartment I recommended. I said I knew of another one but it was not the best and the downfalls of the apartment building.
Today was an active day. My day started early before class when my husband needed to go to the VA hospital. While we were there, I asked about job openings and was told to put my application in and would eventually get hired. That was good news. My husband couldn't be seen so we left and came home. My husband got his fishing rod from his mother and told me that while I was in class, I needed to drop him off at a lake so he could fish. I did and then went to class. My typing speed and ten-key speed is getting better and fewer errors. One of my fellow classmates showed up and his blood sugar was acting up. He had an idea that he was going to have problems so I kept an eye on him. I had been a caregiver up until I had to change careers. Two hours after we started class he told me that he felt really strange. He had the start of a sugar reaction. I told him either he tell the teacher or I would. He said I wouldn't do it. Well, he was surprised. I told the teacher that he wasn't feeling good and that he better have something done; if not sent to the hospital. Another thing to go into my profile for job placement after school. He was sent home and told to contact them tomorrow if he wasn't better. Well then I picked up my husband on the way home from class and he had enjoyed his day fishing but didn't catch anything. We went to a couple of other lakes before we went home and no fish. Guess today wasn't good for fishing.
Well, today is Wednesday of week three of Class. Tomorrow I start PowerPoint. Today I finished Excel. My typing and ten-key words per minute were great today and very few errors. I did two of my own purchase orders for what used to be my old business of wholesaling handmade beaded earrings, dreamcatcher earrings, dream catcher wall hangings, and mandella wall hangings. The instructor looked at me and told me my prices were high. I had to explain that not when you are selling wholesale to the tourists.
Today I learned PowerPoint. It is not my favorite subject. I did a presentation on Alzheimer's for my PowerPoint. I took all the knowledge I got while taking care of my Dad and put it into a report. I then got to go into Windows Publish and made myself business cards. Found out today that I can't wear perfume to class anymore as it has made two people sick. Today during the last hour of class we had the war room and had to answer questions that an employer might ask in an interview. We found out that most of us would like the same kind of workplace. Amazing how much the same men and women can be when you set down and talk.
Well, today was the start of week four. I don't think I will ever apply for a job that I learned what I did today. I would be bald in no time!!!! They had me learning how to use Microsoft Publisher. I had to make a letterhead paper. I had one all picked out and it was lilac-colored and had all my information on it for my letterhead. I told the computer to set up the letterhead. Okay, should have worked right? Wrong. I had a column of lilac and my address, phone number, and email address. Well would have been okay but no name. They could call the phone number and not know who they would be talking too. Well, I had to make up a name of a business to put on the letterhead and it still didn't have my name. Two hours of trying to make a letterhead. Then after I got mine finally made and my hair was missing a few strands they wanted me to make a new letterhead for a brain injury support group. Sure what do you use except a brain? I found a picture of a brain that I thought would work but my instructor didn't quite like my choice of picture. Okay, new picture. Too big for the page. Oh, well get to learn how to use the tools to make the pic smaller. Finally got that done. Thought I was done. No such luck. I had to put in someone's name and write a letter on this letterhead too. Oh ya, oh ya! Finally done with that and finally, I get to use google to look for a job for an hour. Every time I found a job, one of the class favorites, and I mean that sarcastically, would need help from the instructor and no one else could get help for the next half hour because she couldn't understand anything. One question at a time but not save questions for the whole time into one period with the instructor and the rest of us get to fight our way through. Today was not a good Monday.
Well, today was a fun day in class. I know my journal is long and I meant it to be like a diary. I today in the class had a call from my caseworker and she told me there was a job at the local library that was just posted and she thought I would be perfect for it. Amazing this is the second job that I have applied for with my new training. The other job is working in the Clerical pool for the county office. Well, there is something else that I realized today. My husband loves me dearly but told me when we got married that he didn't like the fact that my friends walked all over me. Today I finally realized that hey he was right. I can do anything now with my new training. I will do what I am being trained for and not let anyone tell me I can't anymore. I learned that I had to change when I was almost blind six months ago before I had my cataracts removed. No one can hurt me unless I let them. No one can cause me to fail except myself. In class, I am running two weeks ahead of schedule.
Well, today I didn't go to class. I went to two funerals together. I knew the one lady that passed away. She was a very Godly woman. She was one hundred years young. She taught me so much in the 15 months I took care of her. Her sister in law was the second funeral and she was 103 years old. She was also a very Godly woman. She was never married. I was a little scared of going even though I know the whole family, all five generations.
Well, I have been sick for two days last week. Missed classes. Today was my first day back. I did what amounted to a checkbook ledger. Then I added a slide to my PowerPoint presentation on Alzheimer's. I learn more about that disease every day because I belong to an online Alzheimer's support group. I try to pass on what I have learned to some of the people who are just starting that journey. I only have till May 5th till I am done with classes as far as I know. Today I found out that my caseworker is going to make sure I get a new set of dentures. The time I have left is going to be trying to remember what I have learned so far
The teacher decided to have me add on to my Alzheimer's presentation in PowerPoint. I can't figure out if she is interested in the subject or I need help in PowerPoint. Luckily I know the subject. I am ahead of schedule for class completion.
It takes a lot to frustrate me but today at school my frustration bought me to tears. I was trying to set up a simple page of information in Microsoft Word. I had my text boxes where they needed to be. Everything looked like it would be easy. WRONG!!!!!! I had the first text area in. I needed to make my second text area have a border. Well, the computer and I had different ideas. Called instructor and to no avail did we get that done so we lost all the information and had... to start again. Oh goody. The teacher and I tried the second time to do the same page again. Same problem and the keyboard suddenly decided that I and it were not going to type the same thing. The second copy went and start for the third time. Well, the third time we got two areas of information in and then lost it again. I told the teacher I give up and say, uncle. Fourth time on the document I had to call the teacher for every section we were going to do. Finally, I got it done. One other document got done in 4 and a half hours. Had to drive home in the rain which I hate. Immediately took a chill pill so I can get over wanting to cry. I have never been so frustrated in my whole life.
Wow, today was so much different than yesterday. I got the documents that I had to learn done in no time. At the break, we had a feast because today was the end of classes for one. She made homemade bread pudding with raisins and had Bolivarian crème filling to use as frosting. She made homemade cinnamon rolls. It was all great, Next week Thursday will be my last day, I have applied for a few positions which I have not heard back from. One is a library, one is the county office and one is the VA. I hope the VA calls. My ten-key skills are up to 107 keystrokes per minute. I can finally type 40 words per minute. The long climb from 19 words per minute.
Today was a bad day in class. I didn't feel real good. I had to do one document in Excel and one in Access. The last document I had to type today was one that took a lot of work figuring out how to do it. I had two options: I could either use Excel or Word. I had to create a menu of drinks from a coffee shop and the prices. All the Flavors and all the Sugar-Free Flavors. I finally after trying to do the document in both Excel and Word decided on Excel. Most people consider Excel just for numbers but I used the blocks as areas to put text and it worked out pretty good. My typing speed was a whopping 34 words a minute today and 97 kpm.
Wow, where to begin today. It was fun. Disappointed in my typing speed but it will get better as I use it more now. My KPM speed was 98 today. I had some interesting assignments today. I had to do research on the 25 Largest Companies Worldwide in 2015 according to Forbes magazine. Surprise that Microsoft came in last. I had to set up some different financial forms in Excel and added an additional slide to my PowerPoint Presentation on Alzheimer's. Two more days and then I hope I can find a job. Put in an application tonight at the local gas stop.
Next to the last day. I had fun today. I had to alphabetically set up my teachers business cards of employers. That went well till I spilled them on the floor. Then it was starting over. I had to set up in Excel an example of a Stock dividend chart for a whole year. That took a while. I had to set up a form for every fifteen minutes of a student's day. That was interesting. Then I got to go through QuickBooks. I learned Payroll, Invoices, Receipts, Ordering.....I can't believe that it has been the longest six weeks and the shortest six weeks. I can't believe how much a person can learn in six weeks.
Yesterday was the last day of classes. It was a bittersweet day. There are a few people I will miss. These are the ones that could make me laugh. I was lucky when I got home. My husband had made dinner. My MIL was here to congratulate me on completing my classes. The husband had made Indian tacos. Now with what I have learned, I can now go to work again in a job that isn't going to hurt my shoulder. Thanks for reading my journal on changing careers.
Just a footnote. Today I got a job. It isn't in the computer field but it is different than what I had done for years. I am so excited.