I have been trying to learn new things and acquire new skills for the past few weeks through reading books and articles. My current job does not exactly require much skill and I was hoping to change that by getting a new job. This week however, I was faced with a new challenge. One that doesn’t happen very often at my current job. The receptionist got into an injury and her backup, got sick. My team leader came up to me and asked me if I would be able to do a quick training and jump on the job right away as an emergency replacement. New challenges don’t come up this often and normally I would refuse to do it. But since I was trying to acquire new skills and experience, I decided to take on the challenge.
Just to put this in perspective, never have I ever been a receptionist before plus my French was weak plus I hated speaking on the phone plus I am shy. Now you can see how this would be a major challenge for me. Receptionist jobs in Quebec usually require bilingualism to be mandatory since the majority of the customers are French. So here I was, accepting a job that required bilingualism and dealing with strangers. I was literally trained for 30 min in French. Information OVERLOAD. I also knew very little about the other departments within the company. She gave me a quick training and then BAM! next thing I knew I was on the 1994 switchboard (don’t ask me why they haven’t upgraded it yet) and taking calls, rustling frantically through all the papers that were given to me. Worst of all, I was alone. I was only supposed to be on the job for 1 hour but instead ended up doing it for 7 hours total (Not yet sure if I will be stuck doing it tomorrow). I think the reason my team leader requested me of all people on the team was because I am good at working under pressure and very quick to learn.
How was my first time experience as a receptionist under this short time period? I can tell you, it was very stressful. For the first hour I was frantic and all over the place. I was lost at times and didn’t understand some clients. After the first hour though, I started to get used to it. Now, I feel that I am more at ease and sort of know how to deal with the pissed off customers. Overall, I found this to be a real challenge for me but it taught me not to be afraid of people. I also found myself trying to relax and ease my mind to control the situation. I found a way to control my stress. My team leader asked me if I was interested in being one of the primary backups but I said I would prefer not to. This was a one-time challenge for me. Only if it was a big emergency and he had no other choice, I would volunteer to do the job. Other than that, this is not something I would be happy being stuck with. Not my ideal type of job. Regardless, I don’t regret having accepted to take on this position just for the experience. Challenges are good and it was sort of like a test to see what I am capable of and what my limitations are.
Also, this morning I decided to go eat breakfast with my coworker. We were planning this for some time now almost a year.. but we never got around to it until today. Let me tell you, I am not a morning person at all. Even though it’s been close to 3 years now since I have getting up to work at 8 am, I am still not a morning person. On top of that, I live in Laval therefore I would need to get up at around 5:20 ish and leave by 6 to get to Peel station by 7 am. And I am a night owl. So this was extremely difficult for me but I did it anyway.
And I don’t regret it at all because it was one of the nicest mornings I’ve had in a long while. Breakfast for an hour with a coworker and then coming into work at 8 am, it felt very weird sort of like a dream somehow. I walked into work and it literally felt as if half the day was gone but in fact, it had just started. I felt happier, I felt more productive and much more alert than usual. My coworker did as well.
What a difference a simple change in your morning can be for your entire day. That is why I think I will begin to read “The Miracle Morning” by Tim Feriss after I finish reading “The Happiness Advantage.” Now I see how much more productive my work can be if I merely invest an hour in the morning before work to do something that makes me happy.
Try it, do something different. Challenge yourself even if you might end up failing. Failing faster is the key to success. Learn from your mistakes, pick yourself back up and fail again. Fail as many times as you can. Don’t be afraid because there really is nothing to be afraid of.
Make use of your mornings. Change your life.
Good luck, X.O.X.O.