We have just come back from dropping my son at Brunel University for the start of a new era in all of our lives as he embarks on a new 3 year adventure to study Journalism at College and has effectively left home.
It got me pondering about the Toughest Job In The World with a very firm tongue in my cheek!
A long-term player needed for challenging, permanent work in an often exhausting, tiring and overwhelming environment. Candidates must possess excellent communication and organisational skills and be willing to work all day from very early morning, evenings, weekends, and frequent 24-hour shifts or late into the night with interrupted sleep.
You will need negotiation skills, excellent time management skills as well as the ability to knock up a model made out of paper mache and an electric battery at very short notice to say nothing of baking cakes for the school fete, managing a budget, painting rainbows, singing songs late into the night to get your offspring off to sleep, to playing endless rounds of Snakes and Ladders. There are often endless sports matches to attend on Sunday mornings in the freezing cold, music recitals and swimming galas and unfortunately travel expenses are not reimbursed.
You must realise that you will keep this job for the rest of your life and have the enormous responsibility for bringing up happy, confident, well balanced, independent, well rounded and emotionally balanced adults without a handbook.
You will also have to be prepared to be hated, at least temporarily, for saying “no” to too many sweets before dinner, for insisting that they go to bed on time, for getting them off the computer before they’ve finished their very important game, and for insisting they come home from parties at a reasonable hour!
You must be willing to bite your tongue repeatedly as well as accept that you will be indispensable one minute and an embarrassment the next.
ADVANCEMENT AND PROMOTION:
There is no possibility of either. Your job is to remain in the same position for years, without complaining, constantly retraining and updating your skills so that your offspring can ultimately surpass you and leave you to fly the nest without so much as a “thank you” at the end of the adventure.
None required, but on-the-job training is offered on a continually exhausting basis where you make it up most of the time and hope that’ll it’ll all turn out alright in the end !
None as this is a labour of love. In fact, you must pay your offspring, offering frequent raises and bonuses, incentives and rewards both emotionally and financially. A balloon payment is due when they turn 18 and attend college and when they marry you usually contribute an enormous amount of your savings to their “special day.” When you die, you give them whatever income you have left.
There is no pension, no tuition reimbursement, no paid holidays, and no stock options. However, the job offers limitless opportunities for personal growth and free hugs, cuddles, laughter, joy and memories that will last your whole life and the adventure will be the most rewarding and fulfilling job of your entire life.
Good luck Will – I love you.