Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Two unexpected compliments

Over the last few days I've had two unexpected compliments.

The first was on a Negotiation Skills course I went on for work. I didn't want to go, but unfortunately my negotiation skills weren't good enough for me to get out of it. The irony.

We did a group exercise in negotiating and afterwards I was complimented on my body language, particularly the way I make points by making a circle with my thumb and fore-finger to emphasise the point I'm trying to make. This is apparently an inclusive enforcing gesture. It's taught to politicians to get the point across without alienating people, but I do it naturally. The direct comparison the guy made was with Barack Obama. (Yes, really!)

I've been asked a few times if I've ever considered a career in politics and while it's tempted me in the past (enough to do Politics as an A Level subject, for example) I'm not sure it's a career I'd want to pursue. Doing something like serial trouble-maker Mark Thomas would interest me, but I couldn't sell my soul to a political party, and it's very hard to run as an independent.

The second compliment was on the youth weekend away when one of the other leaders, "Edna", a teacher by trade, asked me if I'd ever done teacher training or been a teacher. She was really surprised when I said no, because according to her I was doing everything right in communicating with the kids, holding their attention and getting my message across. I felt a bit embarrassed really because it's quite a thing when someone in any industry tells you that you would be good at the job they do.

Again, teaching is something which I've considered. In fact, my dear old dad still brings up the possibility of me going into education on a regular basis. I think he thinks it might be my real calling. But realistically I would hate teaching as a career. Most of my friends who are teachers are burning out and any joy they had for the job has long since leached away. One or two still like getting up for work, but most don't. And I think it would kill me slowly too.

I get to talk to the kids in the youth about things which really matter. Subjects with an eternal applicability. Why anyone would want to teach kids stuff that doesn't matter or that they're not passionate about beats me. But then I guess that may be why so many teachers fail their students.

Still it's nice to know I have a couple of potential career options open if I fancy a change.

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