There’s an ongoing joke that Jamaican women tend to hold more than one job.
So funny in fact that when I talk about all my jobs with some of the people in my circle, they laugh about the stereotype and compare me to my sisters in the Caribbean.
I understand the old saying that a jack-of-all-trades is often the master of none, and to some degree I’ll admit it rings true. However, just because a person is the best at something doesn’t mean he or she can’t also try to be better than most at several other things.
It’s been my experience that all this generally comes down to are two things: an unparalleled work ethic and a willingness to continuously educate yourself.
That’s mostly how I’m living my life post TV news.
Since leaving the anchor desk last August, I’m on a new course and promoting my services at every turn! There’s not enough space on a business card to print a job description for all that I’m up for! I hustle as an author, singer, songwriter, voice over and video producer, public speaker, military blogger, radio talk show host, Uber driver, freelance reporter, and last but certainly not least I speak my truth through the columns of this newspaper.
I don’t feel bad about it. I don’t! There’s no shame in being creative, industrious and sometimes ingenious. I’ll let you in on a little secret. Sometimes in business dealings when I’m asked if I can perform a certain task for a project, I say yes, even if the work is a wee bit foreign to me. Then I work like heck to quickly figure it out for favorable outcomes. The mission is always mutual satisfaction for all concerned.
From early on in my life, I watched my dad and my uncle create a string of successful small businesses in our community in South Florida: from restaurants, to auto repair and sales, to cleaning services. I learned that hard work brings results and opportunities. There’s that other side of the coin, as well. Sometimes when you’re trying to shape a bright future, you will have to suffer through unbearable times in order to reap great rewards.
When I consider all the benefits of showing up and showing out at several jobs and not just one, I’m actually challenged to see the humor in tagging Jamaican women and men in a clever punch line.
There’s nothing funny about being willing to do everything that needs to be done to get to where you’d like to go. There’s nothing admirable about being content or comfortable either. That’s me. If that’s you, too, then I encourage you not to be discouraged by the many ways in which you may choose to go about your goal.
There is nothing funny about taking on more than one job to pay off your car or to keep your lights on and a roof over your head. None of us can or should be pigeonholed. A big part of success is continuously reinventing and challenging ourselves. It often requires us to do things that others aren’t willing to do, like working two to three jobs.
I’ll probably be hustling for a long time. I’ll smile, but I really won’t listen to the people who say I’m scatter-brained, doing work that’s beneath me, or doing too much. All the while, I’ll be thinking: here’s to doing all that you have to now, to get into a position to do all you want to do later.
I like what one writer said about dreamers; that they hardly ever have one dream. They hardly ever have one gift. It resonates mon!
You can reach Pam Saulsby at firstname.lastname@example.org and follower her on Twitter @pamsaulsby. Check out her next musical performance Friday night, June 19, at Proof Five Points Bar in Raleigh.