After a while of part-time tutoring and teaching, I found I still wasn’t making enough. I was spending way too much time traveling around the city of Ottawa trying to make ends meet with barely 20 hours to my work week.
To be fair, a teacher’s wage is excellent, but it’s hard finding full time. If I could teach full time, I would. Hence why we applied to the JET Programme – we got student loans we gotta pay!
Up until a few weeks ago, I was working as an ESL TA, a Fee for Service Instructor for ESL and also tutoring for cash to various young students in the area. These positions would take me to St. Laurent, to downtown, then to the residential suburbs of Ottawa, making my commutes about 2.5 hours… per day – sometimes longer with traffic!
Luckily, I live in an amenity-filled neighbourhood. I needed a new job closer to home; one that didn’t have me travel day and night for work.
After my graduation from my TESL program in April 2018, and then finding a teaching position not too long after as a TA, I vowed to never work retail again! Most of you reading this have probably worked a retail position at least once in your life, and should know my pain in saying I’ll never work at McD’s, Timmies, or a grocery store after having a taste of an adult job.
It definitely wasn’t easy to allow my self to stoop back to the level of retail. But this place was a block away from my house and I had a friend recommend that it wasn’t so bad. I needed something extra to be financially comfortable. And making coffee on the side of English teaching seemed alright.
To my surprise, Starbucks is going really well so far. It’s actually been one of the better companies I’ve worked for part-time. The training was comprehensive, there’s a system for almost everything – cleaning duties and customer service – that make the work experience so much more pleasant than my other experiences working retail. The people I work with are super nice (coffee people are my kind of people) and making specialty coffee is super fun, especially since culinary is a hobby of mine and so I get to add coffee to my skills! I haven’t run into any troubling customers yet, but since I mostly work nights the people who come in are pretty chill. There may or may not be amazing perks…
My time at Starbucks has really made me reprogram my thinking of working retail. My younger self hated it, but I realize I wasn’t being the healthiest version of my self to fully enjoy my experience at work. Long story short, I wasn’t exercising, I was smoking and drinking a lot (student life, yay!) and overall was not in a good space to put myself out there and deal with responsibilities of any kind – while going to school full time. Now, I’ve graduated, been out of school for a year now and I’m just looking to chill and have fun. I’m a lot healthier now, and can fully be present in my daily life.
I am making the most of my time here in Ottawa – might as well have fun with whatever I fill my life with. I encourage the same for my readers – the life you chose to live better be a happy one, or you’ll just dread everyday.