Realities of the job: Forty-Hours and Benefits, Too
It never fails. At the end of a semester (quarter, whatever) , CRM firms eveywhere are flush with bright-eyed eager college grads. Most of these young people have no idea what they are getting themselves into. So I will lay out this job, as I have seen and experienced it these past years.
Physical stuff. Get used to it. Plenty of people imagine we sit around all day slowly trowelling back some fabulous discovery. CRM firms are businesses. Their business is to make money, not to be your passport to fabulous destinations and exotic adventure. Excavations are fast and feel more like working on a chain gang in some terrible movie about a corrupt southern sheriff. Surveys are faster. One reasonably healthy grad I worked with recently, threw up twice on her first day of a rotation, and decided to quit right there. Plenty of people in this business are total gym rats, runners, or ultra marathoners. This job is definitely not for the out of shape.
Money. Get used to being good at living frugally. For every month where the money just rolls in, there will be plenty of months where you will be collecting unemployment. It’s usually nothing personal. It’s just the nature of the work that CRM firms get. Bad weather, permit delays, and clients that run out of money are just some of the reasons that a company you thought you were on good terms with suddenly stop returning your calls. Which obviously makes it so easy to pay bills, repay student loans, or make rent.
And this job takes one hell of a toll on your personal life. There will be many a year where you either don’t have the time or the money to spend the holidays with your family. And there are plenty of rotations where I get back to my apartment and sleep for fifteen hours straight. Sometimes I don’t even make it into bed, I just fall asleep on the floor.
Plus I can’t forget the Spouses who are states or entire countries away from each other for months at a time. Lovers whose work schedule perfectly coincides with your days off. And all the regular craziness that goes along with relationships, too. Like many people who have difficult jobs, where everyone you know does the same thing, and you almost always end up talking about work, personal lives are something other, happier people get to have.
CRM archaeology can be a fun job. It can be a rewarding career. But you should not kid yourself, about the sort of life you are signing yourself up for.