I’m lucky enough to be working, and not only is it close to home (especially since I’ve moved closer to the area), it’s also a good job with enough money coming in each month for me to save a little for my own place (here’s me staring at the far flung future).
But, my job is also a contract, and that means that I’m on the hunt for a new one.
There are a lot of stressful situations in life, but generally, most of us get on with them and deal. For some reason, this year I’ve given myself two ‘Goals’ that crop up as decent enough stressors for anyone – moving house and getting a new job.
For those dealing with anxiety over any uncertain situation, you’ll probably understand that I’m a little unsettled at the moment. Forget the anxieties of wondering if all your skills you’ve built up over the years match up to the job spec, one of the main worries is whether you’ll get the right job for you. Regardless of getting through the interview stage(s), or even getting a tour around the team/office, wondering whether the job is the right one for you is something that crops up on each and every job application process.
Nine years ago, I had the misfortune to graduate the year of the financial crisis (hello old friend, 2008). However, though I was one of the many thousands upon thousands of people out of work during those times, I (very thankfully) was one of those who somehow managed to find enough work to keep the bills paid in between occasionally receiving job seekers allowance (only about £50 or so a week, being unfortunately under 25 at the time and not old enough to receive an additional £25 a week).
So instead of being bored out my skull – and trying my best to get enough skills for a decent job – I went out and did temp jobs, work experience (unpaid, and paid – that’s pretty much just expenses), contract jobs, any permanent roles, and volunteer work in the space of time between paid work (volunteering according to the government, means you’re actually employed, so you don’t get job seekers allowance here). And oh yes, I’ve been made redundant twice, and one company went bankrupt whilst owing me £2,500 in wages. I’m amazed I’m still eager to jump into the old employment stream… it’s definitely been an interesting decade.
Now approaching thirty, I know exactly what I want.
I’m a writer. Words are my passion, my forte, my food and drink, my – well, you get the idea. I think I’ve always wondered what I’m supposed to do in the world, how I will fuel my passion for reading (which I learnt at such a young age, I can’t remember learning it). Now, all I can think about is what I want to do, and that starry-eyed eight-year-old in my head, still dreaming of the future and wondering about her place in it, seems to pop up in the back of my mind, telling me I should stick with what I love, regardless of the present realities kicking my adult butt into action.
My mind is currently a battlefield of two sides, constantly warring against each other in an endless foray of arguments and opinions. Shall I stay in the situation I am in, weather out the unknown whilst trying my best to write in the spare hours of the day, or should I take the leap of faith and do what I love, regardless of the setbacks or things I might lose in the process?
For those in the same boat – wondering which path to take – I say let your gut take centre stage.
People say listen to your head or listen to your heart. The head tells you what’s good in terms of society. You’ve learnt to play a part in life, we all have. Success, in the eyes of modern society, is going to school, learning what you’re supposed to learn, memorising facts and the right way of thinking for exams, graduating from University, getting a good job, finding a partner, and basically contributing to the rules of the nation.
The heart, in contrast, leads us to do what we like, regardless of others or the health benefits. I think that although there is some good in listening to your heart, it’s not necessarily the best thing for you. Like opening the fridge and on one side you’ve got vegetables and protein to cook a healthy meal, and on the other side, you’ve got an oven-cook pizza. The question is, which one do you choose?
So I go with my gut. The best of both worlds. You could have your oven-cook pizza, but only if you’ve had a healthy lunch. Or go with the veg and chicken/fish and treat yourself to a hot chocolate in the evening.
Maybe there’s an answer to everything that’s the best of both worlds.
Maybe, if you’re wanting to change jobs or focus on your passions instead of your job, you start small and compromise in the short-term. Not all of us have the luxury of parents who support our dreams, or the knowing before we leave education of what our purpose is. Some of us are at work, doing a job we don’t mind, but it’s definitely not motivating. I’ve known many people who’ve changed careers and been successful and happy from it, and I take comfort in that.
So, I say if you love to write – as I do – write. Start a journal if you haven’t already. Find a local newspaper or online magazine and volunteer your work if you have the time. Or create your own blog on a subject you’re interested in. I’ve just finished a great little (free) course on how on Skillshare.
If you love to draw, put your creations on DeviantArt, start an Instagram account just for your art, develop a portfolio website either as a standalone website, or a profile on The Dots or Creative Pool.
If you’re into a particular sport (and sorry here, I’m not sporty at all), I’d say get to your local gym and find a team or create one on Meetup.com.
There are more opportunities out there now than ever before, thanks to the internet and social media. Get the best out of it and one day you’ll be where you want to be.
And I’ll be right there with you, trying to find my little corner of the world where I belong.