My memories of primary school and high school have been repressed, not because I didn’t make great friends (eventually I did), but because I hated the whole routine of going from class to class, having to spend time reading countless books that bore no interest to what I actually wanted to do in life. I realise now I was suffering from anxiety at the prospect of change and trying out new things – something which isn’t taught in school. I never knew what I wanted to be in life and would draw a blank when asked in lessons. There was a huge amount of emphasis put on what career you were going to do, however because I didn’t know, I felt I had no aim or direction and was just studying for the sake of it.
As soon as I was able to study something I was interested in, I did so, via my degree at an agricultural college. I got my degree but didn’t sail through it like I thought I would. Again this was down to the set routine of how information is taught. It’s like drill work, sit in a classroom, listen, contribute, go home and study more, come back and sit your exams. It wasn’t how I liked to do things and as soon as I got out of that routine I started to develop my own career ambitions.
Seeking a new direction
An opportunity arose and I decided to relocate and forge my way onto a new path by joining the media industry. I was working for a magazine that related to my degree and developed new skills in writing through this avenue. I then progressed to write more serious content, which was in the interest of the public, before moving to the charity sector. I’m currently waiting to start a new role, again in the public sector, which is something that pushed my skills to the limit, but was highly rewarding. I feel I’ve bounced from job to job, with gaps of freelance work in the middle and was starting to get down about not finding one job that I was committed to for the rest of my life.
Losing my way
Throughout all the moves I’ve always felt under intense pressure to succeed and push myself to new heights. By thinking like this I have never said no at work, always taken on more tasks than I should and put too much thought into trying to progress on to the next ring of the ladder. However, what I’ve failed to notice is how happy I’ve been in the roles I have had. I don’t always have to seek out a promotion; sometimes the grass isn’t always greener on the other side of the fence. I’m now working with a new mind set and realising that it doesn’t matter if someone gains a promotion before me, what matters is whether I’m happy with my work, life balance.
The word promotion isn’t just about exceeding in work, it also relates to your personal life. We base so much on our careers, probably down to what we’re taught in school, but ultimately we’ve got to enjoy our life outside of work just as much, if not more. That’s the whole reason why we work. Isn’t it supposed to be we work to live, not we live to work?
Doing nothing isn’t always a bad thing
I’m now starting to enjoy the freedom I have, without thinking it’s wasted time, while I wait to start my new role. It doesn’t matter if someone is gaining more experience than me right now, I’m happy where I am and will start to re-engage my brain when I head in for my first day. Right now I’m enjoying the time I have to explore and relax.