Career Worries

https://mobile.twitter.com/BluMarTen/status/605128443475456001

I don’t currently have a career. I used to, but I hated it and now I have no idea what I want to do. I’ve got so far down a career path (masters degree) to be able to swap to another profession at the same level but too old to seriously think about retraining.

The main problem is  that I don’t feel that I’ve been very good at any of my previous jobs. I’ve never really felt like I’ve made a difference or helped anyone. I’ve mostly been shouted at or complained to. I have been frequently patronized (I’m sure you can work the photocopier better than me, can you just run me off 10 copies? Will you be serving the refreshments? Are you here as a placement student?) and have often made people cry. I have had jobs that have made me so stressed I couldn’t sleep. I have sat in my office at 10pm on a Friday night and asked myself what I’m doing with my life.

I’d love to be a writer but I genuinely don’t know how that happens. How do you decide what to write about? How do you make money from it? I’m from the West Midlands, where jobs are based in factories and involve manual labour. I guess the answer is to write something first then see what you can do with it? Maybe start with short stories?

As always, any help or comments would be much appreciated!

Things I’ve learnt…

1. Be true to yourself. Fake people are incredibly obvious and really annoying. Be diplomatic, but be truthful. Don’t be afraid to like things that no one else does. One day you’ll meet someone else who gets it, I promise.

2. Trust your instincts. If something feels wrong, don’t do it. Working in recruitment I’ve had lots of experiences where I’ve felt that someone is wrong for a job that, on paper, they’re totally right for – and for the most part I’ve been correct. If you know that something feels off but you don’t know why, I’ve found that just saying “I’m not sure, there’s something I can’t put my finger on” can help to start a conversation about your reservations. It also encourages others to stop and think.

3. Don’t take no for an answer. Whatever it is, keep going at it. Try to think of different ways to get what you want. Get feedback on why you’ve been rejected and work on those points. Ask for help from everyone you can think of. Don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty.

4. Have a plan. If you have an ambition, write it down and work out the steps you need to take to get to it. Set a timeline. Set realistic goals. Be prepared to be flexible when life gets in the way. Even if you have to abandon the plan for 6 months (or 6 years!) and start back at the beginning, never give it up completely.

5. What goes around comes around. Also be careful with your soul. The world has a funny way of repaying you for your previous actions.

6. Listen to your elders. Despite the pace at which the world has changed, basic human relationships are fundamentally the same as they always have been. In my experience, older people couldn’t care less what you think of them so their advice is usually bullshit free and super honest.

7. Make time for yourself. Don’t run yourself ragged. Get enough sleep (ignore all this 7-8 hours rubbish, I need at least 9 to function properly) and drink lots of water. If you have kids (I don’t) I’m not going to patronize you by suggesting helpful tips – I guess just try to get through the day. After seeing some of my friends with their newborns I am in total awe of you.

8. Challenge negative behaviour. I know this can be hard (I once accused a UK CEO of sexism) but if you don’t say something it normalises the behaviour and makes you part of the problem. I have this argument all the time about people who say “it doesn’t matter if I say policeMAN” or “why wouldn’t I call her Mrs …, she’s married”. The semantics themselves aren’t the point but they’re part of the bigger issue. As far as I’m concerned, someone’s gender is irrelevant to their job title just as their marital status is irrelevant to their name. If someone chooses to become a Mrs then that’s totally their decision, but don’t assume that’s the default reaction to marriage. I could expand on this topic but that’s not the point of this post so I’ll return to the subject in the future.

9. Remember that we’re here for a good time not a long time. Don’t beat yourself up about past mistakes. Don’t obsess over small issues. Try to get things in proportion. My nan used to tell me “you die if you worry, you die if you don’t so why worry at all”.

10. Be nice. I can’t state this enough. I’ve had my fair share of negativity thrown at me in the past and it can be incredibly hard to rise above it. You need to remember that people who say nasty things only do it to make themselves feel better about what I can only assume are deeply sad little lives. Pity the haters who need to stoop to that level. Remember that jealousy will get you nowhere.

Spread the love people!

I write because…

*This is a 15 minute free writing exercise as part of the writing 101 challenge. Please forgive any repetition or meandering thought processes!

I write because there’s all these thoughts and opinions insideof me that I need to let out, otherwise I’ll go crazy.

I write because I need a challenge and a focus in my life.

I write because I’ve read enough free ebooks/blogs/fan fiction to think that I can do better.

I write because I’m egotistical enough to think that someone, somewhere will be interested in what I have to say.

I write because I want to connect with the world.

I write because I’ve read my old diaries and they are unintentionally hilarious.

I write because I want to attempt an authentic snapshot of my life.

I write because hindsight is a wonderful thing.

I write because I believe that if you work at something you love, good things will happen.

I write because I want people to understand me.

I write because I want to spread some positivity and happiness.

I write because I find it cathartic.

I write because I love words and language.

I write because I enjoy it.

I write because I want to meet Neil Gaiman.

 

It’s all about me

Hello world,

Allow me to introduce myself, I don’t think we’ve met before. My name is Lucinda. I’m 33 and from the West Midlands – no, you don’t have to do the accent. I’m unemployed despite having two degrees and a load of professional experience. I usually work in HR which is an utter nightmare. For example, here’s a few situations which I’ve had to devote weeks of my time to:

* someone used the wrong milk – we need to investigate it as potential theft

*a dog was left in an employee’s car – can you look into it?

*someone has hurt their back having sex on top of a company car, are they entitled to free physio?

*someone is off sick but when we went round their house they appeared round the corner on a white horse, is this allowed?

*we need to employ a new temp – the old one has moved on and there’s no one to make the toast

*as a manager I shouldn’t have to look after all these people issues – that’s your job

*I’ve had to have a vasectomy because I’m Catholic, if you don’t let me have paid time off I’ll sue you for religious discrimination

*You took too long investigating my initial grievance so I’m launching a new one about the delay

*We can’t change his company car allowance, his ex wife had it written into their divorce settlement

So, I’m unemployed. Unsurprisingly, I haven’t been particularly motivated to find a new role. DISCLAIMER ALERT : I’m not claiming any kind of benefits (not that there’s anything wrong with that) I’m living off my meagre savings. This blog is about my life at home and what you can get up to when you’re not occupied 9-5 and have no income. (Seriously, who works those hours? I think you get my point though.)

I have a number of interests which I’ll hopefully be blogging about – gardening, interior design, antiques, reading, cooking, eating out, art, culture – as well as relationships, people, family and life in general. As I’m at home all day I wanted to do something that would connect with the outside world and would use my brain (I’ve literally forgotten how to write). I’d love to gain a few regular followers and to hear your opinions on what I have to say.