I’ve made a huge mistake- take that saying with a pint of salt.
Mistakes are part of growing up- it’s what allows us to grow and learn and they’re inevitable.
Even though I know this, I have a huge fear of making mistakes, especially when it comes to work and my career. The tiniest misstep can feel like doomsday. Recently I have discovered that my biggest issue in career related decisions is I often make them in view of what others think, and often forget about what I want.
Part of the reason I created this blog is to get back into writing- my favourite form of expression that I lost touch with after starting uni. Probably up until the point I was 18, before I moved to London, writing was my biggest active passion. Whether it be diary writing, writing articles for the school newspaper, or creating scripts for my dream television shows- writing was the one activity I could always turn to.
I was convinced I’d do a university degree in journalism- yet I ended up applying for every unrelated major- from fashion merchandising to international business. I can’t really remember what led to this decision, but it happened, and I don’t regret it because it led me to London and London is home.
So four years after acquiring a business degree with a concentration in marketing, I started looking for graduates jobs in marketing and PR. Eventually I succeeded, but found that it just wasn’t clicking for me.
I then wound up in office management. This was something that at the start, I thoroughly enjoyed. It was motivating and challenging, but I could also leave the job where it belonged and enjoy my spare time. I often went beyond what was required of me, often working longer hours, but many times I happily did so without anyone needing to ask. I built great relationships with my coworkers and for the first time in a long time I felt confident- in myself, in my abilities. I had stability- something I value equally as much as I value change (albeit I fear the latter significantly more).
Then, about 9 months into the job, shit started hitting the fan. I just wasn’t enjoying it anymore, the company felt like it was falling apart, and every mistake turned into anxiety catastrophe red zone. I got a promotion, which I knew I didn’t want (and should have pushed back on) but I was convinced it was the right thing to do. Unsurprisingly, I was very unhappy in the new role and felt a desperate urge to find a new job.
I thought, I need to go back into office management. I want a job that pays well and where I can just do my hours and work with lovely people. So I started searching and rather quickly found myself a new job at a company that I have actually no real interest in what they do.
So I started the new job, exactly a week ago.
Fast forward to today, Sunday, the night before I start week 2 and my heart sinks with the thought of having to back in.
I made a huge mistake.
See, all of this may look fantastic on my CV but it means nothing to me and is so unfulfilling. Also, it gives me a lot of anxiety- anxiety that I shouldn’t have to be dealing with.
You see, the office is composed of 50+ people and my role is to basically ensure that they are happy and it’s a real social role. I am a very shy person- once you meet me and become my friend, I’m the loudest person in the room but it takes a while for me to get there. While everyone is friendly, I can already detect the corporate fake-ness between all of them and I just know it’s not for me. A few years ago I would tell myself, even though it doesn’t make you happy, who cares? It’s not right for you to feel shy and quiet and you have to force yourself to break out of your shell.
Tonight, I find myself thinking, fuck that! I am allowed to be reserved and come out of my shell in my own time, I don’t have to prove anything to anyone.
A business degree and office management work may be great for a career plan- but it’s not my career plan. I don’t have a plan and I don’t want one. I’m 25- I’m still figuring out what I want in life.
I can’t tell you what I’ll want in 5 years, but I’ll tell you what I want at this very second.
I’m a writer?
I instantly think back to the Jane the Virgin premiere episode where we see Jane and Rafael’s first encounter- Jane tells Rafael she’s a teacher when she’s being practical but a writer when she’s being brave.
Office management for me is practical, but it’s not what I want or who I am. I want to be brave.
So now I look at this job I have accepted and tell myself: I’ve made a huge mistake.
But, like I said, take that with a pint of salt. Mistakes are not definitive and the endpoint- you can turn them around and at times like this they are blessings in disguise in helping you uncover what you don’t want to do and lead you to the path of what you maybe want to do.
Writing brings me joy.
It may not make me money, it may not be safe, it might not be stable- but it puts a smile on my face.
I much rather write on this blog everyday and make money serving pints at the local pub than be sat behind a desk with a knot in my stomach working for corporations.
Tune in- I’ll keep you posted.