Back when I was a teenager, I thought that my career was going to be everything to me.
I thought that earning lots of money, loving every minute of what I did and chasing my passions would be easy and that it would also be a mark of success.
I had visions of working in central London at a top-profile women’s magazine, and everything just snapping straight into place.
But ya know… as I’ve got a little older and a little wiser, I’ve realized that actually- your job and what you chose to do to make money, don’t totally define the person you are.
So, what happened?
Well, the first ‘proper’ job (not including retail or teaching) that I got- was nothing like I’d imagined.
I started working partly in recruitment and partly in payroll.
It was awful.
There’s a reason that there are so many jobs in recruitment guys. The hours are long, the job is boring and it’s insanely hard-work for very little return.
I literally couldn’t believe how much my illusion had been shattered by the place that I was in.
It also seemed like every damn person smoked in that office, so I started smoking to be part of the group (mmmm tar) Plus, most of the people there were slightly older than me, so spent a lot of time talking about children or their husbands. Yep, good, great- I have nothing to contribute.
I was finding the entire atmosphere awful, I was hating the job and I couldn’t find any fulfilment or meaning in it at all. The woman who I worked under in payroll was also an ALMIGHTY BITCH. (Like srs, I’m talking Devil wears Prada levels.)
So I quit. On the spot. Bam.
Luckily for me, it worked out.
I immediately found another job- the one that I work in now. I got hired to finally put my skills to good use. To work in a journalistic and social media environment. I honestly don’t think I’ve ever been happier than the moment I got that phone-call.
Again, I went in all guns blazing feeling like it was going to be the perfect place for me. Everything was going to be amazing and I would be always fulfilled and happy there.
And in a way- I am happy and fulfilled.
I work for massive global clients, I love the people I work with and I have a lot of fun here, but after nearly 2-years in a steady job, I’ve learnt a lesson about work and your career.
It’s not the be-all and end-all, as my job does not define me.
I think as a society we’re so used to making a giant assumption about the kind of person we’re dealing with based on their job title.
It’s one of the first questions people ask you when you met them.
“So, what do you do?”
My job title is ‘account manager’- but I’m not a bossy, stuffy bitch- who manages accounts. (What you would probably assume from that)
Yes, I do manage accounts, but it’s the stuff I do OUTSIDE of work that really defines me.
My job doesn’t tell you how passionate I am (lol there’s that word again) about writing longer feature articles. I don’t do a huge amount related to mental health, charity or popular culture. My manager status doesn’t tell you that I love reading or watching Gavin and Stacey repeats or planning holidays or drinking tea in my pants…
It’s just a job.
It’s there to serve a purpose.
I think it’s so important that I enjoy what I’m doing. I want to be fulfilled, get on with the people around me… and obviously mate, I have rent, bills and a life to sustain- but at the end of the day. Work is always going to be WORK.
I’m not going to embrace every day or skip to work with a glorious beaming smile. Most mornings yes, I would rather snuggle back in with my other half- than drive 40 minutes in the cold.
Sometimes, when I have 4 hours of meetings in a day- I want to pull my hair out.
But, I feel bloody grateful that I’m able to work in a job I like, in a nice area and I have enough money to sustain the life I want to live.
But there’s an element of getting older that has taught me to manage my expectations slightly.
Chasing your dreams is damn important, and I’m glad that I got out of somewhere making me miserable to something more suited.
I’m sure a lot of people would feel the same if you spoke to them about it.
My job gives me the oppurtunity to make my life exciting, fulfilling and one I’m damn proud of. I have the money to travel, to go out, to buy nice things, to run a car, a house and get married.
Yes, it would be a damn dream to be able to write books and make enough money to live off that. But for now, I guess work is always going to be work?