Last week I had dinner with a friend who, for the purposes of this blog, I will call Julie. Julie has an honours science degree from one of the UK’s top universities, lots of great work experience, and a very well-payed job for someone only two years out of uni. The problem is, she hates it. Every time we get together she seems increasingly depressed about her job and, in turn, her future.
When Julie took her job a year ago, she wasn’t sure what she wanted to do with her life but knew she had rent to pay. She found the job posting, applied without thinking much about it, and was successful. Now she can’t get out and it’s killing her. Recently she decided she’d like to try out PR, so she is now applying for jobs in that field but as she has no experience she knows her chances of finding a way in are small. She can’t cut down her hours and she’s run out of legitimate-sounding reasons to take time off for interviews. Her only choice seems to be between continuing doing work she hates or quitting to pursue some more training or experience with the risk of being unemployed afterwards.
Julie’s fate befalling me is one thing I’m really worried about. This voice in my head keeps telling me to apply for anything I have a chance at, even if it’s a job I don’t really want, but I’m starting to get better at ignoring it. There seems to be a lot of temp work available, and I’ve realised that there is no shame in taking it until I find a job that I really want.
Yes, it would be easier for me to apply for jobs that align with my previous experience (mostly education), but I know that’s not the field I want to be in and that taking another education job may pigeonhole me. Life may be massively uncertain this way, but I’d much rather that, than take what seems like the easy road now and risk spending the future trapped in the wrong job.