Today is my birthday.
I am 25.
One quarter of a century old.
I have been out of University now for just over 3 years, and in that time have (technically) worked 5 jobs. 3 x sales (1 x field sales, but that lasted a fortnight), 1 x theatre lackey, and finally 1 x marketing and design assistant.
I’m not going to pretend that I’ve had a hard life or that I’ve really had to struggle to get where I am – thank you middle class parents for making sure of that – but what I have been is somewhat rudderless for the last 12 months, and it’s sort of taken me hitting my ‘¼ life crisis’ as I believe it’s called to recognise a few home truths.
I am lazy but determined. That sounds like a contradiction of terms, partially because it is. I will very happily bumble along, achieving the standard level of success and growth, happily sat in second gear. I can do this for months. I can be average and content. And then, something motivates me. Once I have an idea in my head of what I want to do and can build a plan of how to do it (and don’t forget the SMART goals!), nothing in the world can stop me. I will scheme and plan 24/7 to make sure that everything goes without a hitch.
But then what happens is I get distracted by another project. And another. But at least things get (half) done.
Since I turned 24 I have learned a lot. Learn through failure and all that, but it’s true. I left a job I only liked because of the people that were there for a new job I didn’t like at all and mutually agreed to leave that one when I realised it was destroying my mental health. Following that was months of doing relatively little; wake up, check emails, nap, apply for jobs, call recruiters, nap, interviews, nap, cry into my pillow, eat ice cream. I got a casual role in a theatre which reminded me why I like working with people (hint: they’re fun), built my confidence back up and now am working for a sight loss charity in their marketing team.
I’ve gone from a sales job I didn’t like to a job where I write and create for a living. It may be limited to writing about people who have battled their sight loss issues and creating flyers for residential homes, but I’m happy.
Lazy but determined. When I realised how much my last sales job was killing me I decided to fix it, and learnt about marketing, taking a course in copywriting. I suddenly had a goal; I wanted to work somewhere creative. I had no experience working somewhere creative really but did what I had to build up the experience necessary to get on the bottom rung.
And I am very much on the bottom rung. I’ve taken one hell of a pay cut to get here, but I’m now climbing a ladder that I want to reach the top of.
If I’d have stayed on the Sales ladder at Flogas, a ladder I was more than capable of climbing, I’d currently be working out in the field currently with a company car, laptop, and phone. And I’d probably keep climbing that ladder too. Regional Manager. National Accounts. Then when I’d get to the top I’d be ready to jump off it with a noose around my neck.
What I’m trying to say is that the last 12 months have been tough. I’ve made errors of judgement, pushed away people who I care about because of where my mental space was, and financially shot myself in the foot.
But I think I’m okay with all of this because I’ve learnt a lot, grown a lot, and seem to be happy.
Which is nice.