I’m having an off day. A real doozy. One of those ones that I should really keep to myself. But if you want vulnerability; give vulnerability – right? I’m going to say that it began last night but realistically it’s probably been brewing for a while. Heck, it’s probably being brewing my whole life if you ask any good expert. Anyway, let’s move on to introductions. I was hoping that you guys wouldn’t meet but he’s resurfaced again and the timing is really bloody inconvenient. I’m hoping that by getting it out in the open, he might – well, fuck off. I have an important and unfinished Masters assignment that is currently sitting open and staring blankly at me. It understands the notion of timing and has advised that there is exactly 55 hours left until it gets handed in regardless of my doozy or old friend…so here goes.
Meet Chip. He’s a real asshole. He hasn’t been around for a while but at some points in my life, he was around for too long. He likes to sit on my shoulder and weigh me down heavily. He points out how hard done by I am, how hard life is and how unlucky I’ve been. He used to visit often but I figured him out a while back and told him to hit the road. He did. But occasionally he comes back to visit. Sometimes I don’t mind his company in small doses. He props himself up on my shoulder and begins whispering his views about the world. Always without solution. What a drainer. Nonetheless I let him go if he doesn’t pipe up too much. You know; acknowledge, move on, don’t cause too much of a scene. He’s not that bad really but every time he pays me a visit in recent years, he puts out an open invite to his other annoying mates. Many of whom, I am not cool with.
He has this one friend we’ve spoken about before – Imposter, who I just can’t seem to shake. As Chips visits die down, Imposter’s seem to be on the rise. How is this possible? If you’re leaving – take your friend’s with you. Yes, friend’s – plural. Let’s just say, no trio would be complete without a polar opposite to balance out the torment. This friend is like a Tornado; overtly confident, recklessly passionate and full of beans. He/she enters the room with full force and no matter how much I duck or weave; it is inevitable that we will collide. During this time I am overcome by false greatness. I don’t aim for the moon and reach the stars; I aim for the Milky Way and end up in another parallel fucking universe. Here, my disillusionment is completely normal, reinforcing a wake of unbelievable beliefs.
What the fuck am I saying.
Ok. So you know that I am in a ‘transition period’ currently. What a gross combination of words. I’m having a ‘life pivot’, a ‘nervous breakthrough’, a ‘period of not achieving on a societal score board’. I am proudly full steam ahead with the bigger picture goals; storytelling, boutique accommodation plans (another day), completing of a post-graduate degree, perhaps even opening a new coworking space…but. Inevitably, the short-term has caught up with me and the freight train that is financial responsibilities is steaming ahead with no signs of slowing. Perhaps I’m exaggerating, apologies. But you know, Chip is in town, and he has this effect. So anyway, the artistic freedom and joy that I am currently moving through must be balanced with actual paying work, stat. But I am obsessing and stalling and over thinking and fretting like a mutha fucker. Some days I spent hours and hours fixating on job sites. No industry categories, just a few geographical and time sensitive filters. So I am scouring like five or six sites daily, scrolling through hundreds of options. I know what you’re thinking – fucking refine!! But I don’t want to. I don’t want to be limited to one industry or one job type. I want to be open to a completely new chapter. One that I am passionate about. I don’t want to waste any more of my life being underemployed. It served its purpose but my heart cannot take it anymore. I’m not being picky. I’m being purposeful. So far, it’s been disastrous. Just to be clear, I am very aware of the three types of roles that are open to us all. I could get…
A job – it might be on the pathway to a career or vocation but generally, you are paid for your time rather than your skills. Oh my gosh. That hurts to write. I know this one too well. I even managed to climb the ‘job ranks’ and get paid reasonably well which kept the self-perpetuating cycle of staying in the ‘job’ drawn out even longer.
A career – requires much more time commitment either through qualifications or on the job training. The longer you spend specialising in a specific area; the more likely you are to have greater responsibilities and pay. I think this is where I have fucked up majorly. Yet it could never have been any other way. I spent so much time doing job’s that I didn’t love – that I ended up making a career out of an occupation that I have zero fucking interest in. Ouch.
A vocation – working ‘mecca’ if you will. A position that brings immense satisfaction. A calling, a lifelong partnership, fulfilment, purpose, meaning. They say that a lot of the time, these ‘vocations’ are selfless works. People helping people, people helping animals, people helping the environment. You may be familiar with one of these if it applies to you. A vocation has also been described as the innate ability in an individual towards a particular occupation. I like that definition.
So this makes it easy then; stop being so fussy and find a job that pays the bills asap? Bzzzzz wrong. I just can’t. I have this blockage. I literally cannot apply for something that I don’t believe in, not even at a ‘job’ level. I have to have some sort of appetite for the product or the brand or the role. But that can be something as simple as pouring delicious, craft beers – in this regards, I really am-not fussy. I don’t mind getting my hands dirty, picking or packing, pouring or storing. I’m not looking for a ‘sexy’ job (though there could be some cash in that field hehe). I am open to stumbling across a job, career, or vocation. But as I want to keep my entrepreneurial snowballs rolling, I consciously made the decision not to look for or apply to any ‘jobs’ or ‘careers’ that weren’t part-time. Like we’ve discussed; a part time role will offer structure and financial benefits but without wholly consuming my entire life and energy sources.
But I do have exceptions. Of course, life is uncertain so a healthy level of flexibility is a must. If a ‘vocation’ role was to come up; of course, I would throw my invisible rule book out the window. So let’s just say that a week ago, one did. It snuck into my part-time filter and blew me away with the best role description I’ve ever seen. It was perfect. An aspirational role that I felt fully and wholly capable of blowing out of the park. I wanted to be the best goddamn *insert role title* that the industry had ever seen. And I would have been. I would have set new benchmarks, led with great esteem, and helped grow this unbelievable social SME into a global powerhouse.
Except for one problem. I didn’t even get to interview stage. Huh? Well on paper, it looks like I have zero fucking experience in this field. And doggone, I think they’re right. I don’t. So why the fuck did I apply? Because I have the soft skills to slay this role. I have a robust emotional vocabulary. I have an insatiable curiosity about people. Why do you think I am doing a Master of Marketing? Not because I believe I can be the best advertiser or researcher or communicator the world has ever seen. But because I am fascinated with human behaviour and decision-making and the power of brands to influence. I am doing an intensive post grad degree so that I have options to continue my studies further down the track in my passion areas of psychology, sociology, anthropology and philosophy.
I know my strengths and weaknesses. And I am crystal clear on the trough that is – my resume. I understand that I have a wealth of experience across a spectrum of impressive areas, few of which match up to my current passions or future aspirations. I am vulnerable (see above text). I think I am a good judge of character and continually improving as the years go on. I see people blindly regardless of their physicality’s or specs on paper. I see their motivations and desires. Their behaviours when everyone is watching and especially when everyone is not. I take a complete 360 view of each individual before I begin to draw a picture of them. I love pushing them to greatness; ironing out creases, jumping hurdles alongside them, offering a hand up to the podium, and clapping loudly when they are rewarded for effort.
I get results. But I haven’t been measuring. It’s inauthentic to me. But it comes at a cost. I am now unable to leverage these occurrences for my own future growth. If one where to look over my job titles, they would rightfully not see the coaching, the hard conversations, the strategic influence, the deep relationships, the radical inclusion or the benefit I have brought to the teams I have worked in. Get them to be my references? It’s not that easy. For deep, authentic work often goes on behind the scenes, inside and outside of workplaces. It is a powerful yet subtle occurrence. It is unseen though heavily impactful. It is fulfilling for both the giver and the receiver.
So what now? I applied for a job that I have the skills to do but not the qualifications or experience for and I didn’t even get close. I’m not going to lie, it stings. But I get why. But it still stings. Ok. So I needed to get this all out so that I can get my head back in the game. I need Chip, the Imposter, and that overly confident (or delusional) Tornado to fuck off so I can regroup with what I’ve got and move forward. Because that is the biggest risk. Not in applying for jobs, careers or vocations that are beyond my paper limits, but in getting caught up in the expected and unexpected results when things don’t go my way. Pick yourself up, dust yourself and move fucking forward. Chip is heavy when I’m still but he can barely hold on when I’m moving forward. Weeeeeeeeeeee.
I’m trying to be patient. There is a universal plan with my name on it and with some level of hope, these setbacks are all a part of it. That dream role would have taking me away from my storytelling and maybe my storytelling is going to be a bigger part of the picture than I realise? Goddamn it storytelling, why can’t you be more provocative?! Dance for the people, make them realise how important you are to the world even though you aren’t all colourful and flashy. Your slow gratification is fulfilling but they’re looking for a quick fix. And help pay some of my bills while you’re at it. I’m giving you my time and abilities, will there come a day when you give me more than mental and artistic progression? Why isn’t there more ‘writers in residence’? Is that even a thing? How unsexy. Imagine that; boutique hotel has scribbles of paper all over the walls, writer sits in a glass room scrawling pointless ramblings down at a rate of knots whilst people watch on and try to disseminate the quiet, incoherent mumblings.
Lordy. 2000 words and I’m still not sure I can get back to my assignment. It’s going to be a long few days. Maybe I need to take this website off my resume?? Eep!!