I thought I wanted a career… turns out….yeah I do

3 Nov

“I thought I wanted a career….turns out I just wanted a pay cheque” who said those words?  I’m really not sure, were they as embittered by the job market as I have been? I’ve seen them in the past on comedy T-shirts and funny mugs ect laughed away but the true meaning always escaped me…until now.

I saw the phrase yesterday again on a friends Skype and smiled to myself, but now after today I understand what it means in relation to me.

Today me and a friend attended a career fair in Northampton. Nothing special, certainly not the largest I’ve ever been to or the first, but it is the first time I’ve attended and not been in education with the security of more university ahead, attending graduate fairs not just as a means of getting information to consider for the future, but treating it as an actual networking event to gain the contacts I’ll need to find me a job. Going to the careers fair for the sole purpose of coming away having made significant achievements, in terms of my career progression.

I watched other students in their second and third years and felt a wave of nostalgia, remembering when me and my friends were all bright eyed in that way, knowing that the job market would be hard and being told about it constantly, but not  fully comprehending just how bleak it is out there at the moment.

It was a great success in terms of me making contacts and even receiving an interview offer, but today did something even more important for me….got me excited about my career future again. For a while now I’ve been thinking about every job, graduate scheme and intern-ship I come across in terms of the financial benefit it will give me, and when I have been rejected I don’t feel the loss of someone who is losing the opportunity to do something I love, but rather the loss of potential financial gain. When I apply for a job I don’t feel excited or have butterflies about the job itself and where it has the potential to take me, only the desperate gnawing acknowledgement that it will free me from working in retail, and will allow me to move out on my own.

Being surrounded by other students who were genuinely excited and passionate about what they were studying and wanting to do as a career made me remember how much I use to love writing and communication, but in the desperate and competitive hunt for a job I’ve lost sight of the fact that I use to be excited about my career in terms that weren’t limited to finance and security. Money is important, we all know it makes the world go round…and since 2008 up and down like a sodding yo yo but the reason I went to university was so that I could learn more about what I loved, and ultimately prepare myself for the future.

Turns out the phrase ‘I thought I wanted a career…turns out I just wanted a pay cheque’ just doesn’t apply to me, because I don’t just want the money…I want the joy of doing something I care about, money alone just isn’t enough to motivate me, I work for it now and searching for jobs in terms of money has just made me miserable and made my career future seem a bleak prospect.

Don’t get me wrong…I want a good salary (a girls wardrobe has got to be maintained) but I’m going to have to remind myself occasionally not to allow the empty void that is job hunting, to swallow me up. Not allowing myself to forget that this isn’t a job hunt forced or fed by my dire desolate need to escape the limbo of uncertainty that is part time retail and job hunting, but rather a job hunt fuelled by my desire to do well in an industry that I care about and want to be a part of.

To anyone out there who is also finding things hard I can’t offer much advice, when all is said and done I am still an unemployed graduate, but I would ask you to give yourself a reminder of how much love you have for the career you want. How inevitably that passion, drive and enthusiasm will reward you with a job that means more to you than a pay cheque.

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2 Responses to “I thought I wanted a career… turns out….yeah I do”

  1. Randy Pena November 4, 2011 at 2:20 am #

    A friend of mine just emailed me one of your articles from a while back. I read that one a few more. Really enjoy your blog. Thanks

    • StephBristow November 4, 2011 at 12:31 pm #

      awww thank you 🙂 Its good to know that people are reading and enjoying what I write! Thank you very much! x x

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