Tag Archives: employment

The First Day

23 Oct

I am what you would call a born worrier, I will literally worry about everything, what you wouldn’t even waste time thinking on, I’ve already lost sleep over, tormented myself with, and driven myself to the brink of insanity for. My mind just doesn’t shut off, even when I’m asleep my mind carries on whirring away, I’m the Ipod without the off switch. I’ve had a lot of sleepless nights in the past over various events in my life, but nothing keeps me awake more and sends me into a spiral of panic, than the horrific ‘first day.’

I am not ashamed to admit that I hate ‘first days’ and unfortunately in life everyone must experience their fair share of  them. From my first day at a new school, to work experience, university, or even the first night out with a group of new people, I will worry. This might surprise those who know me, because I will happily walk into a room of strangers and strike up a conversation, I laugh the loudest and the last thing people accuse me of is being shy. But its the fear of the unknown that makes me worry, and not just me, I’d like to think that everyone feels at least a little bit sick with nerves when confronted with a ‘first day.’

Sad to leave such nice people

As some of you may know I left a job recently, I loved my colleagues and the atmosphere of the office, but the role wasn’t quite right for me, I was offered another job out of the blue by a different company that had interviewed me months before, and I agonised over whether to take it or not, I was plagued with doubts. ‘What if my new colleagues are not as nice, and we don’t get on?’ ‘What if I don’t feel right within this company?’ ‘What if I make a huge mistake and regret leaving my current job? If this new role isn’t right either?’ After days of driving myself crazy, I decided to take a risk and jump into the unknown, I accepted the new opportunity that had presented itself. However even after I had handed in my resignation it still didn’t seem real that I was leaving. It wasn’t till my last day that reality sunk in, after a nice drink at the pub, and a sad goodbye I drove away with a lovely card my colleagues had given me, and rising nerves at the prospect of starting all over again somewhere new.

My lovely leaving card

The night before I didn’t sleep, getting up in the morning I felt like a wreck and knew without even confronting a mirror that I looked one as well. In my head I had been going over and over every scenario, every terrible possibility that could happen on my first day. Arriving over an hour early, I used the time unproductively hyping myself up in the car, until finally it got to the time when I had no choice but to swallow my nerves and walk into the office. Of course as usual, things are rarely as bad as you imagine them to be.  (Is it our nature to occasionally fear new things? So that if the worse does occur we are prepared to handle it? Perhaps its just my nature.) After a friendly greeting, I was given a tour around the building, which with over three floors is bigger than I’m use to, and after making a mental note of where the free coffee and hot chocolate machine resided, I was led to my desk.

As I mentioned before, I have had to go through a lot of ‘first days’ at various companies because of work experience and part-time jobs ect, and I have had good experiences and downright awful ones. Sitting down at my new desk, cautiously peeking at my new co-workers, I tried to work out what category this day was going to fall into. I watched and felt my stomach drop, they all looked so put together, they all seemed to know exactly what they were doing, and they all seemed really close. How on earth was someone like me meant to infiltrate this tight-knit community of people? With a lot of them being related to each other!? Telling myself to give it a chance before I cast judgement, I listened to the IT guy as he explained how my computer worked, and then laughed inwardly as it malfunctioned within minutes of me using it, leaving him muttering  ‘I just don’t understand it!’ (Looks like another piece of technology bites the dust, nothing matches up to the tech curse that surrounds me, keep all your phones at a five-mile radius, my friends will tell you that) However, an hour and forty minutes later Craig (the IT guy) had it under control and I had made a friend.

By the time the clock hit five I had absorbed a hell of a lot of information, and was totally daunted by how much more I would have to fit into my head, if my first day taught me anything, it’s that I have plenty to learn. Still everyone was friendly and supportive towards me, and I felt a sense of great relief that I had survived, and made it to the end of the day without being asked to leave and never return.

This time my fear of the unknown had been unfounded, although I can’t deny that four days in to my new job, I still feel a bit nervous going into work.

Fear is part of all our lives, we learn from it and most of the time it keeps us safe, but it can also be counter productive when it stops us from doing things, going places or trying out new paths in life. I experienced fear when leaving my old role and starting a new one, but I didn’t let that fear stop me from trying out this position in an unfamiliar field. I am that strange walking contradiction, half insecurity and half confidence, rarely does my mind, heart and body align in perfect unity on a decision or choice. Which was certainly the case this time, whether it was the right or wrong choice is still yet to be decided.

Still a friend gave me a fantastic pep talk that really helped me, and so for anyone else suffering with a case of the jitters, that’s preventing them from taking the plunge on a decision, or trying something new, I will leave you with this….

‘I have no regrets. Every choice I have made has put me on a new path. Sometimes that path hasn’t been easy but I’ve always learned something, and for that, I cannot possibly regret.’

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Taking the plunge

12 Dec

A fresh start for a fresh year

For a while now I have been struggling to find a way to gain a job that is even half way related to my degree, and failing dramatically. I’ve applied for opportunity after opportunity but turns out they weren’t my opportunities just other people’s. A paranoid part of me (at least I really hope it’s just paranoia and insecurity) kept thinking it was me, taking the rejections personally.

I’m perhaps misguided in thinking it, but I really do feel that I have all the essential ingredients for a good CV, lots of work experience in my field, good references and a large portfolio as well as lots of volunteering under my belt. But still nothing…locked in this cycle of depression, a part-time retail job, volunteering and fruitless job searches I’ve made a life changing decision and decided to take the plunge.

A new year means a new start, so in 2012 I will be turning my life upside down and moving to our glittering capital, London here I come! The career aspect is not just the driving force behind this move, I see everyone I know moving on and having lives, getting jobs, moving out, challenging themselves and making a little world of their own.

 Seeing everyone else having the courage to take on new challenges has given me the strength to start my own.

Moving to London will be hard, finding a job in London will most likely be harder. I’ll have no friends and its been over eleven years since I’ve lived there. It will be a risk for so many reasons, and I can’t deny that I am plagued by doubts. What if I don’t find a job? What if it all goes really wrong? What if I fail? Will I make friends? Am I up to the challenge?

My destination 🙂

Honest answer I don’t know…but I’ll never let fear stop me doing anything. If it’s a disaster then at least I’ll be able to say I tried and won’t regret not taking the chance. So 2012, new year, new start, new life hopefully a new job. I’m officially taking the plunge and moving to London in February.

I’ve watched my friends live out their own adventures, now its time for one of my own, all my friends have had the strength to be brave and make changes, inspiring me to make my own. The good news is I’ll be able to write more blog posts about life in the big city and all its strange quirks and undiscovered wonders!

Wish me luck!

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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