When I Grow Up, I Want To Be…

When I was little, I wanted to be a doctor (read, surgeon). Not because I wanted to help people, but because I wanted to see what they looked like inside. You could say I was a bit of a morbid child, but don’t panic; I didn’t turn into a serial killer. I was just curious about the way things worked. It was probably that curiosity that drove my brain subconsciously toward the fascination with the death care industry, and my desire to become a mortician.

When I got a little older, I decided that being a doctor wasn’t for me. I thought maybe I would like to be an archaeologist instead, because I was fascinated by history, and how things got to be where they ended up, and the stories that could be told by bones and all manner of things one finds in the ground. Plus, I had a huge crush on Indiana Jones, duh. Soon, that dream too fell by the wayside, as I was struck by the revelation that there was so much study involved, and school was gross.

Of course, I’ve thought of doing many things over the years. Amongst many others, I considered being a teacher, a stewardess, a vet, a vampire slayer and, like almost every child in the world at some point (I’m sure), a rock star. None of these career goals lasted very long, and when I reached the age where I could actually go out and find I job, I went into the most easy and accessible field available; retail.

Now, at 26, I’m still working in retail, and still no closer to deciding what it is I want to do. I mean, yes, my ultimate goal is still to be a mortician. But as with anything, getting a job in a particular field is not as easy as simply having an interest and a desire to work within that field. I’m working on it, nevertheless, but in the meantime I need to find something that doesn’t make me want to shoot myself in the face every morning.

The one thing that has stuck with me all these years, is writing. I’ve always had a dream that maybe one day, I’ll write books for a living. This romantic notion comes complete with not having to wear pants, getting to work from home, being fabulous and reclusive, whilst also being friends with the likes of Neil Gaiman, J.K Rowling, and Gillian Flynn. And did I mention not having to wear pants? I lose motivation a lot, and I have writing lulls, and I doubt myself every time I put pen to paper. But one day, maybe.

For the moment, I have to content myself with the fact that I at least have a job, and a means to make money. I could certainly be a lot worse off, and I’m about to return to full time in the coming weeks, so I can at least go back to saving for a house sometime in the future. A job is better than no job, as they say. And unless I’m headed for some kind of untimely demise at any point soon, I’m sure I have plenty of time to follow my career dreams.

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Why Doing What You Love is Never as Simple as it Sounds

“Just do what you love.”

I get this advice a lot. Being underemployed means I spend a lot of my time searching the internet for full time work. I’ve applied for a tonne in the last couple of months, had one interview for a job (which I was told yesterday I did get), a handful of rejection emails and a whole lot of silence. I’ve applied for anything and everything that doesn’t require a formal qualification (there are a lot of jobs for health professionals, accountants and lawyers in my area currently). And all people keep telling me is “just do what you love”, as if that in itself is easy.

Firstly, the things I love to do are hardly marketable. Sure, I enjoy writing and sewing, but the brutal truth is that I am not good enough at either of those things to make a living from them. And secondly, I don’t know what I’m really passionate about, enough to want to do it for a job. I’ve long since resigned myself to the fact that I will never have a job I love, but at this point I’d settle for a job that pays enough to survive on.

Some people love their jobs. I have friends that studied and are now working their dream jobs. J know people who got a job that turned out to be exactly what they wanted. And some people are just plain positive all the time, and would be happy working any job at all. Me, I would love to own a book shop. I would love to be a musician, playing in small venues to chill crowds all singing along. I would love to write books, or be a travel writer, or just get paid to travel. I would love to review films for a living, or hell, even star in films. And I’ve always kind of wanted to be a mortician. There’s a lot I would love to do, and a lot of reasons why I never could.

I know I’ve said this before, but I envy those who know what they want. And envy even more those who know what they want, and love it. I wish I loved my job, but the reality is that going to work makes me miserable. And since doing what I love isn’t going to make me enough money to live on, at least any point in the near future, I have to settle for any job that will actually employ me. So wish me luck, guys. And I hope the employment gods are listening, because a particular little misanthrope down here is starting to get desperate.

Job Hunting Sucks, Y’all

I am working back in the city today, and I really can’t be bothered. I applied for about five jobs in the last couple of weeks, and I have heard back from only one, telling me that they had decided to go with another candidate. The others have vanished from the online job forum, given to other people that are not me. Good for them. Jobs are hard to come by. Oh, in the city jobs are as abundant as the people that mill about the streets, but I am not looking for jobs in the city. I am looking for jobs back home, and back home jobs are scarce. See, for every hundred jobs, there are sixty I can’t apply for because I don’t have the appropriate degree or experience. There are another thirty that I won’t apply for because they are only casual, offering hours so meagre that it’s a wonder they don’t just spread them out over their existing staff members. The ten jobs I can apply for aren’t appealing, but it’s all there is, so I apply. And hear nothing back. Every. Time.

I am feeling a little disheartened by the whole thing actually. I mean, I applied for a call centre the other day, and that I’m itself is an indication of how desperate I am to not be at my current job. Not to discredit all the people who do work in call centres. Being shouted at by customers over the phone takes gumption. I just mean, I’m not particularly fond of people…or talking on the phone…or talking to people on the phone. And yet despite all my hang ups (boom!) I still applied, and would be.genuinely happy to work in a call centre.

Looking for work is hard. I know people who always seem to get a job as easily as breathing, and they sit there and preach about how simple it is, and how people who can’t get work straight away aren’t trying hard enough, and “why don’t you just go out and cold call, you’ll find something straight away”. Well, I’m sorry to tell you, easily employable people, but it doesn’t work that way for everyone. I have skills. I have experience. I’ve worked in retail for almost a decade without stabbing anyone – and really, that is an employable skill if I ever heard one – but however good I am, it doesn’t seem to be good enough. There’s always someone better suited, more experienced, less facially pierced. (I have a lip ring, which is apparently cause to not employ a person, regardless of how good they are, or of the fact that it can be removed).

I’m not asking for much, not really. I don’t need a job that pays billions. I don’t even need the perfect job, at least not right now. All I want is full time employment that doesn’t make me want to throw myself wholeheartedly off a roof…and into a rubbish compactor…that is on fire. There’s got to be a job that like out there for me, right? Cross your fingers and toes and legs and whatever other body parts you have a mind to cross, for me. Because one way or another, I need out.