How Not To Have A Career

Welcome to Blog Therapy.

Today sees another anonymous blog and its all about dealing with work and career, once you become a Mother. This guest poster is asking for some advice.
Take it away…

When I was 16, a combination of a great teacher and a university taster course planted a seed in my mind and suddenly I knew exactly what I wanted to do with my life. I suddenly had a plan, I knew how to get there, and I was excited.

I must admit to being a little smug about it too, many of my friends at school had no idea what they wanted to do, and even after graduation from university some of them still didn’t really have a ‘plan’. But not me, I was sorted, I knew exactly where I wanted to be.

And I did it! I did better than I could have imagined at A-Levels, and enjoyed nearly all my lectures at uni (not the ones at 9am on the morning after the local student night admittedly) and despite a family crisis of the largest magnitude I still came out with a First Class degree, and a job! I couldn’t have been happier.

So, 15 years after that light bulb moment, how have I found myself in a perceived successful career, feeling like I don’t belong?

I’m trying to think of the moment where it all went wrong. There have always been down sides to the job (as I think there are in every job), and I’ve always been good at moaning. But I did well, climbed the ladder, and was doing ‘ok’. But since returning from maternity leave I have struggled to find my place, and struggled to find much enjoyment in it. Although everyone has Sunday night blues, mine have reached monumental levels and now seem to start on Friday. My stomach drops when I turn the corner into work.

Aspects of my job that used to excite me, international travel, now make me feel sick. I hate leaving my little boy, I have the biggest attack of the guilts.

I have fallen out of love with the industry as a whole; I don’t like the power our customer has. I’m not at all comfortable with the corporate hospitality (aka arse-kissing) my role now involves.

But what about the plus sides, there must be plus sides? I’m well paid. I get a company car. I live exactly 2.5 miles away from work, which is always useful as at least once a week I forget my phone. A company iPhone that is. I managed to negotiate 4 days a week so I get one precious day with my boy. Oh, and I get free lunch.

But now I actually feel trapped by these (well, maybe not the lunch, I’m not that shallow). I can’t see a way out. Worst of all I think my employer knows I’m trapped so have little interest in me as they know I won’t leave.

But I also know I can’t go on. I have just found out the expectation is that I will do more international travel in the near future, and I spend all my waking moments trying to work out how to get out of going. I have considered breaking a leg. Seriously.

I’m sure people will be thinking ‘her job sounds amazing what is she moaning about’ but I am really not happy. It is affecting my home life, I’m exhausted and don’t have any inclination to do anything outside of work. The only thing that keeps me going is my day off with my boy.

So what next? How do I get out? This is the big question. Every option I look at I think ‘yes, but…’and find an excuse. But I have realised that the only way things are going to change are if I change them. I know I need to get out the industry and the corporate world, but that is so frightening. I literally know nothing about anything else.

Is the grass always greener?

Is the grass always greener?

So a lot of gin has been drunk, and tears shed, but for the first time in a long time I’m starting to feel excited in between the periods of doom. I still have absolutely no idea what I’m going to do, but I know I’m going to do something. I’m not sure how I’m going to get round the obstacles, I’m pretty sure I will have to take a significant pay cut. I’ve had people tell me the grass isn’t always greener, but surely when there is no grass left then it’s worth a punt?!

Does something have to give?

Does something have to give?

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5 thoughts on “How Not To Have A Career

  1. Laura says:

    Well it’s clear this blog really has been therapy for you! You’ve already described your decision. And it seems youve made your decision too! Stay in a career where you are unhappy – Or change things. Life is too short not to!

    As someone who did just this (admittedly it was before children in an attempt to feel happier so that we could start a family ) I can vouch for the fact that the monetary aspect doesn’t matter once you are happy! It’s so much more pleasurable to get up in the morning and go to
    A job you enjoy!

    Good luck!

  2. You should listen to those closest around you who only want what’s best for you and your family. You might not get a bigger house or send your kids to private school, you might not get to go on many nice holidays, and you might have to buy budget beans from Aldi, but does that really matter more than your sanity? If the answer is yes, then stick it out. I’m guessing the answer is no, though, in which case QUIT YOUR JOB!!! You might never find a fulfilling career or one that pays well, but so what? At least you won’t be trying to break your own leg… Lots of people survive (and do well) on one income – you have to rethink priorities, that’s all. You would have the time to think about what you want to do, without the stress of a horrid job.

    And while I’m ranting, your job might well sound amazing to other people (though I’m willing to bet that 99.9% of the people reading this don’t think it does!), but who cares what other people think about your job? If you think it’s crap then it’s crap. Lecture over. Now go and write that resignation letter. (And here’s a hug. xx)

  3. I think a lot of people can empathise with this post. Work and kids is a difficult combination and a lot of people struggle to get the balance. Personally I don’t think the extra money warrants the extra stress, illness and heartache and I think you have come to a similar conclusion. The answer is out there and there is a job/career out there that will give you the balance you need. I think you are more resourceful than you think AND if you think about it your skills and knowledge can be used in another area.

    Good luck but am sure you’ll be fine. Xxxx

  4. Snafflesmummy says:

    Completely emphasise with you. I had the career, motivation, money, nice things in life. Then along came children. I tried to make things work, really really tried for over 4 years but I became sadder and sadder, filled with more and more regret and guilt. Sundays were spent with tears at the thought of Monday being around the corner. I missed nursery days, play dates, birthdays, poorly days and I felt horrible.
    Things could not continue, I knew I was not happyand the arrival of my second child just confirmed that I would now feel double the amount of guilt.
    I quit my job, I have a lower status job, less prospects, much much lower wage (half!!) and you know what, I am so blooming happy. I see my children after school, not 5 minutes before bed when they are tired and grumpy. I made my children pancakes on pancake day for the very first time. I have time to go to the park after work.
    We holiday less, there are few meals out and fancy clothes but my children have me and I am happy. We get by.
    You only have one life, you need to make it. Happy one. Things don’t always look better on paper but if they are better for you then who cares? Really hope you find a solution

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