Monday, 22 August 2011
During my week off I've had time to do some thinking and assessing. I make no bones about the fact that I have come to dislike my job intensely. I've worked for the same company for many years now and I've seen many changes during that time, not always for the better in my opinion but hey; what do I know? I began my working life as a glorified Girl Friday in a tiny engineering office in Stourbridge progressing over time to a PA for management in the insurance sector in Birmingham and then back to Stourbridge to work in a Solicitors office. Although I had no legal qualifications, my experience led to me working as a paralegal for seven years, during which time I handled hundreds of road traffic accident claims.
Last year, several things happened in a very short space of time. My darling Dad was diagnosed with inoperable oesophagal cancer; my marriage, which had been limping painfully along for years, finally ended, my workload shot up and I was finding myself bringing work home as well as working from 8- 6 in the office. Something had to give, I guess. Unfortunately that was my mental health. I was signed off work for three months and, with the support of my family and close friends, eventually sorted my head out enough to return to work. I knew at that time I simply couldn't stand the stress of the enormous workload of the paralegal position again, and so I stepped back into secretarial work for the same office.
What a difference a year makes. My Dad is, up to now, in remission thanks to some wonderful care and medication via the NHS; I've been in an incredibly loving and respectful relationship for the past 15 months - something that I have to pinch myself about every day; whilst I had to take an enormous pay drop, we're doing ok. We get by on what we have, we live well, and delight in simple pleasures which cost little or nothing. Whilst I take nothing for granted, I have a lot to be grateful for.
Except........... ah.... the job thing. I can't do it any more. I can feel my personality being leeched out of me as soon as I press the entry fob against the prison gates every morning, and I don't feel like I breathe properly again until I 'fob out' again at five. Melodramatic? Well maybe ... but I'm an honest blogger and that's how I feel.
At sixteen, the last thing I ever wanted to do was work in an office. My work experience was spent at Dudley Zoo, caring for the animals, killing rats to feed to the reptiles and shifting sacks of feed from one end of a barn to the other. I loved it! I was a relatively bright student and in the higher streams at school. I had a love of the English language and adored creative writing - but I had no wish to continue into further education. All the careers which appealed to me (social work, psychology, criminology) required huge great swathes of applied learning which I simply wasn't prepared to do at that time. As a result, I guess I've been 'unfulfilled' for all of my working life - and scarily enough, that now spans twenty seven years.
I'm not sure where this blog post is going really. It's just a stream of consciousness as always.
I guess what I'm trying to say is that I've had a bit of an epiphany in this last week. The time is now and all that. No-one is going to change things for me. If I want to move onwards and upwards then I need to do it myself. I know I'm capable. I just need to believe in myself and take a step into the unknown.
Whilst I have the financial cushioning of a permanent job, I'm going to begin the plotting and planning of a new business venture. It's not a new idea but certainly one that has a lot of untapped potential. It will need a lot of work, a not insignificant amount of outlay and plenty of enthusiasm.
"Watch this space", is, I think a suitable closing statement!