Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Career Impasse?

I spoke to my department head to get some much-needed advice. I decided to come straight out and tell him that I was really looking to move to do something else. Surprisingly, he agreed once he heard how long I'd been doing my role. I may have moved companies a couple of times but, essentially, the core of my job hasn't changed all that much, and, speaking as a creature who desperately craves variety and is motivated, nay, stimulated by new things, it really has been way too long.

The sad thing is, my good friends just don't quite get it. They keep telling me that I'm really good at my job, so maybe it's not a function of my looking for something new, but that I should find the right company and continue to do what it is I'm doing. That always frustrates me. I mean, what part of "I'm desperately sick of what it is I'm doing and there's nothing new for me to learn from it" do they not get?

In any case, I am looking for a change. And I have been trying to bring about that change, but, unfortunately for me, I'm not too sure what it is I want to move to. As with all things, I have an idea of what it is I like, and what it is I do not want to do. And I've found that I like fixing things. Not in the manual worker kind of sense, but more in that if there's a starting point and an intended goal, and someone needs to figure out how to get from one to the other, I like being that someone. I know that there's an element of this in any job, but what I like is one which adds more value, is involved more in the deal-making process, rather than constantly being on the back foot. And, no, trying to anticipate what it is my colleagues need while in my current role doesn't quite cut it.

My head said he could think of a couple of things I might like to consider. After running through them, I have to say I'm not 100% sure he knows me all that well. I also said that while I've been patient, there's a fine line between being patient and being a sucker, and that if I have to get stuck doing what it is I'm doing, I might as well return to my former industry. After all, I might still endure the same frustration but, at the very least, it pays better.

And he didn't deny it. He knows I'm right. Even though we're going to get told our bonuses in a few weeks, he knows I'm right.

And therein lies my dilemma. I mentioned to a friend that there is no shame in having tried and failed as long as one knows one's done her best. But, for me, failure isn't an option on the table. And that's because I am incredibly frustrated with not having learnt anything new and interesting, or, rather, having learnt things, but, ultimately found that I don't get to apply them during the course of m work. What's the point of learning things if I never get to use them?

To top things off, Clever Boxer are running some very cool talks:  running a successful club night and making money from travel writing. I've never tried either activity, but I am interested in hearing more about them, as I've often said my dream job - if money were no object - would be to be an events manager or to work in hospitality or travel. The sad thing is, even though each workshop is a snip at £20, it's capped at 15 people, and I'd feel bad depriving someone who's way more serious about it than I am.

Finally, if you asked me right now which I would choose: career or love life, I'd have to say the former. Why? Because my career is what I make of it. I may have been let down before by bad managers and unfortunate circumstances, but, at the end of the day, it's something that I built. My love life? I've been let down by men before, and that hurt far more than when I was let down professionally. That's not to say I want to be single forever. But, right now, given the amount of frustration I'm feeling, I'd have to say I'd choose my career, because I don't think I could be happy if such a substantial part of my life is getting me down.

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