Friday, January 20, 2012


This post is a little more "stream of consciousness" than usual as it originally started out as my just writing about burning out, but evolved a little into dream jobs. Rather than attempt to organise this more properly, I've left it as it is. 

I've started applying for jobs again. Or rather, I've put my CV up on an industry job site and have started reconnecting with head-hunters. The good thing is, there do seem to be opportunities out there. The bad thing is, they're, unsurprisingly, in what I used to do, the area which I'd lost all passion for, which, even now, I can't think about doing without hearing my inner self scream with horror and frustration... all internally, of course.

Yes, I haven't done it since June, when I left my previous company, but, the thing is, I haven't been motivated by what I used to do in a long, long time. I was incredible at it, and I still think I would kick anyone's ass at it if you made me do it all over again, but the main issue is, it doesn't do anything for me.

There's nothing left for me to learn. There's nothing left for me to even remotely aspire to. I don't even want to become the head of that department, because, to be honest, management doesn't interest me in the slightest. It's always been implementation and execution, analysing of issues and figuring out how they could be resolved, trying to add value by thinking as creatively as possible.

I've been working as an analyst in some form or another for my entire working life. Even my degree required a great deal of analytical ability. And I am incredibly proud of being a CFA charterholder, so, to a certain extent, I think it's understandable why I'm considering going back into my old industry. It's not just the pay it affords, but the fact that I have worked so damn hard to get to where I am, that I'd hate to throw it away.

Of course, it's not something I love. I don't love it any more. It feels as if I never did, although I have vague recollections of finding every new deal I worked on interesting and exciting, of being happy that these were transactions that were winning awards or being mentioned in the papers.

And the thought of going back to that? To be quite frank, it fills me with dread, with apathy. It doesn't excite me in the slightest.

And this leads me to conclude that I may be more burnt out than I thought. And maybe I've been having trouble admitting that because admitting something like that felt like admitting my previous employer - the company from hell - had won. Truth be told, I was probably really close to burning out anyway, and working for someone as unappreciative as my last manager was the last straw.

I spoke about this to my boyfriend last night. He mentioned that he'd been thinking the same thing, simply because he's been here the whole time, and he's noticed that I've only seemed to manage to relax in recent weeks, despite the fact that I've been off work since early November.

So how? What's the deal? How do I plan to deal with this?

I wish I had some kind of idea, but I don't know. I think the only thing which would let me recover would be  finding a job I love, doing work which makes me happy. But in this kind of environment, who'd want to hire someone who has no experience in that area? More to the point, even if I had entrepreneurial drive - and I don't, I'm more a deputy, the person one should trust to make sure everything works, rather than the ideas person  - I wouldn't know what kind of business I'd like to do.

Indulge one of my passions? I love to dance, but I don't have the talent. I love music, but I wouldn't want to manage a music venue or a band. I love coffee, but believe the coffee market's saturated already. I'm quite keen on my Power Plate and yoga/pilates classes, but being a fitness instructor probably wouldn't suit me. Not to mention that the fitness instructors at my studio pretty much have to find other jobs/gigs as well.

I know, I know, I shouldn't shoot each idea down so quickly. But you've got to admit that my responses are not without merit.

What is it I would really love to do? Events management. Work in a hotel as one of those hosts for VIP guests. Organising specialised tours. That sort of thing. I love getting to know people, always seem to know what's going on in whichever city I'm in and just adore the stress that comes with pulling off events. I really enjoyed having to do that when I was working in Singapore prior to my transfer to London. And events management - or even just tailoring a solution to suit a guest's needs - requires analysing, implementation and execution, albeit in a different space.

Events management, on its own, doesn't pay very much though. And I don't have that much in the way of savings, and will admit that I do need a certain level of income to maintain the lifestyle I lead. Most importantly, I don't come with a network of contacts, something every hospitality group seems to require.

I guess, until I manage to think of something else, or manage to save up enough money in order to pursue that dream, I'm just going to deal with this burn-out some other way.

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