Working 9-5

I have never really had a solid work plan. I vaguely remember at school wanting to be either a human right lawyer (although if pressed I’d not be able to tell you why, I think it just sounded glamorous and worthy!) or a journalist. It’s funny how I remember that bit when with my memory issues I did for many years forget I could write and wanted to write!

I ended up not going to college to pursue this though. My parents divorced during my exam times and that started a long line of issues that resulted in me hardly going to school and then not bothering to revise. Shame looking back as I was expected to get all A’s. Funnily enough there was another girl with the same issue but who came from a privileged background who was offered the chance to continue her studies as it wasn’t my fault. Me, from a poor working class family, was told tough.

That I believe now started me off on a spiral of no career plans. I fell into jobs as a hotel maid. This actually suited me just fine at the time, it’s a transient role and one that enabled me to travel round the country while I worked and left me with some of the best times I will ever have (only wish I could remember half of them!). then I had my son and became a full time mother and carer as he has some learning difficulties (not so obvious ones as he is now at university but certainly very hard to deal with when he was smaller)

Going back to work as a single parent to a 6 year old brought it’s own problems such as childcare. There was also the fact that I hadn’t worked in 6 years and only knew how to clean and serve people in a canteen. So I took the first job I was offered and started a 10 year history of banking. First just 16 hours a week serving customers but by the time I left I’d become a mortgage and insurance adviser, the next step up was running an actual bank. Not bad for a girl with my background. But I was never happy.

Just before I started at the bank I’d managed to get myself on a European funded part time degree course in Social Policy at Leeds University. I had to give it up to start work but the year I spent on it was a massive boost to my confidence and restored my faith in myself that depsite all that had happened I did actually have a decent brain. During this time I revisited the idea of journalism. I spoke to the careers adviser there about swapping degrees, going full time and pursuing this career. That was met with a resounding no. I was told I’d left it too late and was now too old to do this. I was 26!!!! This was in the mid-90’s and before internet writing took off as it now has. It was still very heavily a print media occupation. So dreams shattered again I went into banking.

And pretty much hated everything about it. I trained to be a mortgage adviser and spent my whole time in the role feeling like I’d sold my soul to the devil digging into people’s greatest fears to sell them insurance. And the worse thing was…I was bloody good at it!

So I became a civil servant! From one devil to another. Again I’ve spent 5 years working my little socks off in various roles and always felt something was missing. More & more when I’ve had time off work I’ve not wanted to go back. Not in a depressed I hate my job way but just that I’m sure there’s something better way.

So I’ve put my thinking cap on and the only thing I can think of to make me happy is working for myself. I could write but my creative non-blogging side is still in its infancy so I’ve been thinking about the crafts. There are several to choose from and the return to handmade goods moving  away from the identi-town chain stores is growing rapidly so there is room for me and the things I can do. I had my annual review meeting with my team leader last week and discussed this with him. As his wife is a big fan of card maker and frustrated employee herself, he understood exactly where I was coming from. I can’t afford to leave my job and try and support myself so we have a plan of reducing days down as things progress. So from October I will be losing a day per week.

It’s scary but exhilarating at the same time. I’ll lose around £200 a month and will need to sell items to try and make that up. So the next 6 months will be frantically trying to pay bills off and make preparations. Not to mention the fact that my next Open University course starts the same month. I can never be accused of doing things in small doses!!! I’m setting up online shops with a view to putting some small things on now to test waters. And if it fails…then I’ll have a day off a week to study! But I hope it doesn’t. This is the first time in my life I feel like I am doing something to earn money in a way that I want and not because I have to.

Today is the first day of the rest of your life, not tomorrow and so if you really want something it’s time to stand up and go for it…..

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