I got a new job.
It’s a great job. I’ll be doing it for a year, and then who knows what’s next. I’m excited about it. It’s interesting – to me, anyway – that I’ve been searching for a really long time for the work that would make me happy, and I think that I’m close to finding it. And without even moving employer. For many years, I’ve thought that to truly love what you do, you’ve got to work for yourself. Unless you happen to be one of those rare people who have always known that they wanted to be a firefighter, dancer, teacher, nurse…people with a vocation, rather than just those average types like me, who stumble from one job to another, without much of a plan and largely relying on luck and gut instinct to make decisions about what should come next.
But I think I might have been wrong.
I think that I can find work that I love without having to have a vocation or a business of my own. I think that perhaps it’s a mindset change that I needed. What I’ve discovered recently is that there are things in my day job that I’m pretty good at. Even saying that is a shift in my brain. Thinking ‘I’m pretty good’ at something doesn’t come naturally. Saying it out loud even less so. But other people have told me that I am good. That I have capabilities. And these are people whose opinion and judgement I trust. So, if they say that I’m good, who am I to disagree? Who am I to devalue their judgement? The more I learn to listen to people who tell me that I’m good at something, the more confidence I develop. The more I start to see, that yes, perhaps I am good at this work after all. I have things to offer. It’s not all smoke and mirrors and a bad case of imposter syndrome. (Though don’t get me wrong, imposter syndrome and I are old friends; we still hang out together all the time…)
So, it becomes an upwards spiral. It gathers momentum. Gathers pace. As the confidence grows in me, the desire to work harder, smarter, more, grows alongside it. I’m seeing results, getting more positive feedback, which feeds that desire to keep going. It feels really, really good. I’m making connections within the different parts of my job. Pulling strands of work together. Growing a network of people to question and learn from. And I’m having so much fun. (Fun is allowed, at work. People forget…)
So for now, I’m putting my skincare business plans on hold. I want to make the most of this opportunity. I want to really grow. In some of my favourite words from David Hieatt, I want to do one thing well. After years of neglecting my career because of uncertainty about what it should look like, followed by marriage, kids, divorce, relationship breakdown and near-homelessness, it’s time to put it in the spotlight. Now I’ve found the kind of work I think I’m good at, I want to really see what I might achieve…
PS: The job? It’s made up of two things. Firstly, it’s helping create a footpath all around the coast of England. What an amazing project. And secondly, it’s communications and people engagement. Something I probably should have realised that I loved a long time ago…