I’m feeling a bit down tonight – theres no particular reason why.
Lately I’ve been going through a confused jumble in my mind that just goes round and round. I’m worrying about my career. ‘Am I in the right career? Am I truthfully happy in my job? Should I have stuck at something I have done previously? Should I try something else? But I can’t try something else because I’m too old and just need to settle down.’
I did a degree and Masters in Law, which I am really proud of myself for and I loved doing them. I found them so interesting and I’ve always wanted a career in law. However, in the summer before starting my Masters I decided to get some work experience in a different area and went to work in a finance department for three weeks. I enjoyed this experience and found, to my surprise, I really enjoyed it. The company where I had been doing this work experience asked me to stay on and work for them. I was delighted with this offer and I gladly took it up. I quickly progressed in the role and was given promotion and lots of responsibility which suited me down to the ground as I like a challenge and working hard. I did this job full time whilst also doing my Masters full time (not something I would recommend, but I managed to do well in both Uni and work – luckily).
So my year doing my Masters passed and I graduated with a good result. Due to enjoying work and being so busy with it and my Uni work, I hadn’t applied for any jobs in law. The other thing was that it was the time of the economic downturn and jobs were scarce. To become a solicitor I also had to complete the LPC (Legal Practice Course) before I could start a training contract with a law firm. This is an expensive course and due to the economy, training contracts were even harder to come by where they supported the LPC. As a result, a lot of people were paying to do the LPC themselves and then apply for a training contract. Anyway, I was in a long term relationship at the time (not a good relationship, but that’s another story) and my partner at that time refused to let me do this course due to the expense and the fact that I wouldn’t be able to continue to work full time. I was getting a full-time wage and that was all that mattered to him.
That’s how my work in finance started. I did work in another job in finance after that and was keen to do a professional qualification in Accountancy, however the position I was in didn’t support further development by allowing time to do exams so it wasn’t an option for me at the time. So I ended up taking a completely different path: I did a GTP (Graduate Teaching Programme) and a Masters in Education over the following year and became a teacher.
What a great time I had teaching. I worked in a secondary school teaching English. It was a challenging job but enjoyable. Again, I quickly progressed and after qualifying I was given a TLR straightaway (that’s a Teaching and Learning Responsibility which involved the leading and development of other staff and accountability for a specific area). I was over the moon with this and my hard work was really paying off as I was progressing well and helping others. Unfortunately, due to political reasons the job ended up becoming unsustainable and was no longer enjoyable and it ended up in fact, going against my ethics. So I took a jump and went back into working in finance.
My new role in finance was in a different industry and I got more exposure to working with people in different roles within the Construction industry. I learned more skills in this job and it was a step up from my previous roles in finance, but the job ran its course and the time came where I couldn’t develop any further. I decided to take my experience of working in finance and my background in law and combine them to become a Quantity Surveyor.
I was lucky getting this job as generally to get a job as a QS you have to have trained through an apprenticeship in the role or done a degree in the area. I have learned a lot since starting this job and I enjoy it. I have my days when it’s not great but I know that it’s a good job. The company have even identified me as a person they want to invest in to progress into a higher management position in the future and have put me on management courses etc. I am really grateful for their support and belief in me.
How did I start this blog post – by saying I was worried about my career and if I’m doing the right thing? Well, after writing this post I feel somewhat calmer and have a clearer head. I’ve realised that I do have a good job. I have prospects of development in my career. I have achieved a lot and worked hard.
Sometimes I let my feelings get me down and spiral out of control which leads me to have negative thoughts about myself and my life. What I’ve realised from this exercise, is that writing things down has brought clarity and reasonableness to my mind. I started out by writing this for others that may have similar worries and concerns about where they are with their work and career. However, what it’s turned into is actually a post that I can give advice from: if you have feelings like this, write things down like I have here and it may just help you feel a bit better.
If any of you are having worries or just need a fresh perspective on things, please just drop me a message. I’ll be happy to help.