5 year plan: The career bug
I spent the first half of this year totally freaking out about the idea of turning 20. I know that to most I’m still a total baby, complete with the face of someone who looks like they’ve just completed their GCSE’s, but for me the thought of moving out of my teens and into adulthood filled me with such dread and uncertainty. At times it felt as though I was genuinely having some type of quarter life crisis, which FYI is not helped by Buzzfeed articles with titles such as “20 signs you’re going through a quarter life crisis…”
I was feeling totally unsatisfied on a professional level and kept whining to my best friend that I just didn’t know what the hell I was doing with my life. Sure, I knew what I was doing right at that moment but my long term goals where nowhere to be seen. I lacked focus, direction, purpose and most importantly, passion. My career plans felt totally stagnant with no sign of revival. And while I know this may sound silly to be discussing at just 20, i’m all too aware of the unbelievably competitive market I’m working in without a degree, and of the need to keep far far ahead of all those chasing me up with level 6 qualifications. Average skills, experience and ambition just won’t cut it; in this game you have to be exceptional.
I felt the same about this till I decided to reduce my hours at work, leaving me more time to do what I wanted and really figure out what was enjoyable to me. Since then I’ve dabbled in some freelancing which I’ve really enjoyed, but I still struggled to find any real drive. A month ago however, that all changed…
The end of August saw me take on a super exciting client at work and somehow it has unexpectedly changed my whole view on working and my career in general. I’ve gone from feeling unmotivated and lacking any clear direction, to having a detailed 5 year plan that I feel determined to achieve by my 25th birthday. LOLZ AT ME ALL YOU LIKE, I’LL BE RAKING IN THE BIG BUCKS BY 25
It’s totally amazing to feel bitten by the working for yourself/to improve yourself bug, and i’m truly loving the sense of purpose it’s given me. I’ve never really been the type that can come home from work and just relax because I get restless after one episode of Eastenders. I legit don’t understand how people can stay in for like more than two evenings a week so rediscovering a strong calling towards my potential path of success is really really brilliant. I work on things whenever I get the chance; Emails go out at 10pm, blog posts are compiled on the morning commute, images are taken at ungodly hours and posts are scheduled past midnight. It’s demanding, and it’s only set to get much harder now i’ll be in paid employment for over 40 hours a week, but I really really love it. After feeling aimless for so long a strong drive is oh so addictive.
You know you love what you’re doing when you get up early on Saturdays to spend all day writing away in coffee shops.
I know that 25 is just an age, and still a very young one at that, but for as long as I can remember when i’ve measured my own successes against others, i’ve always used age as the bench mark. I’ve wanted to be a kick ass career women since I was about 8. (Men & Babies? No thanks. My dreams have always featured a minimalist penthouse and a wardrobe full of clothes rather than a white wedding and a few dribbling children!) so 25 seems the right age to focus upon to get all my major goals. While I’m very happy in my personal life and love my boyfriend very much, I’ve always just wanted to be the independent money making lady type rather than the wife illusion. Back in school lots of friends and acquaintances would talk of being excited about getting married and becoming mothers and I was all like er soz but I’m going to move to London and be editor in chief of ELLE.
While this is no longer the plan, and I’m obviously happier to indulge in more of a domestic set up than I was at 15, it’s utterly brilliant to have such passion and determination for my career in a clear way i’ve never felt before. And as a parting thought I can’t help but leave you my favourite quote I used to tell all my school mates when they went on about boys…