Thursday, 1 September 2011

You tell me... What do you do when life gets in the way of your dreams?

Image thanks to emily

Beating the street in your best ‘hire me’ shoes, folder full of updated CV’s underarm, battling with a quickly waning confidence in your own ability (or even desire) to do another mundane retail job... sound familiar? Well, it’s pretty much my life at the moment. What’s more, when you stop fervently scanning shop windows for the elusive ‘Staff Wanted – Apply Within’ sign for just a moment, at this time of year, you’re very likely to notice a whole host of others in exactly the same boat, CV’s in tow. AKA: the competition.

Jobs are thin on the ground right now. The skills market seems more challenging than it’s ever been. And desperation is never a good look. But what if your biggest challenge is the fact that, actually, you don’t even want a job? You want to be doing your creative thing; your own hustle. I know that, more than anything, I want to be dedicating time to this blog and establishing myself as a fashion copywriter/freelance features writer. Uno problemo: I need to pay the rent.

I’m simultaneously working to get a bill-paying, regular bread-and-butter job, whilst working on my dream ‘jam’ job of being self-employed as a writer. And, right now, I’m doing a bad job of both, because neither is getting my full attention... I’m guessing there might just be many of you in the very same position.

So, how have you guys done it? What’s your personal experience with getting a job to get you by? How do you handle it when ‘the real world’ butts into your dream world? What words of wisdom can you pass on to me and others?

You tell me!


hapa said...

I do know the feeling. I've been there several times actually. The first time I did find a job that had flexible hours and paid ok, so I could pretty much cover my expences. The down side - with school and work, there was no time to do what I really loved. I couldn't quit the job nor school, so I had to push my dreams into the future. "Maybe when I'm done with school..." "Maybe next semester things will calm down..." You know what? They never did. This spring I got to the point where i realized that it was now or never. I sat down with my parents and told them about my plans. I knew that the only way i could really focus on fulfilling my dreams, is with their help. The bill-paying kind. And luckily for me, they were behind me. Sometimes I feel very bad for taking their money, but I'm saying to myself that I will pay them back someday. Because dedicating my all to get to where I want to go is the only way I'm going to get there.
This might not be and option for you, but there might be people in your life willing to give you a helping hand.

Elimy said...

This is a tough one. I work retail at a jewellers and have done for several years now, and I'm also studying, and it doesn't get any easier. But think of it this way: this job you get is not the end of the line. Until something perfect comes along, it will keep you afloat, and you will make friends, gain skills, maybe even be inspired. Do your best at whatever you do. Love the blog xx

Jessica - Lovely Undergrad said...

Oh goodness. I feel like I just read something I wrote.

We're in the same boat.

I'm going to be checking in on this post for your readers' words of wisdom!

Anonymous said...

Been there. Hell, I'm still there! I have a great job with above average pay for a junior position, and I'm surrounded by great people during working hours. Yet, I find myself dreading that 7 AM alarm five nights a week.

I'm still figuring things out for myself, but here are a few words that I hope will help..

It is very important to make time for yourself.
Do not, and I repeat, do NOT work overtime. This will only suck you even deeper into your job, leaving you with even less energy for yourself.

Find a way to make time for what you want to do.
No one will do this for you.

Force yourself to make time to pamper yourself.
It is important to de-stress and unwind if you want to make it work.
That one hour of me-time will go a long(ish) way.

Do not quit your job, unless you've secured another.
As tempting as ti may be, fight the urge. It will pay off.
The job market is not at its best, and wether you like it or not, you do need a support.

Always remember that its one hell of a rocky ride keeping a job while starting your own thing on the side. But the day will come, and the road will steady.. When it does, you will know.

All it takes is a great deal of perseverance :)

Wishing you all the best!

Amber-Rose said...

Ahhh, tell me about it.
Well, not only do I have a pay-the-bills job, I'm in college resitting my A Level's so that I can actually go to University, and somehow wondering how all this is going to get my any closer to a magazine job or being able to open my own clothing boutique any time soome. ARRGH. Not fun.

Basically, I have a diary that plots my week in hours, or else I use the calander on my blackberry. I donate every free hour to either working, studying, blogging or career hour. Now sometimes, career hours involve researching jobs I'd like to do and what kind of work experience I'd need etc. Other times it's applying for work experience, or emailing my local newspaper telling them why they totally need me on their features team as they seem to have forgetten to include a 'Style' section in their little journal.

Stessing me out? Yeah. Makes me tired most of the time? Totally. However, It means that I'm getting 'there' slowly but surely.

So don't lose heart. We all have bills to pay, it's just the juggle that seperates success from floundering completely.

You'll do it Megan. :)

Megan said...

AMAZING answers everybody. I actually feel infinitely better after reading all these - it's comforting to know there are others in the same boat and to see how you're all just rocking it regardless!

Lizzie Ruth said...

Thank you for all the answers everyone :)

I'm in a slightly different boat, I dropped out of uni and landed on my feet with the most perfect dream job with a handmade skincare company.

The only downside is the company I work for is so small, they can't afford to give me more than 10 hours a week so I'm looking for a dull part time 'pay-the-bills' job which is hard when I want to spend all my time working the dream.

The thing that's keeping me going is that every 'pay the bills' job I have teaches me something and I learn something new/ have new experience/ meet new people that will ultimately help me to improve my work in 'the dream job.'

Who knew that working in a warehouse sticking barcodes onto pieces of cardboard would actually be useful in my dream job when I have be precise and help stick labels onto bottles when we make new stock! :)

Good luck on your job hunt! You'll find something eventually, and with the right spin, any job can seem like an opportunity (I think so anyway haha)

Midnight Cowgirl said...

I am in the same boat and sadly, don't have any words of wisdom. I'm now trying to do things against type in order to see what opportunities arise.

Giorgia Student-Flair Blog said...

After finishing University I got a well-paid full time job at a firm. It didn't have anything to do with what I wanted to do in life but here in Italy it's so difficult to find even a regular bread-and-butter job that I felt lucky to have got one. It was a one year and a half nightmare. The office was horrible and so it was the location. I did not get on well with my colleagues. It was too demanding, I had to work mostly 10 hours daily, to commute 2 hours a day by train with continous strikes and disservices. It left me no time to cultivate my passions and dreams or even just going out with friends at saturday night. I felt so tired that I needed to rest all the weekend.
I was even tempted to give up my dreams and try this new, different career, which I thought was much more solid than free lancing writing. "Fortunately", the firm business was not going well and this helped me deciding to quit. Essentially, it was not a waste of time as I could have spent this period at University studying for a useless degree. I saved a lot of money living at home with my parents and now I can afford attending a specialistic course in London at LCF.
So what I would advise is to find a job that will not drain you out. Best if it's just few hours a day. Good luck, we've all been there but it gets better :-)

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