When I’m not writing or reading, I spend much of my days in an absent minded state scrolling aimlessly through job postings and occupation boards searching for a potential future career. After finishing University I had high hopes, I had spent three years doing what I loved, reading and writing in the pursuit of a Literature degree. Once I graduated I decided I wasn’t ready to enter the traditional workforce, or go on to further education like many of my peers and so I spent 12 months teaching English in Beijing and travelling through much of Asia. Now I have returned and I find myself immensely disheartened by the options available to me. No matter where I look, the job posting are all the same. Recruiters, accountants, sales roles, all of them are a variation on a bland and familiar theme. Sitting in front of a computer crunching numbers, picking up a phone trying to sell people things they don’t really need, sitting in conference rooms feigning interest in this quarters numbers and targets, making a poultry wage while the shadowy overlords get fatter and richer.
Is this all there is? I was so sure in my youth that this was not going to be my life. Desks, boardrooms, business conferences, I know there are many people who find satisfaction in such a life, but there are also many more who do not. How many people go to bed on a Sunday night with dread in their hearts, dread at the thought of another week of early morning congested commutes, hours sat at a desk performing the same remedial tedious tasks only to be berated by management for not hit this banal target or the next. Days stretch into weeks, into years, every day doing the same old shit just to earn enough money to live. We spend most of our lives in work, commuting to the office, or rejecting opportunities to socialise and have fun because we need to be up early the next day, the fact that so many people don’t enjoy what they do is a gut wrenching thought to me.
I know there is more out there, there has to be. Jobs with meaning and purpose, giving back to the majority rather than enriching the minority. Social work, teaching, creating, surely these should be amongst the most prestigious positions in society, so why are they so few and far between, so poorly compensated? We are all here because we love to share, to write, to create. Many of us dream of someday making a living out of what we love…So few of us will.
I apply to the jobs which vaguely interest me because I know soon I must grow up and join the adult world, but when they call me to arrange an interview I can’t quite bring myself to answer the phone, to admit that I am resigned to this life of drudgery and discontent. Twenty somethings is a tough time in many people’s lives, we are too old to have our heads filled with such unrealistic dreams, too young to admit that we should give up on them.
#Mentalhealthmatters #Secondstepstogether #careerfears