Category Archives: Job

Reinventing, me.

As I sit at my desk and type, get up to put a file away, walk the length of the long corridor to greet a visitor, I can’t help but feel immensely frustrated. I want to escape, run far away and never look back. This has been my life for 5 years and yet, I despise it. I question myself every day. Why do I continue to pigeon hole myself with this nonsense and let a job that shouldn’t define me, define me?

I no longer want to be a slave to paper, to other people, to answering the phone for someone. I want to spend 40 hours a week doing something I enjoy. Doing something that gives my life meaning and purpose. I want to be proud of myself and proud of my achievements.

I’ve decided to refocus, re-evaluate , reinvent me! I’m going to try out things that I think I might like. Things I’ve always thought I might be good at, but self doubt and anxiety about failing have convinced me otherwise. So, I’ve signed up to a long distance course.

Things won’t change immediately, I know this. There are still many phones and doors I need to answer for other people, but all new adventures have to start somewhere. Hopefully in a years time, I can open a new door just for myself!


I got the job!

A while ago now, I posted about what I felt I was capable of doing job/career wise. I got stuck in a rutt after that and fell into bad job after bad job. I was an administrator on 20k a year, doing three most boring thing ever. This was a stark realisation that I was sick to death of admin.. So, I got another job that was less admin and more customer service based. To be fair, the job wasn’t that bad at all, but the company was an awful shambles. I was a sales coordinator responsible for a whole heap of people making a real mess of new homes. I’ll tell you something for nothing, hell hath no fury like a new home owner with faulty windows and doors! The stress of that job wasn’t worth the measly 18k they were paying me to not give a shit.

All this made me realise I need validation. I don’t know why, I just always have. Maybe it’s self esteem related. Well, not maybe, I’m almost certain it is.

So, when I saw a job advertised for a Housing Officer, I jumped at the chance. I’d already previously applied, but turned down the interview because I couldn’t get the time off work. I knew my application was good enough to get me to interview stage.

On the day of the interview I was the most nervous I’d ever been… Especially at the thought of about 15 interview questions! Who asks 15 questions?! That’s ridiculous. There was also a 10 minute section where I got to prepare answers to 3 questions they’d let me see. After the interview I was sure I’d messed up… I got shown around by another member of staff and then had another mini interview with him, which I felt I passed with flying colours. I left feeling semi confident about the whole ordeal.

Twice they tried to call me back the same day, but I was too nervous to answer! Terrified he’d tell me no and I was bound to spend the rest of my days being shouted at by homeowners! The following day I plucked up the courage to call them back and they told me I’d been successful! I’ve honestly never been so happy and shocked all at the same time. I didn’t even need to tell my boss… She could tell by the look on my face what I was going to tell her.

My new job can be super stressful because there’s a ridiculous amount of information to learn. I have to be clued up on rules, policies and procedures and all sorts. It’s been 3 months now and all manner of things have happened. Working with homeless people is hard, it’s chaotic, it’s rewarding, challenging and it’s fun. You can be judge, jury and executioner one day and the next, you can be someone’s best friend. The worst part is asking someone to leave when they’ve broken too many rules… And the best part is seeing someone transform their lives, and moving on. It’s not everything you get shown in the media… It’s not always black and white.. Homelessness is a multi coloured mindfield. There is one thing I know for sure, this feels like the validation I’ve been searching for, for so long.

What do I want to be when I grow up.

I’ve been having some thoughts recently regarding my choice of career. I don’t think that’s the right phrase though in all honesty, as working as an administrator is hardly a career choice for the majority of people that are doing it. It’s the sort of thing you fall into really, isn’t it? It’s entry level… No one trawls through job adverts and gets excited about answering phones, being upto your neck in paperwork and typing up letters do they? I really hope not.

I’ve fallen into this sort of job all my life, even though my qualifications and degree are generally a lot more exciting. Fitness Instructor versus Typist.. No competition! It’s easy, the money is ok (I say ok, this job is the most I’ve ever been paid!) and it’s the sort of thing you don’t have to worry too much about. Or at least, it was when I started 18 months ago. Now I’m all morose and 2003 McDonald’s jingle (ba da ba ba ba – I’m hatin’ it).
The workload has tripled, the money is the same and it’s target central every day. It’s like being strapped into a bi polar roller coaster. I think any laughter, excitement and mania is caused by delirium!!

I know it’s blatantly obvious I’m not happy in my job, but I can’t leave cos I don’t know what else to do with myself. Oh, and I really like money and shoes!! I don’t know what I want to do, what I could do or how I go about finding something else that I enjoy. I’m not sure I have the aptitude for anything else in this world. Starting again at 31 doesn’t exactly fill me with a load of confidence either. It could take me years to figure out what else I might be good at. I haven’t got years. Well I have, but you know what I mean. Having a career involves building up years of experience and I don’t like the thought of starting all over again, again.

I almost feel like I’m 15 years old again and need to seek careers advice so I can pick the best A level subjects.

The only thing I know I quite enjoy is teaching, in a fitness capacity of course, because I’ve never done it in any other environment. The fitness industry has gone to pot though and unless you’re amazing (which I know I’m not), then it’s a very tough old world. I can’t put up or keep up with the competition anymore. I’m like an old dog…. I can’t remember any of the new tricks!
I’ve considered teaching English as a foreign language, but grammatically I’m quite poor. The things I learnt in school regarding nouns and verbs don’t even exist in my head anymore. Although, that might be part of the problem. I’m just not as intelligent as I used to be or wish I was. That’s a stark and depressing realisation!!

The problem I’ve always had is that what I’d love to do is too specific. And if it’s too specific, it means there area whole deal of jobs. In all the time I’ve known what I want to do, I’ve only ever found 4 jobs in the locations I was in at the time. 2 in Northampton and 2 in Cardiff since I’ve lived here. One I interviewed for and didn’t get, the other, I simply wasn’t an option.

The other problem I have is that I get bored really easily. I need variables and change fairly often. I hate doing the same thing, day in, day out. I wasn’t built for repetition.

Maybe it’s time to start reviewing my options…
What did you want to be when you grew up, and what are you now??

Capabilities and Perceptions

Do people perceive you completely different to how you perceive yourself?
Are you more capable than you give yourself credit for?

Currently I work for Probation in an admin support role. It’s a job that I’m more than grateful for, as I fell into it, the pay is decent and I enjoy admin to a certain extent. It isn’t however, the role I intend on doing forever.

The role I sort of set my sights on within this organisation, is as a Probation Service Officer (PSO), which is pretty much the same as a Probation officer (PO), you’re just exposed to less risks. I applied for the role a few months back, but wasn’t successful.

The role has come up again and I was considering it, but part of me was thinking perhaps I’m not good enough… Maybe my experiences and knowledge isn’t quite good enough to provide that level of support to someone, or to help them change their lives in such a way.
I’m doubting myself because I’ve never done it before and not sure if I’d be any good.

I had an appointment with my bank the other week and the lady I was speaking to asked me where I worked. I told her and she looked at me agasp! Apparently she didn’t expect me to work in that sort of area, and she didn’t expect me to be a probation officer. I didnt correct her assumption, perhaps I should’ve, but I didn’t. I liked her assumption. Although she obviously didn’t think I was capable, I liked it.

A few other people I’ve said this too, assume I’m a PO. Some I’ve corrected, others I have neglected to.
I’m not sure I understand why everyone thinks the Probation service is just full of POs and no other staff!

One of my colleagues, who’s the same age as me, fantastic at the job (PO), and who I have a lot of respect for, told me I should apply for the PSO role. One of the police officers I work with, on hearing I was moving to a different team (I’m yet to blog about this), asked if it was to become a PSO. I alerted him to the fact that it wasn’t.

Again, both of these comments made me feel really good about myself and the way others perceive my capabilities, especially people I have a lot of respect for.
Being a PSO/PO isn’t for everyone. Dealing with offenders requires a fair bit of skill. It’s not an easy job! Being responsible for someone’s welfare and wellbeing in the community is a tough task, or at least, I perceive it to be. If you get it wrong, on your head be it,  there’s a lot of criticism, especially from the public! However, there are people who think im capable of doing this even though I have no first hand experience.

So, depending on the requirements, I better get an application in! This has given me the confidence I was lacking. I can bloody do this!