Time for a change: It dawned on me the other day. In 8 and a half years I will 40.
If I have learnt anything in my life, what seems so far away, creeps upon a person in no time.
It happened in my teens and sometimes I reflect where that precious time went.
Going back to the year 2000
It was a Millennium New Year’s eve. I was 17 and allowed to drink some champagne. Apart from wondering whether Y2K was going to end us all, like others, my mind was full of thoughts on what the future held in store. Knowing my teenage mind it probably related to the three M’s:
Being on the brink of adulthood, it probably seemed realistic, it was what everyone did by their 30’s – why would I be different?
My perception for the future is no better today and like 17 year old me, I am still not sure what I truly want to do with myself.
I don’t regret my 20’s. I learnt a lot about working, going to University as a mature student, travelling, volunteering, then tailing it off by going back into the real world of work. But I can’t help be envious of the teenage kids who have it all worked out – they know what they want and have the drive to get there.
With that decade of experience I still feel like I am going nowhere.
The more things change, the more they stay the same
The reason I left my job to go to University in 2006 was because I did not want to be some minimum wage guy sat at a desk trying to satisfy some manager, who is only your boss because they were a slightly better administrator than everyone else and happened to be in the right place at the right time.
And now it is 2014 and I am a guy sat at a desk. What happened? With my lack of success after graduating, I became jaded with the higher education system, feeling scammed.
I did the volunteering route to get myself “ahead of the pack” and this led to nothing
Despite being a Yorkshire man at heart, I opened myself up to leaving my comfort zone, working anywhere in the country, getting into debt doing underpaid jobs, all because of the advice “it’s good experience that will get you in the door to your industry”
With concerns for mounting debt, I gave up on the idea that I was destined to go on some great career path and started accepting that working a normal job, with a shitty boss who had no concept of leadership or management skills was just normal. After all as a kid I used to always see my dad come home and complain at the dinner table about the latest trivial incident. So why should I act like a special snowflake?
So accepting that I do some white collar desk job was something I had to tough out – I could hate 37 hours a week of my life and enjoy the rest.
But something went horribly wrong – anyone who spoke to me could tell their was not something right with me. I had no enthusiasm for the job, infact some days I wonder if I’d half-arse work and push boundaries because I was daring to be fired. My dissatisfaction to where I was could not be hidden.
It’s another minimum wage job – not that I have an issue with that, I used to love working in the library – I enjoyed the customers and there was an element of creativity which satisfied me.
And I don’t think I am better than others, its just mass producing template letters and scanning files doesn’t exactly inspire me.
Each day I sit behind my desk, sometimes I think the clock taunts me.
I had made peace with this life, because with volunteering, various jobs and education I was burnt out with investing in my career. Sp I focused on living in other ways, while I stumbled through my job incompetently.
Then an incident happened, where my manager crossed the line too far. After our meeting I left the office for an early lunch, otherwise something bad was going to happen.
I walked by the canal and a fire in me ignited. I was angry, firstly with my manager and then me, as I thought “What the hell am I still doing here?”
When I am truthful with myself – I knew that my job was not right for me a month after starting, but I stuck it out so not to let anyone down. I have made no effort to be proactive in searching for work and the telling off I received reminded that I used to be a person with a lot of enthusiasm and pride in the work I did.
My manager was not happy with my performance. I couldn’t give a shit about that to be honest – my frustration came from the fact that I’m doing a job that I’m not particularly talented at.
After my walk I realised it was time to move on – if I continue sticking my job out to make others happy I will make myself seriously ill.
I know deep down what I really want to do. It’s going to take time and risks. But I need to be brave and let my excellence shine.
It’s time I live my life for me, I know I am worth more, I know I can make a difference and I know that I have passion, enthusiasm and energy.
From today its time to change.