The Employment Enigma

Today’s Blogging 101 assignment was to build on something you’d commented on yesterday while being a good neighbour. I did my commenting this morning. There was a post I commented on that had me thinking all day. I wasn’t necessarily thinking about the post directly, but it had me on a train of thought that I’d like to talk about.

Still Life with Grad Student’s Mayday! Mehday! – which I coincidentally found by chance through Metamorphosing Wallflower’s post about blogs she’d been neighbouring, isn’t this community thing terrific? – perfectly summed up those ‘meh’ days, and pointed out that this is indeed the perfect word for them.

I have these days, I’m sure we all do. Nothing feels right, something’s off, none of your clothes are right and none of your pastimes hold any enjoyment. These are the days I get to thinking. Thinking’s dangerous.

A wise, wise lady – Miss Bridget Jones, I believe – said “It is a truth universally acknowledged that when one part of your life starts going okay, another falls spectacularly to pieces.

I found an amazing (don’t tell him that!) boyfriend, moved out of the family home and – shock horror – started to take control of my life and mature a bit.

Naturally the job was going  under.

A lot lately, when I’m having a meh day, I think about my job, and how I’m not too keen on it. Unique, I know. I was content in my job. I mean, I’m a bio-sciences graduate who vaguely enjoyed lab work at uni and was incredibly lucky to land a job in a laboratory before I’d even graduated. I had the interview on the day I heard my degree classification. I knew I was lucky to have found something in my study area, that pays – not much but just – above minimum wage, so fast after finishing uni. Of course I jumped. Feet first. Without really thinking about it.

I sort of wish I had considered my options more. I’ve been in my job now just over two years and I’m thinking lab work is not where I want to be. Which leaves me in a bit of a bind. My thoughts conspire against me. “Labs are all I have experience of! Can I just change career direction like that? How? I don’t know how to do anything else. I can’t afford to take a pay cut. How on earth do I convince any new employer that I can do a job that – let’s face it – I probably can’t do. Even if I could change, I don’t even know what I would like to do. Office work? Retrain to do something else? I don’t even know.”

So on and so forth until I’m in a tizzy. I end up feeling lost and directionless and a bit scared. This is where my meh days take me.

Sensibly, on any other given day, I know that there are a very good proportion of people that are unsatisfied with their job. I know that there are a lot more people that don’t have a damn clue what they’d like to do. I know that at 24, it’s really not a big deal not to know where I’m going in life, or even to change career paths as if they were pants. Still, on those meh days, I worry.

So to calm me next time I get thinking, I’d like to hear your thoughts, people of the blogosphere; Did you know what you wanted to do at 24? If you’re younger, have you an idea? Has anyone changed their mind about what they wanted to do?

(P.S. Bridget Jones will always and forever be my idol).



16 thoughts on “The Employment Enigma

  1. I don’t know what to say ! I couldn’t have said it better myself ! Exactly the same issues I am having – though I’d add another thought that adds further fuel to the fire – I’ve spent so much time doing it , is it really worth the jump? What if I don’t like the new job after a month /two? That’s what they mean by quarter life crisis I guess!


    1. Haha yes! Exactly! That is definitely another one! “What if it’s just the place I work, and doing the same job somewhere else would be okay?” Is also a frequent contender. Oh dear. Quarter life crisis is an excellent description. Hope you pull through it with a job you end up loving! 🙂


  2. I did know, deep down, what I wanted to be when I was 24. I knew it when I was fourteen. I knew it when I was about seven. But I got distracted by what other people thought was appropriate, not just for me, but for everyone. A job with good pay, opportunity for advancement, good prospects, and good medical and dental benefits. A career, possibly. A boyfriend, then a husband. A reliable car. A good credit rating. A house, a mortgage. Then some babies, and maybe I’d be lucky enough to stay home with my kids and not have to go back to work. I never really thought in those terms until the influences and expectations of overall society forced me to. Um, okay. Am I doing this right? I mean, it kind of sucks and I still haven’t been to Paris, but I’ve met 75% of the markers. How’m I doing?

    You know, deep down what you want to do. You might be dismissing it because it doesn’t pay well, or someone you care about wouldn’t approve, or you just haven’t the first idea how to go about doing it, either as a hobby or as a living. But don’t buy into someone else’s bill of goods, someone else’s idea of what your life should be. If you’re not pursuing your own passions, you’ll end up working for someone who’s pursuing theirs. (I read a quote to that effect this week and it’s really stuck with me, as you can tell.)


  3. Hello, Haley! Thank you for posting the post about which I will comment and thus have something with which to do Thursday’s assignment. I may even get it done before Thursday is over in my part of the world. FYI, it is a rare human being in this century who chooses their life’s path at 24. Or 64. I am only 62 and eleven twelfths, but I like to look to the future.


  4. So happy to be mentioned here; thank you 🙂 🙂 I really love how one blog can lead to another, even coincidentally. At 12, I mapped out my entire post-secondary education plan, and where I wanted it to take me, but I was a unique child in that respect. But I don’t think you have to know where you want things to go, as long as you know what makes you happy, and are confident enough to take that leap of faith into something unknown when an opportunity arises that you might love. What a lovely post 🙂 🙂


    1. Wow! That’s so impressive! When I was 12 I wanted to be a big-time stage actress in all the musicals haha (I’d been taken to see Fame in London and was obsessed. It’s good that you know where you want to go though! I am definitely working on finding something to do that makes me happy! 🙂


  5. Brilliant blog and I love this post. At more than double your age, and having spent more than 20 years doing different ‘not quite right’ jobs, I could write a very long comment in response to your request for this. However, I’m also still to do the Blogging 101 challenge where I write a post that has come out of something I’ve commented on – running late with all of this. So I will this weekend write a post inspired by this one of yours. Thanks for being that inspiration I’ve been looking for.


    1. Thanks for your comment and reassurance! It’s nice to hear I don’t need to have it all figured out by now. I’m very happy to have inspired you to post about something I’ve written! I’ll keep a look out for your post this weekend!


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