I have reached that point in my life where I need to find direction. Something to aim for, somewhere to go, something that defines me beyond mother, wife, daughter. Don’t get me wrong, I love being those things but as my first went off to start school this year I realised that before I know it both my girls will be off on their own and I will need something other than cupcakes, glitter and running under the sprinkler to fill in my days. I can kick back and relax as good as the next person, but I am a doer. I need to be challenged, I need to have something to apply myself to. I have my blog of course, which I love, but it doesn’t exactly pay the bills. So I decided I need to get myself on track for a new career. The challenge was set, the glove thrown down, I was finding myself.
So, as you do with any pre-mid-life-crisis I made a coffee, swept all the girls craft off the dining table onto the floor and I sat down and made a list, actually several lists because as you all know, I love lists! @PotentialPsychology kicked me off with her Summer Series on ‘who are you in 2015’ (really great you should check it out!). I made a list of my strengths. I listed the things in life that I am passionate about. I listed the values I am looking for in my work. And I completed several online questionnaires that told me what my personality type was, what my strengths were and what sort of job I should have. I was feeling all productive and optimistic.
Then I ran into a problem. It turns out that I am pretty equal on almost all traits. While this might make me a well balanced all rounder it makes it very hard to find a job that satisfies my strengths. I am both creative and analytical. I am both social but like to work independently. It all felt so very wishy washy and pointless.
I have a degree, actually two if we are keeping count, but I no longer feel any passion for the career path I choose as a 16 year old kid. Seriously, why are we expected to make such a big decision at such a young age?! I enjoyed studying at uni, (yes I said I enjoyed it – one of my strengths is that I love to learn) and I enjoyed the work I did after graduating. But after time out of the workforce, growing and nurturing my family, I feel like I don’t want to return to the same career.
After some soul searching, some list making and some good old fashioned Googling (did you know it is 17 years old!!), I finally thought of a career that I could really get in to, something that I could almost picture myself doing. I excitedly looked up how I get there. The answer – years of full time university study and a lengthy registration process involving 2 years of supervised experience and then more exams. Hmm, I paused, I pondered, I looked at my lists and this career path actually ticked pretty much all the boxes – I suppose I could somehow figure out how to juggle things and make it work. Then the shocker – It was going to cost me $170, 000 in fees! Now, having used up almost half of my lifetime HECS/HELP limit on my previous 16-year-old whim 2 degrees I was at a dead end, unable to afford the fees to learn a new trade based on the pay rate of a mother.
I cannot be the first person to be in this situation. I am sure there are women everywhere who feel like a career change after having children and find themselves stuck between piles of washing and a long list of boring job options (that is to say, a rock and a hard place).
So what are my options now, to work in a job I don’t like, just as a miserable means to an end; to wait until I can somehow magically afford to pay the exorbitant university fees to end up in a base rate position that barely pays enough to cover the repayments and tax anyway. Then I thought I found a quick and cheap (well – relative to 170k even 20k looks cheap) option through a TAFE Diploma, but that only gets me a job sort of like it, but nothing like it and I end up stuck with a HECS debt and a job I didn’t want. Wait, last option, I find a different career path that I am passionate about.
I know you are all wondering ‘what is this magical career path’ that I discovered, but I’m sorry, my whole roller coaster of emotions I experienced in my one weekend of finding myself has left me feeling a little raw, and exposed. I’m not quite ready to share that with the big wide world just yet. In fact, I’m feeling pretty brave just sharing this, as I usually don’t get this personal on my blog. I suppose I just needed to let anyone else out there in the same position know that you aren’t alone. And to let out a fairly quiet scream of help for advice.
Have you got some advice?
Have you been through this? Were you successful in finding yourself?
What do you think you can picture me doing as a career?
Between my not quite successful journey finding myself and my 2yo being sick, this weekend was a blur and I completely forgot to send out my weekly newsletter. To make up for it I sent out the newsletter yesterday and gave all my subscribers a special free gift. I hope you enjoyed it. If you missed out, subscribe to my newsletter and I will be gifting again with my next newsletter.Love it. Follow me. . .