I recently went through a very arduous process to get a new job. I was growing rather weary of my work, after not liking it in a different way every month or so – from feeling a lack of interest in the subject matter, to extended dearths of activity where I felt I was generating unnecessary work. On the plus side, I began to learn more and more about what I need to avoid when looking for a job.
After the fast-paced world of project delivery, the policy environment can be frustrating. The peaks and troughs of activity require a particular ability to quickly ratchet up or down one’s engagement. The total lack of incoming information at times is like a lack of water in a desert – it’s possible to see things that aren’t there. This means one can end up working towards a mirage.
So I am returning to the world of project delivery, as a senior project manager. We will see whether the title and shift is enough, or whether the change needs to be a larger one. I am reaching a stage where I need to start thinking about my personal goals, hopes and dreams. I was so focused on leaving my current job – and of course, I only applied to things I really wanted – but on the two most recent occasions that I’ve changed jobs, the push felt stronger than the pull.
Do I need to leave the civil service in a year or two in order to better pursue what I want? Or is my job, with its working conditions which are superior to many other employers, providing me with an unparalleled opportunity to explore my goals outside of work? Have I over-compromised? Must they remain there? Do I need to associate my income more clearly with my values?
I’ve looked into a number of jobs, particularly in the education sector where I started, and been rebuffed by all of them – narrowly, I should add. In considering my next steps, I hope to start in this role with a renewed sense of personal goals and objectives. A sense of direction.
My hobbies remain a central part of my life. I have dedicated a lot of time to learning Japanese, thus I really hope I’ll get to use it someday with fluency, and get to enjoy the view from the top of what is a very steep mountain of learning. Similarly I’m really enjoying improv class right now, and I’m keen to see where that takes me. But as much as I enjoy trying out new things (which is one of the keys to breaking the depression spell), I feel a need to slow down a little and maybe feel less like I’m wandering the desert looking for water.
At some point in the future, I believe I would like to engage the services of someone who’s further along in their career trajectory, to really explore my next steps in detail. I also, apparently, suck at interviews.