When I left university I thought I would get a job, stay in that job for a few years and not even have to think about another one until I wanted to. With hindsight I laugh at myself then, because what I didn’t know is that it’s simply not the case.
From the examples I’d had in my life you worked in one place for a long time, people in my family had worked at the same place for over 10 years sometimes – they might have changed roles but they were with that company. The thing is, that didn’t seem to apply with me.
I’ve moved around a fair few times since graduating. For some, it was simply the fact that my position wasn’t needed anymore and so my contract ended, from others I wasn’t right for the role and let go and some were simply short term contract roles. In some of those I was miserable and leaving was the best thing I did…but when I was made to leave I couldn’t help but feel like a failure. But, with the gift of hindsight I realised I actually learnt a lot.
Doing a good job is important but so are boundaries.
I’ve always been an overachiever, but I had to learn about boundaries. I would work and work and work way past what I should have been.
I needed to learn to separate my work life and my home life. To know that my job wasn’t my entire life (although this gets a little more difficult when you are working for yourself). I learnt that I work to live, not the other way around! It’s an important lesson.
Learning what I want and what I don’t in my personal and professional life
I learnt that I love the world of digital, have a passion for social and like to be creative. Traditional marketing methods never spoke to me short-term and instead of managing campaigns I wanted to be in the thick of it! I wanted to be writing, making, creating.
I also learnt that a 45-minute drive every morning and every night made me miserable, as did a rigid 9-5.30. That the corporate scene bored me and that I needed to enjoy what I was doing.
I have to look after my own health because other people won’t
In more than one of my jobs I felt that I had to hide any health issues I had, even mentioning the word stress was looked down upon. As if I couldn’t do my job.
When I worked late and gave my all, it wasn’t noticed or acknowledged but if I was overworked and got ill or wasn’t my ‘normal self’ it was pulled up. I had to learn the hard way I needed to look after myself because no one in the working world was going to.
Every time I got knocked down I got back up again vowing to do better next time. Once, after being told my job wasn’t going to exist anymore I cried, drove back to my home town and immediately got online and started contacting people who might know of some leads.
Did I cry when these happened? Of course, I did, I’m human! Did I have times where I thought I just couldn’t do it and wanted to give up, duh! Somehow I did it.
There are good people in every company, organisation, etc
Ultimately in every single job I’ve had I met wonderful people. People who I’ve stayed in touch with to varying degrees. No matter what there are good people in the world and that’s always a good thing to be reminded of.
What have previous jobs taught you? I’d love to know in the comments below!