“STOP…Hammer Time” No, seriously, STOP. Please Stop applying for all the jobs, deep down you know you don’t want. You know what I’m talking about. You’re starting to get itchy feet (not anything serious like tinea) but the kind where you feel it’s time for a change, a new career adventure or a new challenge?
Like the majority, you think a new job/change of scenery is what you need. Well, have you ever read a job description and thought; how boring, or it’s not that bad, then you still hit apply? I have, and I’m willing to bet, let’s say a cupcake (gluten & sugar free available) that you have too. Why? Why do we do this?
Here is where I ask you to ask yourself; is a new job what you really need?
This is something I asked myself recently. I have been working full-time as a creative, every-day whilst still working a “keep the lights on job” on the side to fund my dreams and itchy (non-tinea related) feet began, along with all the accompanying thoughts…”There has got to be a better way to earn money, surely I can work elsewhere there doesn’t suck my soul”. So I spruced up the resume and applied to a horde of jobs.
In this job applying cycle I applied for a bunch of jobs (attempting to bring in some extra funds over the Christmas period) where I would be doing everything except working toward my goals. Knowing they didn’t have the flexibility, pay or soul-filling requirements I needed, even to just keep the lights on; yet I still applied. Two opportunities came back with interviews, both via Skype and instead of saying “no thank you” I accepted and then did everything I could to not get the job.
No, I didn’t Skype naked or promote myself as incapable, I was HONEST. Doesn’t sound to ground-breaking, but take a moment to mull it over. I did not settle or accept a fate of getting these jobs out of desperation, from guilt, obligation or because I was too far down the rabbit hole. As they asked me about availability & flexibility, I replied honestly to what I knew worked in for my goals. During the interviews I knew exactly what I had when I first hit reply; THIS JOB IS NOT FOR ME.
Yes I was qualified, but I didn’t fit in with what it is I need. Don’t fool yourself or convince yourself otherwise…
What YOU need is just as important as what an employer needs!
IMAGINE you are driving down a road (the road is the path you are working on, toward your dreams/goals), every so often you pull off to the gas/petrol station (this is the job you work to keep the lights on, take a break, recharge) and then you when you’ve filled up (cash, food) you get straight back on the road and keep heading toward what it is you know in your heart you should be doing to fill your soul (the dream, the goal).
What I’m saying is that when you apply for all these jobs you know you DON’T want & in no way aid the real goal you’re working toward, you’ve turned down a dirt road on your drive to find another gas station (another job) when there is nothing wrong with the one you have (because it is keeping the lights on and allowing you to focus on what it is you really do want). What you’ve done is put wear and tear on the car (Yourself, your soul) spent time doing everything except what it is you really want to be doing.
One of the jobs came back as a no and I can’t tell you the relief and release of pressure I felt because I wasn’t going to begin the almighty juggle of keeping another boss happy and locked into time I don’t have, out of obligation. The second job came back to offer me a different job within the company which I politely and gratefully said “Thank you but no thank you”. I calculated it all up:
Resume sprucing = 1hr
Job Searching = 5-6hrs
Job Applying = 2hrs
Over the phone pre-interviews = 1hr
Time spent worrying “what If I do get the job” = endless
Interviews = 2hrs
Total time spent on things I never really wanted = 12hrs
12 hrs driving down a dirt road, only to do a u-turn to then have to spend more time and money at the gas station filling up before I could get back on the road again.
12hrs that could have been better spent either on the road (add skills, making contacts, learning in my creative industry), with family, friends, a new adventure. Imagine if that 12hrs had been spent focusing on things that helped move me closer to the goal/dream, sustainable success and income from my creative life.
So here I am, in the car, with a backseat full of cupcakes (remember the ones we bet earlier) and I’m driving toward all that feels right, and saying (if anyone is listening/reading) no more dirt roads out of fear.
Stop applying for all the jobs you don’t want, because YOU know exactly what it is you want and don’t settle for anything less. You need flexibility? Get a job that gives you that, need night work? Don’t apply for something you think you can make work, you’re already trying tirelessly to make your dreams work.
Let’s have both hands on the wheel and head toward the life we are here to lead.