The next big thing

Thursday, August 9, 2018 Permalink

I was just going to call this post, What Comes Next, but a vague sense of deja-vu niggled at me and sure enough, I’d written a post called exactly that in November 2011.

It wasn’t – as this post is – about work, my professional life and the ‘direction’ I take, rather it was written almost a month after my father passed away so instead pondered on the melancholy enveloping me at the time.

But, here I’m talking less traumatic events. Like my impending unemployment and life on the streets.

Kidding. #Obvs

I’ve talked recently about the fact that I’d delayed my long-planned overseas holiday (and cancelled part of it) because of delays in a work project; and the fact that current project gig would soon end.

I won’t go over old ground, but it’s interesting… work has been so busy and stressful (and will continue to be so until I leave on my overseas holiday) that I’ve not had time to think about the fact that my contract essentially finishes while I’m away – meaning I finish this job in about a month.

my next job

I am conscious of the looming lack of employment and diligently prepaying a heap of big bills I know will be due in coming months. Happily I only entertained the idea of cancelling my Italy holiday very briefly – given I’ve been looking forward to it for a decade or two!

However, I can’t really remain in denial about money-earning options as my work colleagues and others often ask if I’ve got anything organised yet.

Ahhh… “No,” I tell them.

And in reality I suspect it’s partially because I’m not entirely sure what I want to pursue on the job / work front. Should I be scouting project management opportunities; or should I follow that creative desire to write (ideally via freelancing or paid in some way)?

In a perfect world I’d get a choice. However, as I live in a small regional town with minimal opportunities I suspect I’ll keep my eye out for suitable project management type gigs, while trying to work out if I can summon the confidence to pitch my writing to sources who will pay.

Either way, it’s scary and exciting at the same time.

Any suggestions?

The Lovin’ Life team includes:

24 Comments
  • Vanessa
    August 9, 2018

    Very little advice, I’m sorry to say. Back when I did contract work I ended up taking whatever just to pay the bills. I’m currently debating exactly how in the market I am for a new job – I’m not happy with some aspects of work right now but also can’t see myself giving up my first ever “secure” job.

    • Debbish
      August 9, 2018

      I suspect I’ll be taking anything I can get as well Vanessa. It’s weird as most of my colleagues seem to think it’s funny that I talk about impending unemployment as if it’s an impossibility. Sadly my years of experience, MBA etc… mean little if there are very few jobs on offer.

      • Vanessa
        August 9, 2018

        Yep, that’s mostly how I feel about my experience and education these days. Doesn’t add up to much when I’m employed way below my skill level. But it’s as permanent as permanent gets these days which is what I didn’t have when I had the relevant jobs so I guess we can’t have everything?

        • Debbish
          August 10, 2018

          True and I made the call to leave my (somewhat boring / unchallenging) permanent part-time gig (at a lower level) to do this for a year, so…. my own fault etc etc – but I don’t regret doing it at all.

  • Jo
    August 9, 2018

    My advice – for what it’s worth – enjoy your holiday and keep both options open ie your eye out for PM opportunities and get some pitching happening… Lindy Alexamder writes a really good blog for freelancers: lindyalexander.net

    • Debbish
      August 9, 2018

      I’m very torn about the whole – blood sucking nature of my day job and the financial security it offers (and occasionally – though not much lately – sense of accomplishment); versus the freedom / sense of respect I so desire.

  • sizzlesue15
    August 9, 2018

    I’m so pleased you didn’t cancel your trip to Italy, Deb. You deserve it and sometimes if we put things off they never happen. I agree with Jo, to keep both options open and although it is scary it is also a very exciting time full of new experiences to explore. xx

    • Debbish
      August 9, 2018

      I was actually supposed to go to Italy back in 2001 Sue but ended up blowing all of that money on an expensive health retreat here in Oz for 3wks cos I was so stressed from work I didn’t think I’d enjoy all of Italy had to offer…. so I was definitely loath to postpone again.

  • writeofthemiddle
    August 9, 2018

    I’ve no wise words of wisdom or advice for you Deb except to enjoy that holiday. You deserve it! I think keep your options open and feelers out with regards to work and hopefully the right thing will come along! #TeamLovinLife

    • Debbish
      August 9, 2018

      I know, it feels a bit deja-vu-ish – like when I took my redundancy and thought there would be heaps of options open to me and yet there wasn’t. Of course I guess I’ve learned from that and probably have been reminded of the pros and cons from making work your life vs just doing a job.

  • leannelc
    August 9, 2018

    Deb you have to look at your life as one interesting adventure after another – because really (when you take the stress and uncertainty out of the equation) there seems to be something happening on a regular basis that gets you thinking about what’s next? I’ll be waiting to see what you decide and what new opportunities come your way when you get back from the fabulous holiday (which I’m very glad you didn’t cancel!)

    • Debbish
      August 9, 2018

      There have certainly been ups and downs Leanne. I had about 3yrs off in my late 20s to work overseas as a volunteer and cashed in superannuation and sold a car to fund it; later had a diplomatic posting that meant I saved on rent for a couple of years in my 30s. I certainly can’t complain re where I’m at in life financially as I’ve always been single and worked for everything I have / own and think I’ve done a pretty good job. (So there! Hmmmm…. this is like a little pep talk to myself. Perfect timing as I’m feeling like a big fat untalented loser today!) x

  • Kooky Chic
    August 9, 2018

    Wow, I must have missed a few of your posts. So many decisions but surely you can make money with your writing? I’m so glad you didn’t cancel your holiday I’ve been so looking forward to it 🙂

    • Debbish
      August 9, 2018

      Ha yes, just the usual for me. Weird to think my parents basically had the same jobs all of their adult lives and I’ve had a gazillion and almost as many professions. I was always on a one-year contract and tried to never assume it would be extended. Sadly I had to give up a permanent part-time position to take this but it’s been worth it I think. (Financially!) Something part-time that gives me more time for my writing would be ideal but who knows….

  • Jodie
    August 9, 2018

    I felt this way when I retired…because it’s not like I had a pension. But life’s awfully short to worry about this. I figured I was a responsible and capable adult and could figure it out as life went on. And I’m learning to have more fun too!!!
    I can’t wait to see what’s in store for you….
    XOXO
    Jodie
    http://www.jtouchofstyle.com

    • Debbish
      August 10, 2018

      I’ve splurged quite a lot over the past year (while I’ve been back on a decent income) but I think the difference now is that I realise that and I’ve pretty consciously done it. Even now, as my job looms to a close I’m thinking of a couple of items of clothing I’d like and pondering whether they’re too much of a treat now that I won’t be working. (Though one is a pair of jeans for my o/s trip as I don’t own any that fit, so not entirely sure they’re too frivolous!)

      When I took my redundancy back in late 2012 I was able to purchase my apartment (post sea-change) outright but I had some hefty body corporate / strata fees which were the equivalent of a mortgage. Once I had a job I upgraded my house and now I again have a mortgage so for me that’s one of the key things I need to find money for each fortnight. As I’ve mentioned in the post I’ve pre-paid as many major bills as I can for coming months and literally pre-paid a few thousand dollars so it’s really only my living costs and mortgage I need to cover until I start earning an income again!

  • Sue
    August 9, 2018

    Scary and exciting sounds about right Deb, but hopefully more exciting than scary!! It sounds like you’re pretty pragmatic about the whole thing.
    I’m like your parents, having had the same career my entire working life, and haven’t been all that adventurous really. But I almost feel ready for a change if one were to come my way (without too much of a reduction in the whole remuneration side of things). I’m not looking at the moment, also trying not to complain (too much) about work frustrations, and hanging in there for my next lot of long service leave, after which I will consider my options more seriously!
    Enjoy the fabulous weather, food, culture and new experiences in Italy!! Will you be blogging your travels??

    • Debbish
      August 10, 2018

      I’ve tried to make sure my accommodation has wifi Sue so I hope to keep blogging while away. I should certainly have the time as I intend to make sure I have a lot of ‘vege’ time mixed in with my touristy stuff!

  • Kathy Marris
    August 9, 2018

    I think that often things just fall into place without having to do too much. Whenever I’ve been out of work something generally will crop up eventually. So I say don’t stress – something will come your way.

    • Debbish
      August 10, 2018

      I hope so Kathy. I fell into a few opportunities after taking the redundancy but it was much harder than I thought to find something…. though perhaps I need to change my expectations.

  • Natalie Peck McNamara
    August 10, 2018

    I always believe more is just around the corner. It feels so much nicer that way. Working for myself, if I spent all my time stressing over my next client, I think I would have packed up years ago. I trust in my ability to find that client. And I always have my own back.

    • Debbish
      August 10, 2018

      I attempted working for myself after I took my redundancy but struggled to approach potential clients – well I did but none responded and I wasn’t confident enough to really promote myself. I’m fine at the networking thing but for some reason feel it’s inappropriate to talk someone into hiring me. (Like it’s a conflict of interest for me or something?! Am too much of a public servant I think!)

  • Natalie
    August 11, 2018

    Enjoy Italy because you earned the trip and it’s such a wonderful country to visit. Once you return home, you’ll figure out what to do next.

    • Debbish
      August 12, 2018

      Yes, I’ll have to not worry while I’m away as I don’t want to ruin this holiday I’ve long dreamed of! x

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