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« On the spur of the moment... | Main | Pea, bacon and mint hot salad »

May 15, 2013

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Stephanie

Sarah,this kind of blog deserves national attention. Get on twitter and start promoting your writing. Your words have such resonance and make such sense in this confused world. I believe feminism is at a crossroads, we are the generation of women who 'have it all' and yet it doesn't quite feel like it. It's all up for debate ,continued development so please carry on! X

Zannah

I identify so much with the points you've made. I have spent the last 2 months applying for jobs I don't want and which quite frankly terrify me - because I'm expected to. It's now too late to apply for any more this year - and I cannot believe how relived I am. I have spent evening after evening in tears - just to prove something I don't want and which will give me even less time to spend with family.

I've been criticised by line managers for not moving onwards and upwards fast enough - I'm 43 and no-one above 40 has been appointed to senior management for the last 5 years or so. The most recent appointment is a youthful 32 years old - good for them - but I can't face the climbing any more.

But do you know what? The feelings of relief at not having to put myself through this has mean that I have had to re-examine what it is that I am doing (and doing pretty well!) - and the fact that I like it - I look forward to going to work most days.

And if I have to do it for another 20 years - I can live with that, as long as I can retain time for myself and those who are important to me.

Rambling rant over!!

Steel

Hi Stephanie - national attention?? Ok now you have me squeaking in fear. Do you know I had a twitter account for about a month and I couldn't think of anything to say!! When faced with a platform that big I got stage fright ;-))

Hi Zannah - you poor thing. I know exactly how you feel. I'm waiting for the criticisms of being unambitious to start soon or pointed remarks about not being a manager yet. I have no interest in being anyone's line manager. I just like getting stcuk into a project and getting done what needs to be done to make something successful. Most of the time I work alone anyway as my manager believes someone with a PhD shouldn't need managing. I just keep him up to date.

So I sit here quietly getting on with things thinking I just have to fly under the radar for about 12-15 years - that's how long I think it would take for me to accumulate enough money to stop doing the day job and stay at home.

Unambitious? Only about climbing the corporate ladder. Regarding my own life, hobbies and pursuits I am ambitious beyond belief!

Lucy @ Smallest Smallholding

Have you considered working with children on projects that matter to you - so passing on your enthusiasm and knowledge to the next generation (and making sure they don't balls things up!)? Just a thought.

But it's never too late to start on a new path. Don't be afraid of trial and error, but also don't be afraid to stick to your guns! I started freelancing when I left uni - in between a series of jobs that literally made me depressed - and I got so much stick for not going and doing what people thought I ought to do. I got a phonecall from a family member telling me to go out and get a 'proper' job because they didn't think I was actually working... I was working really hard from home! But I stuck at it, and here I am at 30, and I'm finally getting the jobs and work that I always wanted. I aimed to work in green/self-sufficiency/gardening/wildlife writing jobs and I'm starting to be sought out for those sorts of things. If you know what you love, believe that you are capable in making that into a career and eventually other people will believe it too, and come to YOU because you have a passion and expertise in what you do. They want a share of that.

That said, I still have crap days where I can't be arsed, or am totally fed up... I don't think the 'dream' of feeling fulfilled every working day of your life is a reality, so I don't think men *or* women should feel under pressure that they're not achieving their own personal holy grail of employment. But you can sit and wonder for days, weeks, months on end, or you can just have a go at something and see where it takes you. It might not be the right path, but you CAN try again, or go off on a tangent. When I was going through almost exactly the same thing a few years ago, trapped in a job I mostly hated, someone said to me, "...there are dreamers, and there are doers, and I believe that you are a do-er". And I took that as a kick up the arse, and just ploughed myself into finding the kind of life I wanted - basically just giving myself some flexibility (out of necessity, to accommodate my rubbish back and muscle problems) and the ability to work fairly frequently on stuff I enjoy writing about. It hasn't made me very rich, I have no fancy job titles, but it's given me time and options, and is still opening doors, and allowed me to work with some great people.

You will get there, just don't be afraid of making the wrong choice, otherwise you'll never make any choices :)

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