Thursday, April 21, 2011

Golden Years

When you make a huge change in your life, like leaving a partner, a job or a house, it leaves you with an opportunity to actually think properly about what you would consider to be a better alternative.

At the beginning of the week I handed my notice in to a job I've had for about 18 months. Although it's my choice to leave and I'm essentially leaving because I've been pretty unhappy working there, I still cried when I had to tell my boss I wanted out. Truth be told I felt like a bit of a failure for not being able to satisfy myself with the job. It's the first full time job I've had since graduating and it's the only job I've known since I moved to London - it's been an enormous phase of my life. But I can't do it any more.

During the consultation where I explained my reasons for resigning, my boss asked me what I would be looking to do now. I couldn't honestly tell him, but I said it would have to be something I was proud of. The issue I have with my current job is that there's never an opportunity to look down on your work and be pleased with what you've acheived. I need that.

I'm currently organising a string of Edinburgh previews for July - I am booking, promoting, MCing, ticketing and running all 12 nights. This is an incredible amount of work - liaising with the venue, the festival, the agents and the comedians whilst trying to ensure there are bums on seats. But the pride I'm taking in it outweighs the fact that there might be parts of the work that are way beyond what I thought I could achieve. I've managed to snag the likes of Bridget Christie, Stephen Carlin, Phil Nichol and loads of other awesome names and the satisfaction that comes with that is far, far better than a salary.

I suppose it's a smugly nice feeling to know that I'm not particularly money orientated - but it does make it difficult when the Guardian Jobs emails land in my inbox and I remember that I have to find something to pay the rent for a little longer. When they list the job description, you have to read it and think - do I want to do that? Could I do that without weeping in to a paper tray?

The difficulty with not wanting a career in business is that it's very difficult to make yourself apply for any of these bottom rung jobs - because you have no intention of climbing the ladder and ever being the biggest fish. You spend 4 years wiping someone's arse as the smallest office mite, then you go full time comedian/actress/writer/singer etc etc and suddenly you're at the bottom of a different career path wiping other arses. It's terribly silly.

Today I'm going to Brighton, except that I'm going via Manchester, so it's going to be a very long day. Your sympathy vibes are very much appreciated.

1 comment:

  1. Gah - I just tried to post a huge comment congratulating you, while in the same breath telling you my life story in terms of how I left a legal career because I hated it. Stupid f*()*& login failed and deleted the entire thing.

    Basically, it's far more important in life to pursue what makes you happy, and do what you believe in. It takes enormous courage, especially when there's not much money at the start, so you've taken the biggest step.

    So many people waste their lives in jobs they hate just to 'pay the bills'. I was surrounded by them when I was a trainee solicitor. You've realised early on that this is ultimately self-defeating and unfulfilling. Well done you! I'm convinced you've made the right decision. There may be times when you have to do a dull job to pay the rent, but it'll be a means to an end, and not the end itself.

    I hardly know you, but from my own experience, I'm very proud of what you've done. Hurrah!