Don’t Keep Me In Suspenders*

When I started the course I had been thinking about what to do for a living, but I hadn’t exactly been looking. I hadn’t known where to look. From time to time over the course, the coaches would refer to hours spent trawling through job ads online (I expect some of the others might have been doing that, but I hadn’t), and how unfocused we probably were while doing it, and how much more focused our efforts would be now.

So the course ended (boo hoo!) and, annoyingly, what I did NOT get for my money was someone telling me what my dream job was, where I could find it or that the interview was Tuesday. (I know full well that if I HAD been told ‘go here and do this!’ I would have found fault with it. Lord knows enough helpful friends and acquaintances do this already with ‘why don’t you train to be a dental hygienist? I’ve got a friend who did that and she is raking it in’ type comments. )

Instead, through a series of thought experiments and actions (not all of which I completed) I was able to whittle things down into a few manageable directions. Admittedly, some seemed just to go ‘ping!’ somewhat randomly while I was open to them, and nothing was not there in some form at the start.   I suppose that is all to the good.

And I have been motivated to DO something to pursue the book idea. I’m working on the proposal and trying to recruit people to help. And a few little things, somewhat hesitantly and with less enthusiasm, for a couple of other ideas.  For example, today I sent an invoice and a little letter of introduction to the person who – perhaps inadvertently – gave me my first paid work as a translator, in the hope that more may come my way, but I have not properly pursued other sources of translation work, other than putting out a few feelers to a few friends.   (If any readers need German to English, please let me know!)

So why, the other evening, did I sit and trawl through job ads? Because I haven’t been called for a while by the people who pay me a pretty good day rate for consulting, and I realise that even if they did call me tomorrow, this is not tenable. I want some stability; a predictable amount of money coming in regularly, not erratic lumps. And I realised that this regular if small income does NOT have to come from one of my target jobs.

I chatted to a postman the other day when he delivered a parcel. He asked me about my name, which is that of a rather obscure foreign writer and off we went, covering lots of other topics. It had occurred to me a while back to get a job as a postman, on the grounds that I would be paid to walk and that would be good for me. I’ve looked into it a few times, not particularly liked the hours (or pay) and then stopped because I realise that they want me to send a cv and I maybe ought to tailor one and not give the one I have, which talks of MBAs and whatnot, and then….

So I went online to give it another go, and didn’t find what I was looking for, and one thing led to another and I found myself just googling part time jobs in my postcode. I applied for one or two receptionist type jobs without much expectation that I would get anywhere. (The website tells me that 271 people have already applied. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if in fact the jobs are already filled and the thing doesn’t update.) And then, on gumtree, which I never use, I saw something very strange and before I could stop to think I sent a message expressing interest.

Ba-ba-ba boom.

I want to start a new post to discuss my application and the thoughts it has churned up in me, but I am feeling a bit nervous so will skirt around it, let things percolate, and come back to it.  I’m sort of scared to say any of it out loud.


*That is something my brother used to say when he was little.


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Florence Feynman

I am a middle aged, middle class woman, thinking.

One thought on “Don’t Keep Me In Suspenders*”

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