Thursday, 12 February 2015

I Made It Through The Career Wilderness

I recently bumped into an ex colleague from my days working as a TV producer. 
When I had last seen them I was the editor for a TV channel. I was driven, absorbed, I lived, ate and breathed my work. It nourished me, it entertained me, it was with the exception of my friends and family everything.
I left that job to do something else equally high profile and demanding so that was his total recollection of me.
After  a few minutes of small talk where I caught up on what he was doing with his life he asked me what I was up to.
When I explained that I worked very rarely in TV now since having my little girl, merely dipping my toe in a few times a year and that I worked predominantly as a freelance writer,a make up artist  and university lecturer there was a momentarily flicker across his face. He was disappointed.

I made it through the wilderness

Far from finding my patchwork quilt of freelance work beautiful and vibrant he saw them as mismatched and ugly.
Thinking about it afterwards I realised that from the outside looking in it must have appeared that after having my daughter eight years ago I had entered the wilderness as far as my career was concerned.
I left full time work in the TV industry when baba was less than a year old and for the first time in my life started to consider that whilst I might never fall into the category of someone who simply "works to live" I could maybe explore an existence where I didn't just "Live to work"
Juggling freelance writing gigs, MUA bookings,teaching and the odd bit of TV work has seen my earnings slowly erode so I guess on paper (especially the paper that contains my bank statements) my time in the wilderness hasn't been successful, and yet I feel more successful than I ever.
My life is richer, more varied, I work in short concentrated bursts, often as the sun is rising. In a single working day I can experience the satisfaction of passing on some of my industry knowledge, be commissioned to write something that is really inspiring and still be able to walk through the beautiful local park and collect my child from school.
The financial impact of becoming  a mother can be grim, I'm not going to sugar coat it and before I landed on what my next move was I did have times of feeling very lost after having a baby. 
So much of our self worth in this society is tied up with status and suddenly having your career gone in a poof of smoke takes tits of steel to get used to,but once you take the twigs out of your hair and adjust your eyes to the blinking light the wilderness can actually lead you down some rather enjoyable paths.

Photos-Nicky Rockets
Outfits-Scarlett and Jo
Hair Accessories-Rockaflower

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