*You need to play this track while reading this post. It really adds to it!

 

The next update in my year of FREE is the part where I go ahead and chuck in my job. And that is exactly what I have done. 

I am sure that last year I was experiencing what is becoming more well known as a quarter-life crisis. Over the last five years I had put all this pressure on myself to be the best, the top, work hard, never disappoint or let anyone down – and suddenly all that pressure built up into overwhelm and insecurity.

I feel that since forever I have been encouraged to be my best (nothing wrong with that!), that I could be anything I wanted to be. It was expected that I went to university (not that I begrudge this at all!). It was the middle class expectation to be in a job that your parents are proud of, and can boast about at dinner parties “Oh Leah? Yes, she is working for xx – getting such great experience!”

When my parents were growing up, kids went to uni if they wanted to, or if they were highly academic (neither of mine did). It wasn’t expected. Working in a bank, or as a receptionist, or in a shop was a perfectly legitimate career – and to have the same job for 10 years was fine. Having a JOB, any job, was a sign of success. It was A-OK to just have a job -you didn’t necessarily need to have a CAREER.

Don’t get me wrong. I thoroughly enjoyed my years at uni and the career I have worked hard at so far. I loved working hard, long hours – and being busy and stressed by work seemed to be the way I showed that I was successful. Being made redundant from my first job and coming out unscathed with a fancy job lined up immediately in Sydney was just another feather in my cap. Eventually moving up the career ladder was what I WANTED.

Or so I thought.

Last year, the Quarter Life crisis was in full swing. Is this what I want? Do I even enjoy this work anymore? What If I have done all this study/career ladder climbing and it’s not me? I can’t start again can I? Do I even know what I am doing? I can’t believe these people are paying me to tell them stuff I am making up! Am I making it up? Do I know what I am talking about? I am too young to know what I am talking about!

So instead of trying to answer those questions, I threw myself back into it with gusto! I became even more of a “harry hardout”.

– I had this fancy job title, working for one of the countries top company’s, being flown around the world. TICK.
– I won the Young Practitioner of the Year. This was something I had my sights set on since I left uni, so I went out and DID it. TICK.
– I sat my APR course of study & exams, becoming one of the youngest APR qualified people in the country. Why? Coz I COULD dammit. TICK.

And how did I feel after all of that? Proud? Yeah. Satisfied? Not really. I still had the exact same questions – what am I DOING WITH MY LIFE? (I know, deep right?)

Right now, I don’t actually know what I want to DO anymore. I have lost the clarity and focus, and it all seems so fuzzy and inconsequential. I do know, that I don’t want my career choice to be the only thing that identifies me. I want quirks and hobbies and interests – and more than anything, I want to get away from it all and FREE myself to find out exactly what this job/career thing means to me. I am not scared that I don’t know what’s ahead, instead I take comfort knowing that the right thing will present itself to me. The right thing for me is out there.

So…what am I DOING about all this?

BIG NEWS (which has already been splashed all over twitter and facebook so you may quite possibly be more than well aware!) is that both Jase and I resigned from our jobs last week. We have a loose plan – fly to Vancouver at the beginning of May, and find work. Not career work – but some form of employment that pays the bills, and buys us a beer at the end of the week – be that in hospo, retail, admin – I don’t care. After six months or so, we want to head to one of the mountains, again get work – and learn to snowboard. We are calling a massive TIME OUT to just be us, have fun, and forget about all the pressures we both had. Time out to be FREE.

After a year, our tickets take us on to the UK where it is likely we will seek out jobs in our professions again (as we are both good at our jobs and it really would be silly to be on the bones of our arses when we could be making a few bob). I am hoping the year of freeing my mind will allow me to relax, destress, and get through this quarter-life crisis!

So I’m FREE, to do what I want, any old time!

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