I've not really talked about work that much here, but in case you're new around these parts here's a speedy, potted history of the work world of Claire. After the whole art college, university, working at any old job to stay in London, early to mid 20's thing, I returned home to Teesside where the world of libraries took over. I started what was initially a two month contract in the local university library, fast forward by twelve years (although it never did feel very fast) and I decided to quit libraryland and go back to school to learn a whole new career. That was in February 2013. 16 months later I graduated with an MSc in IT Project Management and I got my first job fresh out of university all over again. Full time, permanent work is almost impossible to come by these days and so I'm still on the hunt for the return to that kind of normal Monday to Friday, 9-5 type job. Which brings you fresh up to date and right here to this post.
The new normal. For me, my 'normal' work life is now part time. This is not by choice, trust me, I would love a full time job, but it does have its perks of which I am often grateful. The obvious downside is that part time work equals part time pay...and currently I'm working for a charity so also doesn't equal holiday or sick pay. After years of receiving all of those things it's very hard to adjust, both financially and mentally.
Financially, I am lucky to be with Dave at this point in my life. He's been hugely supportive of this big change to our lives and though the luxuries we used to enjoy with two full time wages have obviously been reduced, it's never been a problem and for that I am beyond grateful. His main concern is my happiness and being 100% behind my (often slightly barmy) life decisions.
Mentally though? Yowser. People can say all the right things but the sound of your own voice can often be a harsh one, and the worst critic at that. I'm not sure I dare admit how many times that voice has said the dreaded words 'you should have stayed in the library...' I believe in myself, I know I made the right decision, but (and there's always a but) that voice constantly wonders how long it will take me to get back on my feet, to where I was before, financially secure, and confident that my job future is no longer a risky outlook.
The world of work is so vastly different these days. People work many variations of contracts, hours, and locations. Working from home is often seen as the desirable option - I wonder how many desks and office chairs Ikea sell? They've just added two more to their sales log this weekend after I set up my own mini office. Let's just take a moment to appreciate my new chair. Oh happy buttocks (thanks Fizz!) my new chair is so incredibly comfortable and supportive and is exceptionally good for spinning slowly from side to side whilst thinking.
Getting back to my point though. I can't be the only one who finds it hard to adjust to this new normal? It's SO different from the Monday to Friday, 9-5 way that I started my work life in. There's no-one to provide structure, it's up to you what time you work and how many cups of tea you drink in a day, hell you can even work in your pyjamas if you're so inclined! It's a brave new world and you have to be mega-disciplined to make it through a day without giving in to the distractions. I wonder if it will be one of those things where I just get used to this and then I return to that other way and I'll be blogging about how much I hate the structure and the 9-5...
I would love to know if you have any similar experiences. How do you think you would cope? Send some reassurance that I'm not the only weirdo out there trying to adjust to this new normal.