As I’ve all but abandoned my old PhD blog (for those interested it’s all still here) this seems like the place to reflect on 2017 in terms of professional and the overlapping personal achievements/life/whatever. And anyway the title of this blog seems apt.
So 2017 started with a promise of a steady job for the coming months (Lesson 1, never trust such a promise) as I was offered a ‘Maternity Cover’ just before Christmas. (Lesson 2, get exactly what that means written into a contract). Truth be told I was never happy in that job. I worked in Development for the Arts Council. And while the team were (by and large) the loveliest group of people I’ve worked with- and after the horrendous experience in the job before I was grateful for that- the job simply wasn’t for me. I lurched between abject boredom, and frustration at my seeming inability to do what was needed (not entirely my fault, and in part an issue of Dyslexia). For the next 9 months however it would provide steady (if slightly shoddy) income, which allowed me to do other things. And boy did I. I’ll get to that.
I’ll spare the gory details, but let’s just say the job ended sooner than it was supposed to. And that not 2 months later I saw my own job advertised.
Honestly that was my lowest of a 3 month period of low points. An ill-timed bitchy comment on social media meant I spent a Friday night sobbing (and I mean sobbing) for 4 hours straight. To have a job taken away, in that way. I felt beyond worthless. I wasn’t even worthy of being honest with. Never mind not worthy of being allowed to keep my job. I was, and am so very hurt by the whole situation. I’ve been screwed over in my time (hello Academia) but this felt incredibly personal. That I was also trying (and failing) to find any kind of employment, meant I was feeling incredibly worthless at the end of 2017.
I felt trapped in a circle of not even rejection, but sheer hopelessness. I couldn’t FIND jobs to apply for never mind be rejected from. I felt like there was no hope of also having a job I liked and staying where I like to live. Feeling run out of my home town is a particularly awful feeling. Having just come off an incredible summer (I’ll get to it) I felt like I was back at square one; unemployable and hopeless. That was it, I’d had a brief moment of glory and I was done. Get back to generic jobs you don’t care about and be grateful.
And I still feel that way a little. However the end of 2017 saw something of a turn, with two job interviews for dream-job type roles. I didn’t get them, but I got in the room. And a year before I wouldn’t have got that. And it was after all, a year of progress.
Obviously a great deal of this year was taken up with a little play about Angels. I’ll get back to them in a minute. But there were other successes, in my journalism/reviewing writing:
- Continuing to review for and build up my reviewing across various sites.
- Learning to pitch articles, and getting a few pitches out there/learning some lessons.
- Writing for new places, and making contacts in others with the hope for the future.
- Fighting back and not taking any shit from publications that don’t deserve my time.
- A new temp job. An interesting admin job for at least 3 months (hopefully more)
- I’m now chair of the Board for Taking Flight Theatre
- I’ve been elected to the committee for New Researchers Network an offshoot of the Society of Theatre Research.
- I have a play to write!
- I have a book contract.
- Write the play.
- Write the book.
- Get paid for at least 1 article.
- Write for at least one new outlet.
- Do some teaching again (please, please I miss it greatly)
- Start doing some content writing, editing or similar as a means of income.
- Get a job that is more in line with my career hopes.
- Go on a date (I didn’t say these were all professional)
- Hug an Angels actor (or 7) (see?!)