The Vixen Thinks: Be Brave!



The Vixen Thinks is an almost weekly feature on this blog. Posts vary in topic, I'll talk about anything I have an opinion on! From blogging to relationships and anything beyond. If there's anything you'd like me to write about, feel free to get in touch: theglittervixen(at)gmail(dot)com! Thank you! 

I'm currently at a very interesting time in my life. I graduated six months ago and in that time I have been unemployed for three months, working part time for three months, I've been denied my dream job, realised that wasn't my dream job even remotely, finally got myself within reach of a graduate job, turned down said graduate job and am now facing an absolute crisis because I've realised that the path I've been going down hasn't been my path, it has been the path everyone else has been telling me to take.

In my third year of university, I started telling everyone I wanted to be a journalist just to get everyone off my back. In fact, I spun the journalist line so many times that I started believing it. When I wasn't even interviewed for the BBC Journalism Trainee Scheme after spending literally months preparing my application, I cried for two days. Eventually though, I realised how horrific I would actually find working in journalism, at least when it came to broadcasting the news anyway! I still have a little soft spot for the idea of magazine journalism. When people started realising I wasn't even remotely trying to be a journalist anymore, they started asking again: "what do you want to be when you grow up?" I didn't know, so I found a list online of typical career choices for English graduates and started spewing random job titles out. PR and Marketing was my favourite but I'm still not sure that's exactly what I want to do.

This article however, isn't about me. I talk about my experiences because they've helped me realise something so important, something that I think a lot of other people would benefit from hearing. I have been trying to force myself into this decision because it's what other people expect of me. My mum wants to know when I'm moving out again. People who want to make small talk have no idea what to ask a graduate other than "what next?". So I've stressed myself out, trying to come up with a career plan, spouting off random job titles and even applying for jobs with these titles just to please other people. In all the time I've spent wasting applying for jobs I didn't want and was never going to be happy in anyway I could have just spent that time figuring myself out and what I really want.

People expect you to go to university because you want a good job. Success tends to be defined by graduating with a good grade and then settling down into a cushy graduate scheme. People tend to view me as unsuccessful because I'm currently working part time in a shop that has absolutely nothing to do with my degree. In fact, the other week and old teacher from high school and sixth form came into work and made a snide remark about the fact that I was working there. The thing is though, working where I work now is perfect for me right now and I'm slowly realising that the opinions of others do not matter. Just because everyone expects you to go to university and then settle down in a "good" job, it doesn't mean that is this is actually successful. I believe you define your own meaning of success but I think a lot of people will agree with me when I say success is doing what makes you happy, regardless of what others think about it.

It is hugely damaging to the self to do things only to satisfy other people or to do things simply because they are the "done" thing. A few months ago, I found myself going through all my old posts on Tumblr and Twitter and wildly deleting huge amounts of them. Anything that suggested I was irresponsible with money, anything suggested that I had any other moods besides happy and upbeat, anything that a prospective employer might find in the slightest bit dubious, I have deleted or made private. I did this, because I was scared of the effect my internet presence might have on job applications. I've since realised this is absolutely ridiculous. I don't think anything I share on the internet is seriously bad. I've made the odd poor judgement and Tweeted or made a Facebook status when I probably should have stayed quiet, but I always recognise when I've crossed a line and delete that. However, the stuff I was deleting a few months ago was anything that suggested I was an actual human being and I think it's quite pathetic that I felt like I had to do that. I don't want to work for anyone that wouldn't want me to work for them if they found out that sometimes, I am having a really hard time and I don't always deal with that in the best way. I don't want to work for anyone that would dismiss my application because oh god, I really bloody like shopping and spend perhaps more than I "should".

This isn't me refusing to "grow up" as I know a lot of people think, and have actually said to me, is the case. While I understand you should exercise judgement about what you post on the internet, I think the fact that I know people who use their maiden names on FB so their employers can't find them or people that aren't allowed to be pictured with a drink in hand is just one step too far and it doesn't sit well with me at all. In fact, I'm well aware that by posting this today, I'm probably completely injuring thousands of chances I had to end up in some corporate job but hey, my posting this is me saying "I really don't care", it's me forcing myself into a position where I have to be brave enough to create my own path in life. To me, growing up isn't about "sacrifices" at all, it isn't about working all day every day in a job you hate just to buy things you don't need. Growing up to me is realising you don't have to do what ANYONE tells you to do, you do not have to do what anyone expects you to do, growing up is working out what will make you happy and going out and doing that.

Apologies for stating this article isn't about me, and then proceeding to waffle on about nothing but me, well done for making it this far!