I’ve just received the predicted email rejection regarding the new job I recently applied for and to be perfectly honest I’m quite relieved. I’d bitten off far more than I could possibly chew by applying for something I was always going to struggle with and I’d actually been quite worried about how I was going to manage. It wasn’t just the work itself but how to juggle all of my other commitments around it; there’s only seven days in a week and I’d need a day off at some point!
For the time being I shall focus on the work that I already have, and although I’ll always be on the lookout for new opportunities, I’ll put a bit more thought into the logistics before applying for another new post. Despite the fact that the panel interview was a terrifying ordeal, I’ve learnt a lot about how I could prepare myself better next time, so at least I can take some positives away from this experience, which will clearly put me in a much better position in the future. Onwards and upwards.
When you’re a member of a very grown up ‘Women’s Business Network’ you get offered opportunities to attend Learning Development courses, and today’s topic was ‘Voice and Communication’. The two very capable hosts were a voice and impact trainer in the business, government and health sectors, and a top social science professor, who’s an experienced public speaker and presenter of history documentaries for the BBC. The aim of today was ‘to develop more powerful communication skills through your voice, body language and conviction’.
We explored ideas around curiosity rather than ambition, confounding expectation, passionate involvement and thinking not about how confident we are but what we’re entitled to. Such topics could easily have been a bit dry had it not been for the extremely amusing anecdotes from the professional trainers, and the informal manner which the session took; especially when, at one point we were all standing in a circle re-acquainting ourselves with gravity while ‘huffing’! Despite these things being so far out of my comfort zone they’re practically on the horizon, I actually enjoyed the session so much I wish it had lasted longer. Hopefully they’ll run another course like this very soon, and when they do I shall make sure that my name’s first on the list!
One of my favourite Richard Branson quotes is “If someone offers you an amazing opportunity and you’re not sure you can do it, say “YES” then learn how to do it later.” …which is how I ended up in an unfamiliar room, in a strange building with people I’d never met before, acting as if I was completely in control of the whole situation!
Obviously, things could well have gone pear-shaped very quickly. However, when your new bosses ask you for a favour, and you spend an entire morning drawing on every shred of common sense you possess in order to justify their unwavering faith in your abilities, doors that had previously appeared locked and bolted suddenly begin to open and new opportunities start to emerge. I must say “Yes” more often!!
When salaried jobs aren’t easy to come by and you don’t want to rely on friends, family, a spouse or the State to subsidise you, there is an option which often gets overlooked; self-employment.
While there are negative aspects, such as the fact that if you can’t work due to illness there’s no sick pay – no work means no money – being freelance allows you the kind of flexibility that you can’t usually get from doing a 9-5 job. Working for several different companies or organisations means you can very quickly build up your paid hours, which all helps towards a nice, healthy bank balance, and if you’re willing to take on a bit of extra training the opportunities can potentially be endless.
You can actually accumulate quite an impressive workload in a relatively short period of time, especially if you’re savvy enough to juggle things around to suit your needs. This means that you can easily save up enough cash to not only cover the bills but to be able to afford treats; my particular favourite is holidays. If you’re prepared to work hard, it enables you to play even harder!
It can be extremely nerve-racking doing things that are way out of your comfort zone, but if you want new opportunities to open up in your life you have to make them happen.
Even though I already have a part-time job, I’d noticed a chance for some lucrative casual work; ideal for someone self-employed like myself. Rather than worry about not being right for the role or getting stressed out over how to fit it in around my main income source, I’ve bagged myself a highly sought-after interview.
Maybe I won’t be one of the lucky few who are offered a position…. but I’ve already overcome the first hurdle by getting a foot in the door. Whatever the final outcome, I’m confident that this is the start of something exciting.