It’s been a difficult couple of weeks. Plenty of doors closing on me coupled with a poorly four year old has left me reaching for the white wine well before my acceptable mid-week mark. A wealth of employment opportunities in Jersey now seems to have shrunk to a couple of weak leads and as I take knock after knock I am left thinking that maybe I’m not as capable as perhaps I thought I was. In the face of adversity where do you go from here? When is it time to admit defeat?
Since departing my finance job last year I have had a lot of conversations with people on the direction to take. I must have met with every recruitment agency in Jersey in a bid to secure a role in a more creative environment, with the mantra of “I am an intelligent and highly successful professional, I must be employable” – this must be possible!
Most were up front with me and just explained that a transition wouldn’t work, some tried to talk me back round to different finance roles and one took a chance and did their best to support a girl with a wild dream (big love to Jamie Guyer at Optimus). Whilst these agencies deal predominantly with finance roles and there are other routes to be explored, my problems thus far remain twofold:
I consider myself pretty good at interviews and with people in general. I can be confident in my achievements and I like to think my enthusiasm and determination comes across well at a face-to-face meeting. I’m so eager to tell my story and sell myself! The problem is getting in front of that person.
Recruitment has changed a lot in the Island since I was young and employers don’t often want to take a chance or think outside of the box. Hell, most of the time I have been applying to a computer who scans my CV for relevant qualifications without it even crossing the path of an actual human. I can’t even begin to tell you how disheartening it is to be rejected by a computer with “your application has been unsuccessful” because your numbers don’t stack up. How are you supposed to get your foot in the door and past an unyielding HR department?
This exact number remains up for debate, but from the outset I knew I didn’t want to start any new career at the bottom and with the accompanying salary. Materialism set aside, I would find myself frustrated and unhappy if I were placed in any role where my capability outweighed my experience and I was left feeling like I could do better than those above me. I want to learn, to be pushed, but I also want a role where I add value. Leaving the world of finance was bound to have a large detrimental effect on my income, but perhaps I did not appreciate how severe the drop would be, which has limited those opportunities available to me.
Talking to people gives me fresh hope and I am invigorated each time someone comments on my blog that they are looking to make a similar change. There truly is comfort in numbers! This journey is far from done as I continue to search out the delicate balance I need from working life. We are surviving on a reduced income whilst I undertake temporary work, which rather than painful has been surprisingly freeing. I’m still wrestling with the idea of what my salary needs to be; there are days I long for my old life of designer dresses and personal training sessions, but more often now are those days I write and the enjoyment I get from this is more than enough replacement.
I still firmly believe that anything is possible if you set your mind to it, but sometimes enthusiasm can wane and you need someone to give you a push up that hill.