I’m feeling rather zen at the moment. And not just because I’m writing this from a yoga retreat in Portugal, but because I may have finally made my peace with working in finance. Having been completely soured by my career in Trust and ultimately all it stood for in my life I took some time out for self-reflection and to indulge my creative side and certain things have now become clear:
- Freelance writing, even at its best, is not going to pay my bills. Nor is it going to provide for me and my family in the manner to which we’ve become accustomed. The world of a writer is not glamorous, but it will always remain my passion.
- A finance job will always be a necessary part of my life to bring in a high income. It is what I have done for so long, what I am good at and (after much searching) there is nothing in Jersey that pays quite like it!
I spent a lot of time weighing up the paths available to me with my family. Do we adjust our life to accommodate a lower income, cut back on luxuries and holidays so that I can take a job in a more creative environment? Do I step into a completely different sector such as marketing or PR that may help me develop my skills as a writer, but would ultimately mean starting at the bottom? Can I commit to re-learning that would include exams and a lot of catching up in my free time, alongside my blog and writing commitments?
Starting this blog, writing almost every day and talking to all kinds of different people in Jersey has given me an immense feeling of satisfaction and there is no questioning that it will continue. But I understand now that adjusting my career, or becoming a paid writer, takes time. It will mean writing for free where necessary, exploring opportunities where I can write commercially, selling myself and believing that I am worth paying for. The dream would be to scale back on the office work as my writing portfolio increases, but this is a long term goal and will take hard work whilst I balance it alongside a full time job.
I would hate to say that I’ve failed in what I was setting out to achieve, as I believe I have gained a lot from this process. Most important of all I have adjusted my attitude. I’ve learnt to be much more sensible with my finances, £300 a month on fitness is not acceptable by anyone’s standards and indulges are simply that and not everyday occurrences! And I’ve learnt to take time for myself, to evaluate my wants and needs and how to fit into my life those elements I felt I was missing. Sounds so simple, but I don’t believe I would have done it without taking a break from finance to see what really mattered.
So what’s next? I return to Trust and exercise a little restraint. I don’t need/want to be the next Alan Sugar so there is no need to become so driven and involved in this career again. I will continue to check in with myself and to question whether I’m happy. Ultimately investing in my writing will do this for me, a form of self-therapy if you will!
Talking to people I continue to learn good tips about maintaining a work/life balance and its high time I adopted some of the work ethic that I learnt from my Australian friends and leave the office at the office. 9 to 5 I may be a Trust Manager, but at every other time there is only nineby5.
Everyone has that element of necessary evil in their life, I.d love to hear about yours and how you maintain a healthy balance with it?