I’ve had a sort of job offer on the table for about a month now. In theory it’s an ideal next step for me – the job I’ve been looking for since graduating two years ago. It would mean more responsibility, more money, more promotion opportunities and more stability. All of this in the field in which I studied and the only area I’ve ever really been interested in – Events Management. It would be the first permanent job I have ever had.
I don’t want it.
The idea of signing up for a job without an end terrifies me. I don’t mind working hard, I just want to know that whatever I’m doing has a light at the end of the tunnel. I am, I’ve decided, a ‘work commitment phobe’. I don’t want to make long-term plans. I want to pick up a job whenever and wherever I please and leave it when I’ve had enough. The problem is, I don’t want anyone to get hurt. I don’t want to stand them up one day and then never call. I like to try and stay friends.
The idea of signing up for a permanent job whilst knowing that I don’t intend to stay for even a year ties my stomach up in knots with the potential for guilt. I also happen to be useless at lying, so the chances of managing to keep my ever-bubbling travel conversation under wraps for 10 months seems relatively unlikely. Quite obviously I’ve talked myself out of accepting the job.
But even in sitting down and drafting an email, it’s terrifying to admit to anyone outside of my friends and family what I intend for my future. It would be the first time I have essentially stood up and proudly declared that I intend to shirk society’s expectations of me, whilst carving my own unconventional path in the world, travelling and working abroad to my heart’s content for the foreseeable future. I am, of course, not the first to do such a thing and I very much doubt I will be the last. But on a very personal level it is a huge step to take this idea that I have been protecting and cherishing since I was 10 years old and put it out there into the harsh light of day. My dream to live a life which makes me happy will be exposed, ripe for judgement and potentially mockery.
I believe in what I am doing so completely that I wouldn’t let anyone’s judgement deter me. But, while it’s still such an overwhelming concept, any negativity cuts deeply. Any doubt expressed by others multiplies many times the doubts I already have.
Although, the naysayers can, in their own way, spur me on. That they who have chosen to lead the 9-5 life are sceptical is, in a small way, an encouragement. It is a reinforcement. I, the work-commitment-phobe, don’t want to be looking down the barrel of a life in the office. So, why would I choose to measure myself against those who do?
Unfortunately, this certainty does not make the actual act of turning down a job much easier. Still, I know what i want and I am stubborn enough to go after it, no matter how terrifying.
I steady my hand, take a deep breath… and hit send.
Would your ‘dream job’ make you think twice about pursuing your dreams?
Edit: Since writing this post, the job has once more been offered to me. However, this time it has been on my terms. I will get the time off I had promised myself this year and be in a position to leave prior to my trip. In the meantime, the opportunity for a well paying stable job simply presents to me a good way to stash plenty of money with which to fund my adventures.