When being stuck in a bad job is a good thing.


Poetess, book lover, chemist…

I think I created poetry before I began to read and really love books. Then I loved books, and didn’t know whether to study the arts/literature at A level grade or to study the sciences. (I reasoned that I could continue to read fiction whilst carrying out science experiments at school, but that I couldn’t carry on doing science experiments whilst studying literature at school. A wise choice, I think.) And so I studied chemistry for many, many years and was happy until I became stuck in a job that was not right for me. I became very unhappy. The daily commute on trains and tube trains was wearying – in soul and body. The job was wearying – in soul and body. I didn’t know what to do. I read books and escaped into fictional worlds, desperate to be ‘there’ rather than in real life. Months went on. I found fault with everything and everyone… I found fault with myself. Why wasn’t I right for this job? Why couldn’t I make it work? Why couldn’t I be happy in this career?

Yet it was the best thing to happen to me, because it propelled me into action. As I questioned whether this career really was right for me, I began to connect with my inner voice and really listen to myself. What did I want to do? What did I want from my life? Could there be another path I could take? And would I be a loser for leaving the path that I had been on for so many years…? I was sure my male colleagues would think I was.

So I did something brave. I left it all behind. The work I went into next wasn’t quite right for me either, but the main thing was that I had left the familiar, well-trodden path, and tried to find my own path. It was scary to do so, but ultimately, right for me.

I will always remember that ‘bad’ job with fondness. Because it helped me to find me.

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