On average we will spend 92,120 hours during our lifetime at our workplace. That’s 39.2 hours a week, 1842 hours a year – which will only get longer as, at this rate, most of us will be working until we’re 90.
So why do we stay in jobs that do not make us happy?
This comes down to the fact we do not value ourselves highly enough to be happy in a job we deserve. We get up everyday, wishing the day to already be over and then force ourselves to go into work.
This is not a way to live.
One lesson I have learnt from my mental illness is that I can’t cure it, but I can change my environment and those around me to help with my recovery. Most importantly, where I spend most of my time – my workplace. If you are not receiving the support or empathy for your mental illness, then that job is not worth your time and energy.
At the age of 25 I have worked 15 different jobs. Some I had to leave because of relocating or further education, but some I chose to leave because they simply weren’t right for me and didn’t make me happy. And that’s okay.
Life is too short to wait around for a job to get better or to tell yourself you’ll give it a few months… I am a millennial snowflake, loud and proud, and if that means by the time I’m 30 I’ll have worked 30 jobs because nothing has suited me yet.. well who gives a shit. It’s my life.
Here’s some I’ve done so far:
I have had 5 different types of table service jobs and every single one of them have taught me that I was not meant to be a waitress. To every single waitress/waiter out there – you are my hero. I always make sure to leave a tip because I know the stress of the job.
My first job was at a small cafe and I lasted 3 weeks before I was made ‘redundant’. (How you can be made redundant at 15 is beyond me) Since then I have worked at a garden centre cafe, a national trust cafe, a waitress at a posh restaurant and a silver service job at a big event (I spilt gravy on a lady and it was a truly awful time. I cried in the car with my dad afterwards and didn’t turn up to my other shifts).
Pro: Extra money from tips from generous customers
Con: The plates they expect you to hold with a thin tea towel are hot
Checkout Assistant (BEEP)
I have been a checkout assistant at 3 different supermarkets. Yes. That’s right. I really can help you compare prices because I seen them all bitch.
I have had a man screaming at me because I wouldn’t serve him booze without ID and cried because he threatened to ‘jump me’ once I left the store at 11pm….. safe to say I didn’t go back after that shift. (There’s a pattern here isn’t there?)
Pro: On Friday night shifts there was a bunch of us who cleaned up after close and we sang and danced with mops.
Con: Beep. Beep. BEEP.
During university another job I did for a few months was work at a department store in a clothes section for old ladies. It was the most boring job I have ever done. There were no customers (because the lift was always broken and our main clientele couldn’t get up the stairs) and all the women on the floor hated me because I was younger than 25.
Retail is such a hard job and people are often treated like dirt because they are on the other side of the counter. It has made me realise that people WILL kick off over the little things – you think it’s not possible, but it is.
Pro: There were no customers.
Con: There were no customers.
Turns out life in an office isn’t like all those American movies where all the women look flawless, are successful in their roles but just have that one thing missing from their lives (Hint: it’s a penis).
I enjoyed working in an office as it was a social environment and my first office job as an apprentice was something that shaped my work values and helped me gain confidence I never knew I had. I am eternally grateful to those colleagues and managers as I always base my work decisions on how supported I felt during this time. Sadly the company was made redundant so I was unable to go back to this job after university. Things happen for a reason and this led me to education.
Pro: You get to drink so much tea and coffee for free.
Con: Sitting down all day at a computer can have a serious negative effect on your mental and physical health.
Teaching and support
Which leads us to my final role and to date. I bloody love education, I’ve been out of it for 2 years now and it’s been a very long 2 years. I have decided to start in a lower position than I am qualified for as I believe this will allow me to grow at my own pace and gain confidence I have lost. I hope to work my way up and get back to teaching in the next 2 years or so. But nothing is set in stone.
Pro: Long holidays and breaks
Con: Everyone thinks you have lots of long holidays and breaks but in fact you just sleep during them to recover from the hectic terms.
So here’s to the future!
Join me brothers and sisters, for we deserve to be treated with respect and to be happy in our workplace. It doesn’t matter what level you are we all deserve to be treated equally, no matter our race, religion, sexuality, gender or disability.
Let’s start a hashtag on twitter with #ideserve and then enter what you think you deserve.
I deserve to be happy.
I deserve to enjoy my job.
I deserve to kick the shit out of my mental illness.
Love, Emma x