Hold on a minute. I love my career. If you can call it a career. I wrote about it here, and have told you how great it is in a countless number of posts. However, recently I’ve been questioning myself. I always knew it wasn’t going to be an easy thing to do. I’m a 24 year old waitress with a degree trying to buy a house. I should be wearing pant suits sat at a desk replying to emails or something. But I love being a waitress, which is why I chose to study a masters in Food Service and Hotel Management. That meant I could be a waitress and not have to tell people I was just a waitress. At least i’m studying alongside my mediocre job.
Well as much as I love it, I can’t stop thinking about all those points. Maybe it’s time for me to grow up a bit. Maybe I need to work behind a desk and wake up early and start cooking proper meals for myself at a normal dinner time. But maybe I’ll hate that. After having this ongoing argument in my head I decided to turn to Google and found this article by Kathy Caprino. Honestly a god send if you’re in a career limbo like me. I’m going to use it to decide whether or not I need to move on with my life.
Kathy Caprino: My New Girl Crush
Kathy Caprino is a bit of an inspiration to say the least. She’s fierce. She empowers people to make decisions that are better for them. And not to be scared of change. She’s also a massive advocate for female empowerment. And honestly the best career coach I have ever come across in my life. And she has kids. How can she do all of this and I’m here moaning about my job on a blog!?!? I need a Freaky Friday situation with this hero. (Since reading that article I’ve become a bit obsessed with her)
But let’s get back to her article over on Forbes. And work out whether or not I need to seriously consider a new job. A new career actually. Basically a new life.
5 Ways To Tell If You Need A Career Change
Kathy says there are 5 clear signs that you need to change your career. Go and read her article if you want the ins and outs of all that. Here I’m just going to tell you what they are:
- You are chronically worn out, exhausted, and depleted.
- Your skills, responsibilities, and tasks are not you at all.
- You’ve come to the point where your salary no longer makes up for the boredom and emptiness you feel.
- Despite all the ‘right’ choices you’ve made in your career, the outcome feels very wrong.
- You have the irrepressible feeling that your talents and abilities could/should be used in a totally different (more creative and impactful) way.
Sounds simple enough. Well actually, it sounds a bit complicated. The thing with change is you’re going into the unknown. So I can argue for and against my current job until the cows come home. But at the end of the day I have no idea what a new career could offer me, or if I’ll love it more or less than where I am now. All I can do is carry on the conversation. I’ve got to find my brave as Kathy would say. Honestly, I told you I’m obsessed with her. It’s becoming a problem.
“You are chronically worn out, exhausted, and depleted.”
Yes. I am. I work six days a week, sometimes over fifty hours. Although I love what I do, I basically wake up to go to work. I get home, eat some junk food I warmed up in the microwave, go to sleep and then do it all again. I constantly find myself torn between re energising on my day off or doing something fun with my free time. And my body actually hurts from being on my feet, running around, for twelve hours a day. It’s safe to say that I am chronically worn out. I can’t function like this forever. I’m struggling to do it now at twenty-four years old.
“Your skills, responsibilities, and tasks are not you at all.”
This is getting harder now. I’m 50/50 about this because I love some aspects of my job and have to force other aspects. I’m very comfortable in customer facing positions. 90% of the reason I love being a waitress is because I get to talk to new people all day every day. I’d say it’s one of the areas that I perform strongest in. However, since accepting the position as a Supervisor I found myself completing more tasks that I’m not comfortable with.
I would never ask someone to do something that I’m not prepared to do myself. Actually, at university we’re taught the difference between old school management and new age management styles. This dictatorship dominant delegation method that I’m expected utilise is old fashioned and damaging. But I find myself holding clipboards, writing lists, and getting shouted at for trying to help get things done. I know I would prefer to work in an environment where everyone put in the same amount of effort.
“You’ve come to the point where your salary no longer makes up for the boredom and emptiness you feel.”
One of the reason I like my job is because my earning potential is in my hands. If I need more money I can do more hours. I actually earn a lot more money than you would expect. Click here to read my income report from May and be amazed. And on top of that, I earn tips.
That all sounds great until you realise to earn that salary I have to work twenty hours a week more than the average person. Is money really worth giving up six evenings a week? Every weekend of the year? It’s great for trying to save money because I never get a second to spend it. But if I’ve got to the point that I’m questioning a career change, I think it’s evident that money isn’t as important to me as I believed it was.
“Despite all the ‘right’ choices you’ve made in your career, the outcome feels very wrong.”
Two years ago I had never served a table in my life. Never worn an apron or taken an order. It’s taken hardly any time for me to progress my career quite significantly. I earn £9.50 an hour, significantly more than the national minimum wage. I’ve been promoted to supervisor, giving me experience in an authoritative position. And now I’ve even been stripped of my apron and uniform and am somehow trusted to wear my own clothes. I feel like I’ve made all the right decisions. But why am I questioning my career at this point.
Maybe I like learning, and I’ve got everything I can out of my job and need something new to do. Or maybe I’m just not happy with my current job.
“You have the irrepressible feeling that your talents and abilities could/should be used in a totally different (more creative and impactful) way.”
Quite a simple answer. Yes. That’s why I continued my Masters. That’s why I started my blog. I don’t want to be just a waitress, I want to be more than that. I want to do something amazing with my life. But you need time off to do that. And motivation and determination, which I feel like I’m lacking recently.
A new career could open so many doors. Introduce me to new possibilities. I could discover new things that I never knew I loved. And learn things that excite me and make me want to go to work everyday. Changing careers could literally change my life and future.
Is it time for a Career Change?
Kathy would tell me to take the plunge and be brave, so why am I so scared. It’s become evident from writing this that it’s time to switch it up. You’re probably reading this wondering why I haven’t quit already. I think I want to, however it’s scary. It’s scary that I might not like a new career as much. And it’s scary that I might not be able to manage my budget if I move from weekly to monthly pay. It’s scary that I will be so unbelievably unqualified to do anything other than wait tables that HR managers will just laugh at my CV. And it’s scary that I might miss it. Miss the social side of my work and the nightly pint of lager whilst we bitch and moan about our shift.
Changing your career is not an easy thing to do when you overthink as much as I do, so keep your eyes on this post. Obviously, you’ll be the first to know if I take the plunge.