Looking back at my job search

Minimal work space - Creative flat lay photo of workspace desk with sketchbook and wooden pencil on copy space white background. Top view, flat lay photography.

Getting any job, let alone what feels like the right job, is stressful. The whole process is an opportunity for self-evaluation and self-doubt. You might end up delighted, disappointed or somewhere in between.

Since the subject came out on top in an Instagram stories poll, I’ve pulled together this post about my most recent experience.

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On precarious work

The Multi-Hyphen Method Hardback by Emma Gannon (2018)

According to LinkedIn, my profile is of ‘All Star’ quality. Before you close this tab and think I’m terrible, I have a reason for sharing this information. While I have strong communications experience, a list of endorsed skills, positive recommendations and a first class degree, what LinkedIn won’t tell you, and what I often feel hesitant to admit, is that my career to date has been made up of lots of temporary work.

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On ambition

I recently read this essay by Elisa Albert, in which she discusses the pressures of ambition and her own frustrations with it. Whilst acknowledging the benefits of hard work, Albert criticises the self-serving nature of ‘Lean In’ culture that is more concerned with achievement than with purpose or human connection. In contrast, Albert is impressed by:

‘Eye contact. Self-possession. Loyalty. Boundaries. Good posture. Moderation. Restraint. Laugh lines. Gardening. Activism. Originality. Kindness. Self-awareness. Simple food, prepared with love. Style. Hope. Lust. Grace. Aging. Humility. Nurturance. Learning from mistakes. Moving on. Letting go. Forms of practice, in other words. Constant, ongoing work. No endpoint in sight. Not goal-oriented, not gendered. Idiosyncratic and pretty much impossible to monetize.’

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For Mum

In the hallway, our childhood photos sit side by side. Occasionally we pause on the stairs, noticing the marked similarities – the full faces, full fringes. I am three, at nursery completing a puzzle, looking away as if I already know where the pieces fit. You are sitting down, tucked neatly next to your sister.

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