“I've Got Time. I've Got Options. So Why Can't I Choose?”

Josephine has the time and the space to work on her shift. But this luxury has her juggling so many interests that she can't figure out how and where to focus. How do you find clarity when your ideas feel chaotic?

What's your career history and current job?

I'm currently not working in a full-time job.

I left my old job in learning and development a couple of years ago, so that I could finish my Master's degree in HR.

Since finishing that last year, I've done a bit of travelling and have been trying out different career ideas, working a few part-time jobs while I study for a BA in Psychology and work towards training to be a Foreign Language Teacher.

How do you feel about your work?

I'd hoped that quitting my old job and taking some time to travel would help me focus, but I've recently found that I'm totally confused.

My CV looks good, my thesis is done, I've travelled – and I still can't figure out what to do!

I'm fairly certain that I don't want to go back into the corporate sector again.

In my previous role, I rose up the ranks in an international corporation pretty quickly.

I pretty much wanted to quit within the first year but the need for security and the pressure I felt from family and friends to have a professional status kept me going.

I ended up bored and overwhelmed. I didn't care about the work I was doing, the environment was overly bureaucratic and I didn't feel like I belonged. I felt like I always had to play a role, which was draining.

I do like working with people but I'm better on a one-to-one level. I used to enjoy it when individual colleagues asked for my help with creative projects, for instance.

What would you like to be doing instead?

I'm currently training to become a teacher in Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), but I don't feel like that's really a career – it's more of a personal interest.

I'm also learning to become a Foreign Language Teacher, but that's not very well paid and I don't think I could handle being in a classroom full of people.

I'm also studying for a BA in Psychology because I'm fascinated by how people work. However, to pursue that as a career would take at least six years to qualify, which would take up even more time. So I'm not sure what I'll do with that degree once I'm finished.

I want to be doing something productive, something practical. I can't believe I would ever say this, but I miss working!

All I know is that I'm happier in a relaxed environment that's not draining, where there's flexibility about the hours I work, and where I feel supported by like-minded people.

What's the biggest obstacle in your way?

I'm so confused.

I can't focus on any single idea and I'm scared that whatever decision I make, it will be wrong – I won't earn any money or I'll be back in an environment that makes me unhappy.

I feel a lot of pressure to act, as if my time to figure things out is running out. But in spite of all my searching, I can't find the right 'nest'.

Having so much going on has actually gotten me into a rut.

While I have the funds and the time to focus on what to do next, I find myself feeling that I'm flitting between all the different things I'm doing.

In the day, I try to prioritise the psychology because it gives me structure and a goal. But then I worry that's not the right approach as it hasn't gotten me anywhere yet, so I turn to my teacher training.

By the time the evening comes, I'm totally zapped and even more confused than when the day started.

Some of my friends say I should just get back on the HR train and get a good steady income, which really spooks me. I know I can't face that.

Am I approaching things all wrong? How do I figure out what I should focus on? Or should I do something totally different?

I need some help to get some clarity. What should I do?

Can you help Josephine?
  • Have you been in a similar situation, or are you in the same boat right now?
  • How do you think Josephine could move her shift forwards?
  • Do you know anyone she could talk to?

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