Well everyone, after almost a year of full-time employment in digital communications I’m back on the job hunt again. My contract with my current employer has always been fixed-term.
My initial contract was only supposed to be for six months at first, but, by the time it ends on the last day of December, I’ll have been there (as a paid member of staff) for just two weeks shy of a whole year. I’ve actually been there a little long than that though, because I started as a volunteer before that.
I’m trying my best to to freak out too much. This time last year I was in my fifth year of unemployment after graduation, the BBC documentary that I took part in (Employable Me) hadn’t aired yet, and I was in a very strange kind of limbo between knowing that it wouldn’t be far away. My depression was so bad that I found it difficult to bring myself to get dressed every day.
Things have changed so much and I’ve mentally come a long, long way. I like to think I’m good at what I do (mostly social media-based things), and it turns out that I’ve become pretty confident at writing analytics reports, which is something I never thought I’d say. The sight of numbers usually makes my brain cry, so I’m actually, if I can be very un-British for a minute, pretty proud of myself.
There. I said it.
So yes, I’m back on the job hunt. I’m hoping it will be a bit easier this time around, now that I’ll have a year’s worth of experience under my belt.
This morning I woke up to a comment on one of my YouTube videos informing me that Employable Me is currently showing on TV in the Netherlands! Then, when I got home from work, I saw that people had e-mail this blog’s e-mail address to send their good wishes too.
If you’re here from the Netherland, Hallo and dank je for taking the time to reach out to me. (I don’t speak dutch, so I’m going to trust that Google Translate is accurate. Sorry if I actually just offended you!)
It’s all a bit surreal. I always knew there was a possibility that something like this could happen, I just really didn’t think it would. Or I didn’t think anyone would be interested enough to track me down online to tell me, although I’m very glad you did.
This is what Employable Me is all about; spreading the message as far as possible that disabled people can, and do, have jobs. It doesn’t matter where in the world you are, with the right support, it will be possible.
Thank you for taking the time to watch the show and allowing me to share my journey with you.
This week I did something for the first time: I took annual leave from work. It was…weird.
I wasn’t originally planning on taking any leave this early into my six month contract; I didn’t feel like I’d really ‘earned’ any yet. However, the end of the financial year was approaching and I needed to use some up – so I booked a couple days off.
The act of requesting leave was an odd mixture of exciting and scary. I was expecting the former but not the latter. It was hard for me to reason with myself that having annual leave is an important part of working life. It isn’t all that surprising, considering that before this job came along, I had convinced myself that I would never, ever, get to call myself an employee.
I’ve adjusted my body clock to working hours; getting up on time and going to sleep early enough that I’ll still be able to function in the morning, but, to be honest, I’m still working on accepting that I’m worthy of a job. I had to fight the urge to check my work e-mails approximately every five minutes.
This weekend is Easter weekend. Here in the UK that means that we don’t work on Good Friday or Easter Monday. I feel completely different about this. The rest of my team are off work too. This feels okay. It feels like I’m ‘allowed’ (by my own standards) to relax this time. I was holding myself back before. I know that.
I also know I need to work on that. This is an important step in my working life. I hope there are more to come.
That means I have successfully managed to get up (and start work on time) four Monday mornings in a row. This might not sound like a big achievement, but let’s not forget I’d been unemployed for five and a half years until I got this job. Getting up early on a Monday morning hasn’t been a feature in my life for a loooong time, but I’m adjusting. I think…
There’s no denying that lots of exciting things have happened to me lately, but perhaps the most exciting thing of all is that I can finally say I have a job!
A full-time, paid job involving writing and social media and research and newswriting and all the things I love. It’s mine until July.
Nancy Doyle, the career psychologist from Employable Me, accidentally made me a cup of tea in this mug while we were filming the series. I took a picture because it made me laugh at the time, but I guess I have a legitimate reason to use it now!
I start tomorrow (Monday).
I am so relieved.
I have lots of amazing and exciting freelance projects on the go too. I’m still going to keep working on those during my evenings and weekends.
I’ve actually been volunteering a my workplace (ohmygosh I have a workplace) for a couple of months, so I already know the people and that the building is accessible, so I’m not as nervous as about my first day as I could be, but the nerves are still there.