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Ashley

Do you know what you're doing?

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Having another one of those weekends where I'm unsure what I want to do career wise, where I want to live and all that fun. In part because I was supposed to travel last year and think of it all while doing that but for obvious reasons it didn't happen and so my life feels like its "on hold", but on the other hand I feel like I "should" have it figured out by now.

But enough about me, do you feel that you know what you're doing? Whether that's professionally and/or in your personal life?

I know nobody really has it all figured out but it would be reassuring to hear that from others I guess. 

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My personal life has kind of been stuck in place for years. Right before the pandemic hit I had started to plan to get out there more, travel etc but obviously that got put on hold. I guess the one thing is that the pandemic just made my need for that even stronger.

Work-wise I’ve been unhappy in my job for a long time. I’ve posted before about a need for job satisfaction and that’s still the case. I am however trying to be a bit more proactive about changing things. Despite not always being great at it I’ve always wanted to work in a more creative field so I’m attempting to work towards that. I’ve bought a new camera to practice with, I’ve bought the Photoshop subscription and am taking courses to prove to potential employers that I know the software.

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Yes and no. 

Its a really loaded question and entirely depends on the day and subject. I'm not entirely sure I'm going to give a clear cut, non-rambling answer here. But perhaps everyone will get the gist of it. 

For yes, that's more my personal life. I definitely feel like in my personal life, my relationship, how I want our lives to go together we've got that down and I feel like the 30 year old I am. Specifics might make me feel like I don't. For instance, I definitely don't 100% know how to buy a house, but we want it! 

Otherwise, the only bit right now that makes me really go "wtf do I do here? Where's the adult adults" in my personal life is everything to do with my health because there's so much misconception and red tape with it that I spent days wondering if I'm adult enough to deal with any of it! 

Professionally is entirely another story. I've just moved up in my career and I've never felt more like a child than I currently do. It's a steep learning curve and I've really struggled with the whole thing, even with really good feedback from my peers and boss! I spent so much time thinking I needed to get to this position that I didn't far enough ahead and now I have no idea what to do going forward. So ultimately I'm doing what works and going from there. Not knowing is kind of scary, have I spent all this time gaining this career and then I'm not cut out for it? Should I change careers? Do I keep going because that's what is expected!? 

Ultimately, a lot of my life has happened because of circumstance and trying to find my feet and seeing what works. I won't lie and say I wish I was still working in NYC with a company or traveling the world saving the whales (or red pandas in this case), but you're definitely not on your own. I find that a lot of my new colleagues think I have it all figured out and I really, really don't. I don't know if for me that feeling will ever truly go away. I'm sort of ok with that, there's so many paths to life and so much to learn (and we should all be constantly learning) that it feels kind of expected? 

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Some might say I'm a bit too young to be feeling this way, but I've been feeling this way too for much of the last five years, but the past couple of months in particular. I'm totally going to ramble and I know it, so get out while you can, seriously :p

There's never been a concrete plan for my life direction, and so I'm not surprised I've ended up feeling this way. I cruised through the latter years of high school knowing I was all but guaranteed a place in the "best" local college, and the aim since I was young had nebulously been to attend a prestigious university, because that's just what you do when the world is telling you that you're smart and you're taking part in "Gifted & Talented" events which have you visiting said universities a few times a year. Looking back, it was so counterintuitive, and some of the other students in my year group attending these events have crashed out or had to retake years just as I have. I then got ill, likely due to lack of direction draining my resolve to aim forwards at college, and stress got the better of me. Having a clear direction was

The one time I had a burning desire and aim for something was actually after failing out of AS levels, when I was being told I could stay at my college but had no business studying maths, and so I made the choice to leave for a "lesser" college to prove to myself that I could do whatever I put my mind to and get a good grade in maths, telling myself I'd go to university to study physics, which is a step further than I got with my life goals previously. I turned a U (yeah, from an A at GCSE, but my first college brushed that off and said it meant nothing, which I still find myself chuckling over sometimes) into an A by that Christmas, aced AS, but having taught myself how to study effectively but not having any other real reference points in my life, I completely burned myself out and missed much of my first attempt at A levels. I had some unconditional offers for universities and some interviews lined up, but knowing full well even at that point that my results wouldn't reflect what I was actually capable of (and my doctors being absolutely useless throughout), I pulled out of the application circuit. 

Since then, I guess things had started to improve. I was unemployed for a while before getting my current job at Big Bank™ two years ago now, I got lucky in that other people in my team were also brand new and I've made some great friends, I asked a girl out for the first time in my life (I really shouldn't have based on how quickly she moved on from her ex in hindsight, but live and learn I guess), things got awkward after it turned out she was already with someone else, things started to get better between us and me and my friends were doing well and then...the pandemic hit ::shrug:

I should be grateful, and I guess I am. I moved out for the first time last year and though there are things about my current situation which are inhibiting to a degree (been growing apart from my sister for years, we've both been through stuff, I took the chance of us living together for her to get on her feet and took most of the financial responsibility and, well, we haven't grown much closer, sadly), my general mental health and relationship with my parents have improved quite a lot. I'm in one of the most secure teams in Big Bank™ in that the pandemic has made us one of the fastest growing departments and increased my level of seniority pretty rapidly as a result, I'm getting paid well, and my friends who went to university at the first opportunity and did a 3 year course came out last year to there being no jobs for them to do, so if I went to university at my first chance I'd likely be without a job, and if I did at my second chance I would've spent the third year being beaten down by the pandemic. 

And yet...I'm still unhappy with where I am. Personally the last month or two has actually been quite good, as I've taken up mediation and have started getting back into shape, but the question looming over my head of So, what am I doing? has become greater than it has been before with the increased mental clarity which comes from making myself healthier. Then there's work, where I've been moved temporarily (but I'll likely get the offer to move permanently) to an internal projects team, which has given me more exposure to higher-ups and by all means would be great for getting my name out there and moving up the chain. 

But I have zero interest in doing that. Even with my temporary role being a cakewalk when compared with my old role - only having to sit in on meetings, send a few emails a day, and complete a few forms vs going 100 mph through a spreadsheet, fixing other people's mistakes and the stress of calling customers - I look at the higher-ups in these meetings and realise how passionate they are about the mundane things our work involves, and I roll my eyes, knowing I really couldn't give a damn less about what I'm doing now. I then thought about the hypothetical scenario where I try my ass off for the next decade and a half and become CEO of Big Bank™ - would the pay at that point make me happy? 

Well, short answer: no. This isn't what I want, and I realised how little I cared about this job. You could give me the CEO's pay for what I do now and I'd still be just as unhappy and lost. I'd just be able to distract myself from that more. 

There was a time a year or so ago when I was flirting with the idea of putting the grind in to get through medical school, because if nothing else I care about other people, and love to help people, and could devote my life to nothing else but helping people; that I'd rather go back on the phone to help customers in a much more stressful role almost cruelly proves that to a degree I didn't realise before. I know that if I can stay healthy I have the mental capacity to see jt through, but seeing how healthcare staff have been treated over the course of the last year, knowing how gruelling that process can be, would I just find myself burning out again? 

Sometimes it feels like I'm split between Julius the Academic (aka who I was half a decade ago and have been told is the person I am my whole life) and Julius the Creative (the person I've grown into more over the last half a decade, but has always been there deep down). I love games, film, writing, and storytelling - could I not find something in there that could help people but also selfishly give myself some kind of satisfaction and purpose?

But I type that and almost feel silly, which I'm ashamed to admit. 

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I feel like I know what I should be doing. But I also feel far too lazy to actually do it.

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personal experience - you never truly feel like you are at the right milestones or have "done enough", you really have to deconstruct why those expectations are in your head, are they there because you truly want them or society/other people have placed this impression that you must.  Then you have to focus on what you can realistically do from now and going forward.  Sometimes therapy/mindfulness can be a worthwhile avenue to look into.

My life is definitely held in suspension right now.  My health is terrible.  My job situation is messy.  My love life is no better (in reality most men do not want to take on someone with disabilities especially when they can't have kids)  I will never life a normal life and i've had to accept that.

Even most recently i was nerding out on keyboard shopping and got frustrated because mechanical keyboards are very in fashion right now and i want one, but my hands and wrists are too damaged to deal with a clicky keyboard... very much a dumb "why me" moment but we are all human and its ok to be frustrated when you get handed an unfair deal in life.

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The prospect of a "career" as such is something I don't think I'll ever have as such, I feel like I'll always be on fairly low level (in terms of wage) jobs. The past 10 years have been pretty much doing what I can to get out of university-related debt, too. 

Socially, I'm in a much better place, though. 

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23 hours ago, Happenstance said:

Work-wise I’ve been unhappy in my job for a long time. I’ve posted before about a need for job satisfaction and that’s still the case. I am however trying to be a bit more proactive about changing things. Despite not always being great at it I’ve always wanted to work in a more creative field so I’m attempting to work towards that. I’ve bought a new camera to practice with, I’ve bought the Photoshop subscription and am taking courses to prove to potential employers that I know the software.

Had my boss chat with me today about taking on more work at the school. All stuff I can do and I'll be accepting as I definitely need the extra money but it does still just leave me working even more at a job I don't like.

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Its something that's plagued my mind a lot these last few weeks/months with me turning 32 in a week and a half time.

Generally speaking, I don't think I do know what I'm doing. Breaking that down, personally its a yes and a no and professionally, I really don't have a clue what I'm doing or where I'm going.

On the personal front, I've got the most amazing partner who has been so supportive over the last couple of years and has gone over and above to help me. We're in a great place together, stronger than ever (not that we've ever had a bad day) and just love spending every day together. Ideally I'd have loved for us to have bought our first house together by now and to be married but things have gotten in the way of both but to be honest, it feels like we're married as it is and when we're able to do so, we'll do it how we want.

But from there, my personal life falls apart a bit. I don't speak to my family much, for a variety of reasons and when I've tried I rarely hear back from them. I've not spoken to my grandmother for nearly 3 years because of her constant meddling and twisting of things. She cancelled a birthday cheque to me because she felt I withheld showing her a picture of my brother's first child, her great granddaughter, despite the fact I didn't have a picture and had only seen it on Facebook. She didn't ask to see it. This was spun along and twisted by her and my sister as me being horrible and keeping her right to see her great grand daughter from her, despite my brother wanting nothing to do with her. She wouldn't apologise so left is as we'll speak when she's ready to do so.

Have issues with my mother because of extensive emotional abuse growing up, as has become clear through speaking with people over the years. I've never confronted her about it but I've always been painted as having a chip on my shoulder with regards to our relationship but I'll leave that as its personal and difficult to go into. Its certainly tainted my personal life and is something I'm struggling with now.

Socially, because of the aforementioned stuff and because I've been used by many so called friends for money (including times such as bailing someone out of a hole at a casino and then being told I was clearly looking for more than friendship because of it. I'd made perfectly clear many times that I was only looking to be friends because of my mental health issues and that was all it ever was) or been dropped like a hat without any word to explain whats happened, I've struggled post uni to keep a friend group or to even have friends. So yeah, if it wasn't for my partner and her side of the family, I'd really not know what I was doing personally.

Professionally I have no idea where I'm going. I dropped out of my Ph.D. for mental and physical health reasons and even now, its stuff I'm dealing with (seizures, non-allergic rhinitis, stomach/gall bladder issues and depression). I took time to get settled after I left but I've really struggled to land a long term job and right now, I've been out of work for over a year and I'm struggling to get my foot in anywhere. The drive just isn't there because of how little progress I've made professionally and its just been difficult to move from 10 years in academia to anything else. I don't even want much to do with what I studied for all that time at uni (psychology) because of how negatively my Ph.D. impacted my health.

So I don't really know what I want to be doing or where I want to go. I keep comparing myself to others from uni on Facebook who are off doing this and that but I know people do things at their own pace and that I shouldn't. Its just hard to see a little at the end of the tunnel when I don't know where to start.

I loved lecturing but can't really see a way into doing that as to get to uni level lecturing, I'd need to finish my Ph.D. but I have no intention of going back to that and college level just seems to be extremely difficult to get into. I still enjoy the science side of things but don't want to do research and I'm good enough at data analysis but can't see myself as a data analyst. Don't really know how to take my skills and transfer them and my interests, gaming and music, don't really present any in roads (I did do freelance reviews years back but stopped to focus on uni and now there's an oversaturation of gaming media, including influences now, so its now a viable avenue professionally despite my interest in long form writing).

I'm sure I'll figure it out but its coincidental a thread like this would turn up when its really been on my mind a lot recently. Maybe I'll get there soon, maybe not but I'll hopefully get there with a bit of perspective.

So no I don't really know what I'm doing. But thankfully I've the support of an amazing woman who's helping me through things and with some time, I'll hopefully get to where I'm meant to be going.

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I think I’ve got most things pretty well laid out but also have lots of other things I’m really not sure about.

Career-wise I’ve always done pretty well and have done many things I would never have thought possible. I’ve worked all over the world in some really interesting roles and pretty much never felt like I was actually working. I always think a good measure on this one is how amazed would young you be when told what you do now and I think I’d be pretty impressed. My latest role is a little bland but I get paid really well and it seems very secure which is a good thing right now. I’d like to go back to a startup or company just setting up here but don’t think that’s likely anytime soon. Best to just get on with things as they are.

On the personal side things are pretty damn great right now. My son is going to be one next week and he’s been a real joy for the last 12 months. Relationship-wise everything is awesome and my wife and I will have our 4th anniversary in a couple of months time. Absolutely no complaints there.

The main thing I’m unsure on is long-term living location. Singapore is great when you can travel but pretty boring after being stuck here for the last year and a half and no end in sight. Then there’s the school issue, there is no way in hell I will send my kids to a local school but a decent international school is going to cost upwards of $10k a term. If I can get a decent-ish pay bump soon then that’s not such a worry but right now it would really be a strain. If we leave I’m not sure where I’d want to go. Back to Japan would be great for living but not so good for school or work. UK would be good for school and family but not so much for work or living. US is probably not doable with visa realities. So I’m a bit stuck on that one.

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Been meaning to respond as I felt like I should try and engage rather than just asking everyone to have mild existential angst by themselves. Busy few days.

On 03/05/2021 at 3:04 PM, Happenstance said:

My personal life has kind of been stuck in place for years. Right before the pandemic hit I had started to plan to get out there more, travel etc but obviously that got put on hold. I guess the one thing is that the pandemic just made my need for that even stronger.

Work-wise I’ve been unhappy in my job for a long time. I’ve posted before about a need for job satisfaction and that’s still the case. I am however trying to be a bit more proactive about changing things. Despite not always being great at it I’ve always wanted to work in a more creative field so I’m attempting to work towards that. I’ve bought a new camera to practice with, I’ve bought the Photoshop subscription and am taking courses to prove to potential employers that I know the software.

I know what you mean about the pause. I had just started travelling when it hit and I was planning to do that for a year while figuring out what I want to do next and then its dragged on for so long I feel like I should do something as I feel kind of in limbo with most things. I've always been kind of that way (always had in the back of my mind I may leave a job/flat quickly so never really "settled" but feels more acute now.

And likewise with the job thing (mostly your follow up post) I am constantly rallying against a job I am good at (and is flexible and pays well, I know I shouldn't complain) but it just doesn't interest me. I hope the camera/Photoshop stuff works out for you!

On 03/05/2021 at 3:05 PM, nightwolf said:

Yes and no. 

Its a really loaded question and entirely depends on the day and subject. I'm not entirely sure I'm going to give a clear cut, non-rambling answer here. But perhaps everyone will get the gist of it. 

For yes, that's more my personal life. I definitely feel like in my personal life, my relationship, how I want our lives to go together we've got that down and I feel like the 30 year old I am. Specifics might make me feel like I don't. For instance, I definitely don't 100% know how to buy a house, but we want it! 

Otherwise, the only bit right now that makes me really go "wtf do I do here? Where's the adult adults" in my personal life is everything to do with my health because there's so much misconception and red tape with it that I spent days wondering if I'm adult enough to deal with any of it! 

Professionally is entirely another story. I've just moved up in my career and I've never felt more like a child than I currently do. It's a steep learning curve and I've really struggled with the whole thing, even with really good feedback from my peers and boss! I spent so much time thinking I needed to get to this position that I didn't far enough ahead and now I have no idea what to do going forward. So ultimately I'm doing what works and going from there. Not knowing is kind of scary, have I spent all this time gaining this career and then I'm not cut out for it? Should I change careers? Do I keep going because that's what is expected!? 

Ultimately, a lot of my life has happened because of circumstance and trying to find my feet and seeing what works. I won't lie and say I wish I was still working in NYC with a company or traveling the world saving the whales (or red pandas in this case), but you're definitely not on your own. I find that a lot of my new colleagues think I have it all figured out and I really, really don't. I don't know if for me that feeling will ever truly go away. I'm sort of ok with that, there's so many paths to life and so much to learn (and we should all be constantly learning) that it feels kind of expected? 

I'm happy that the personal life stuff is working out, you certainly deserve a lot of happiness as you've had to deal with a lot of shit over the years. 

I don't know about your line of work but I know in mine the first year of a job you're still figuring stuff out (in part because where I work is cyclical so its all new in the first year) so try not to give yourself too hard a time about not knowing what you're doing; as you said you're getting positive feedback so try and hold onto that! Given some time it may become clear what you want to do and that may not be what you're doing currently, but there may be bits of it that are relatable/usable to something in the future. I'm trying to do the same kind of thing myself and think "well I know I don't want to do this still, but it has taught me x,y,z which I can use elsewhere". My knowledge of a very specific piece of software used by institutions is not going to be useful outside of higher education, but requirement gathering, business analysis, problem solving etc is. Hopefully you'll find stuff like that in your current role.

I know we spoke about how some people seem to have it all figured out and they are the worst but I try and look at some people such as my PT who seems to have it all figured out but that's only in the last few years and he's in his mid-40s. Sometimes you need to remind yourself of that perspective.

On 03/05/2021 at 4:42 PM, Julius said:

Some might say I'm a bit too young to be feeling this way, but I've been feeling this way too for much of the last five years, but the past couple of months in particular. I'm totally going to ramble and I know it, so get out while you can, seriously :p

There's never been a concrete plan for my life direction, and so I'm not surprised I've ended up feeling this way. I cruised through the latter years of high school knowing I was all but guaranteed a place in the "best" local college, and the aim since I was young had nebulously been to attend a prestigious university, because that's just what you do when the world is telling you that you're smart and you're taking part in "Gifted & Talented" events which have you visiting said universities a few times a year. Looking back, it was so counterintuitive, and some of the other students in my year group attending these events have crashed out or had to retake years just as I have. I then got ill, likely due to lack of direction draining my resolve to aim forwards at college, and stress got the better of me. Having a clear direction was

The one time I had a burning desire and aim for something was actually after failing out of AS levels, when I was being told I could stay at my college but had no business studying maths, and so I made the choice to leave for a "lesser" college to prove to myself that I could do whatever I put my mind to and get a good grade in maths, telling myself I'd go to university to study physics, which is a step further than I got with my life goals previously. I turned a U (yeah, from an A at GCSE, but my first college brushed that off and said it meant nothing, which I still find myself chuckling over sometimes) into an A by that Christmas, aced AS, but having taught myself how to study effectively but not having any other real reference points in my life, I completely burned myself out and missed much of my first attempt at A levels. I had some unconditional offers for universities and some interviews lined up, but knowing full well even at that point that my results wouldn't reflect what I was actually capable of (and my doctors being absolutely useless throughout), I pulled out of the application circuit. 

Since then, I guess things had started to improve. I was unemployed for a while before getting my current job at Big Bank™ two years ago now, I got lucky in that other people in my team were also brand new and I've made some great friends, I asked a girl out for the first time in my life (I really shouldn't have based on how quickly she moved on from her ex in hindsight, but live and learn I guess), things got awkward after it turned out she was already with someone else, things started to get better between us and me and my friends were doing well and then...the pandemic hit ::shrug:

I should be grateful, and I guess I am. I moved out for the first time last year and though there are things about my current situation which are inhibiting to a degree (been growing apart from my sister for years, we've both been through stuff, I took the chance of us living together for her to get on her feet and took most of the financial responsibility and, well, we haven't grown much closer, sadly), my general mental health and relationship with my parents have improved quite a lot. I'm in one of the most secure teams in Big Bank™ in that the pandemic has made us one of the fastest growing departments and increased my level of seniority pretty rapidly as a result, I'm getting paid well, and my friends who went to university at the first opportunity and did a 3 year course came out last year to there being no jobs for them to do, so if I went to university at my first chance I'd likely be without a job, and if I did at my second chance I would've spent the third year being beaten down by the pandemic. 

And yet...I'm still unhappy with where I am. Personally the last month or two has actually been quite good, as I've taken up mediation and have started getting back into shape, but the question looming over my head of So, what am I doing? has become greater than it has been before with the increased mental clarity which comes from making myself healthier. Then there's work, where I've been moved temporarily (but I'll likely get the offer to move permanently) to an internal projects team, which has given me more exposure to higher-ups and by all means would be great for getting my name out there and moving up the chain. 

But I have zero interest in doing that. Even with my temporary role being a cakewalk when compared with my old role - only having to sit in on meetings, send a few emails a day, and complete a few forms vs going 100 mph through a spreadsheet, fixing other people's mistakes and the stress of calling customers - I look at the higher-ups in these meetings and realise how passionate they are about the mundane things our work involves, and I roll my eyes, knowing I really couldn't give a damn less about what I'm doing now. I then thought about the hypothetical scenario where I try my ass off for the next decade and a half and become CEO of Big Bank™ - would the pay at that point make me happy? 

Well, short answer: no. This isn't what I want, and I realised how little I cared about this job. You could give me the CEO's pay for what I do now and I'd still be just as unhappy and lost. I'd just be able to distract myself from that more. 

There was a time a year or so ago when I was flirting with the idea of putting the grind in to get through medical school, because if nothing else I care about other people, and love to help people, and could devote my life to nothing else but helping people; that I'd rather go back on the phone to help customers in a much more stressful role almost cruelly proves that to a degree I didn't realise before. I know that if I can stay healthy I have the mental capacity to see jt through, but seeing how healthcare staff have been treated over the course of the last year, knowing how gruelling that process can be, would I just find myself burning out again? 

Sometimes it feels like I'm split between Julius the Academic (aka who I was half a decade ago and have been told is the person I am my whole life) and Julius the Creative (the person I've grown into more over the last half a decade, but has always been there deep down). I love games, film, writing, and storytelling - could I not find something in there that could help people but also selfishly give myself some kind of satisfaction and purpose?

But I type that and almost feel silly, which I'm ashamed to admit. 

Don't feel silly! It is understandable that if you have been able to get through with little challenge it can ultimately get to a point where you reflect and think "what do I actually want?" There is a conveyor belt quality to academia and then work, this feeling like you have targets to meet without really thinking about why/what you want, just tick off the "get a degree, get a job, get promoted" kind of checklist.

I went through something similar and I ended up quite senior by like the age of 27 (forget exactly when) and it was well paid, I could potentially move up more but I knew I didn't want to in that particular area. Likewise now I am pretty much at the top of my (admittedly very niche) field but I know it's not what I want. And similarly I'm torn between the "well this is a stable job" and "I want to do something more creative". Particularly lately I'm struggling to try and do something creative that is not in front of  a computer. This pandemic (and starting exercise) has made me realise how desk-based I am so I want to find a better balance, just not sure doing what. I feel like my own skills are computer-based!

But by the sounds of it you're still young so kind of what I said to Nightwolf before; maybe try and think about positive things to come out of your current role and what parts of it you do/don't like and go from there. I'm not one to talk as I don't follow my own advice, but there's nothing wrong in taking advantage of a safe job to give yourself breathing room to figure out what you want. I know in the past I've been a bit reckless because I felt like by being in a stable job I'm holding myself back from other stuff, just didn't figure out what the other stuff was before taking a leap.

On 03/05/2021 at 9:53 PM, MoogleViper said:

I feel like I know what I should be doing. But I also feel far too lazy to actually do it.

You need to stop being so gosh darn handsome.

On 04/05/2021 at 1:58 PM, Raining_again said:

personal experience - you never truly feel like you are at the right milestones or have "done enough", you really have to deconstruct why those expectations are in your head, are they there because you truly want them or society/other people have placed this impression that you must.  Then you have to focus on what you can realistically do from now and going forward.  Sometimes therapy/mindfulness can be a worthwhile avenue to look into.

My life is definitely held in suspension right now.  My health is terrible.  My job situation is messy.  My love life is no better (in reality most men do not want to take on someone with disabilities especially when they can't have kids)  I will never life a normal life and i've had to accept that.

Even most recently i was nerding out on keyboard shopping and got frustrated because mechanical keyboards are very in fashion right now and i want one, but my hands and wrists are too damaged to deal with a clicky keyboard... very much a dumb "why me" moment but we are all human and its ok to be frustrated when you get handed an unfair deal in life.

You certainly have been handed an unfair deal but for what its worth I've always admired how well you deal with it. I know that may sound patronising (and obviously that is not the intent) but you really are one hell of a person! 

On 04/05/2021 at 2:10 PM, Cube said:

The prospect of a "career" as such is something I don't think I'll ever have as such, I feel like I'll always be on fairly low level (in terms of wage) jobs. The past 10 years have been pretty much doing what I can to get out of university-related debt, too. 

Socially, I'm in a much better place, though. 

Glad that socially things are working out for you. For what it's worth you seem pretty active in trying to do other things (blog, the games you've played this year etc). Maybe/hopefully that can lead to something more for you, but if not hopefully it's a source of enjoyment for you.

On 04/05/2021 at 5:25 PM, Ganepark32 said:

Its something that's plagued my mind a lot these last few weeks/months with me turning 32 in a week and a half time.

Generally speaking, I don't think I do know what I'm doing. Breaking that down, personally its a yes and a no and professionally, I really don't have a clue what I'm doing or where I'm going.

On the personal front, I've got the most amazing partner who has been so supportive over the last couple of years and has gone over and above to help me. We're in a great place together, stronger than ever (not that we've ever had a bad day) and just love spending every day together. Ideally I'd have loved for us to have bought our first house together by now and to be married but things have gotten in the way of both but to be honest, it feels like we're married as it is and when we're able to do so, we'll do it how we want.

But from there, my personal life falls apart a bit. I don't speak to my family much, for a variety of reasons and when I've tried I rarely hear back from them. I've not spoken to my grandmother for nearly 3 years because of her constant meddling and twisting of things. She cancelled a birthday cheque to me because she felt I withheld showing her a picture of my brother's first child, her great granddaughter, despite the fact I didn't have a picture and had only seen it on Facebook. She didn't ask to see it. This was spun along and twisted by her and my sister as me being horrible and keeping her right to see her great grand daughter from her, despite my brother wanting nothing to do with her. She wouldn't apologise so left is as we'll speak when she's ready to do so.

Have issues with my mother because of extensive emotional abuse growing up, as has become clear through speaking with people over the years. I've never confronted her about it but I've always been painted as having a chip on my shoulder with regards to our relationship but I'll leave that as its personal and difficult to go into. Its certainly tainted my personal life and is something I'm struggling with now.

Socially, because of the aforementioned stuff and because I've been used by many so called friends for money (including times such as bailing someone out of a hole at a casino and then being told I was clearly looking for more than friendship because of it. I'd made perfectly clear many times that I was only looking to be friends because of my mental health issues and that was all it ever was) or been dropped like a hat without any word to explain whats happened, I've struggled post uni to keep a friend group or to even have friends. So yeah, if it wasn't for my partner and her side of the family, I'd really not know what I was doing personally.

Professionally I have no idea where I'm going. I dropped out of my Ph.D. for mental and physical health reasons and even now, its stuff I'm dealing with (seizures, non-allergic rhinitis, stomach/gall bladder issues and depression). I took time to get settled after I left but I've really struggled to land a long term job and right now, I've been out of work for over a year and I'm struggling to get my foot in anywhere. The drive just isn't there because of how little progress I've made professionally and its just been difficult to move from 10 years in academia to anything else. I don't even want much to do with what I studied for all that time at uni (psychology) because of how negatively my Ph.D. impacted my health.

So I don't really know what I want to be doing or where I want to go. I keep comparing myself to others from uni on Facebook who are off doing this and that but I know people do things at their own pace and that I shouldn't. Its just hard to see a little at the end of the tunnel when I don't know where to start.

I loved lecturing but can't really see a way into doing that as to get to uni level lecturing, I'd need to finish my Ph.D. but I have no intention of going back to that and college level just seems to be extremely difficult to get into. I still enjoy the science side of things but don't want to do research and I'm good enough at data analysis but can't see myself as a data analyst. Don't really know how to take my skills and transfer them and my interests, gaming and music, don't really present any in roads (I did do freelance reviews years back but stopped to focus on uni and now there's an oversaturation of gaming media, including influences now, so its now a viable avenue professionally despite my interest in long form writing).

I'm sure I'll figure it out but its coincidental a thread like this would turn up when its really been on my mind a lot recently. Maybe I'll get there soon, maybe not but I'll hopefully get there with a bit of perspective.

So no I don't really know what I'm doing. But thankfully I've the support of an amazing woman who's helping me through things and with some time, I'll hopefully get to where I'm meant to be going.

I get what you mean about family and I am a big proponent of dropping people if they should be. I don't buy into this idea that just because they're family you need to put up with constant shit if there's little in return for doing so. As I've quipped before now; "I've tripped a few branches from my family tree". If they are bad for you then try and disengage. Maybe/hopefully they will change in the future and you can move on, but I don't buy into making yourself worth off simply because you're related.

Speaking of comparing yourself to others some people I know have literally won awards. At Bafta they have a staircase you need to use for access and they have quotes from previous winners and a former classmate (who was an awful nasty person, but admittedly skilled) is on there and overall I can go "well they're awful anyway" and brush it off, but there is that "but they are doing well..." thing in the back of my mind.

I've met one or two academics in my time who don't have PhDs but it is very rare (I even said to one "stop talking down to me, we're educated to the same level" which he didn't appreciate!) I know you said you can't see yourself as a data analyst but what about things like user research? Would that potentially be something interesting to you? As far as I know there's a reasonable bit of that in gaming.

On 05/05/2021 at 3:19 PM, Will said:

I think I’ve got most things pretty well laid out but also have lots of other things I’m really not sure about.

Career-wise I’ve always done pretty well and have done many things I would never have thought possible. I’ve worked all over the world in some really interesting roles and pretty much never felt like I was actually working. I always think a good measure on this one is how amazed would young you be when told what you do now and I think I’d be pretty impressed. My latest role is a little bland but I get paid really well and it seems very secure which is a good thing right now. I’d like to go back to a startup or company just setting up here but don’t think that’s likely anytime soon. Best to just get on with things as they are.

On the personal side things are pretty damn great right now. My son is going to be one next week and he’s been a real joy for the last 12 months. Relationship-wise everything is awesome and my wife and I will have our 4th anniversary in a couple of months time. Absolutely no complaints there.

The main thing I’m unsure on is long-term living location. Singapore is great when you can travel but pretty boring after being stuck here for the last year and a half and no end in sight. Then there’s the school issue, there is no way in hell I will send my kids to a local school but a decent international school is going to cost upwards of $10k a term. If I can get a decent-ish pay bump soon then that’s not such a worry but right now it would really be a strain. If we leave I’m not sure where I’d want to go. Back to Japan would be great for living but not so good for school or work. UK would be good for school and family but not so much for work or living. US is probably not doable with visa realities. So I’m a bit stuck on that one.

When I saw you responded to this thread I thought "Well of course Will knows what he's doing, look at him!" I am envious of your career and where it's taken you but I know over the last year you've struggled with being separated from your family for so long, it can't be easy. Do you think you could pivot to something like consultancy in the long term and then maybe that way it is less important where you live? You've got a fair bit of experience behind you (not calling you old!) so maybe give it some time you could leverage that to afford yourself some more flexibility. Hopefully the pandemic will open companies up to be less concerned about where someone is if they're the right person.

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Quit an extremely shitty job last year and I've been doing a master's degree since. It's going very well so far, I don't have a clue what I want to do after though.

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1 hour ago, Mandalore said:

Quit an extremely shitty job last year and I've been doing a master's degree since. It's going very well so far, I don't have a clue what I want to do after though.

What's your masters in?

I sometimes think about doing another but I know that's very much a procrastination thing at this point.

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2 hours ago, Ashley said:

When I saw you responded to this thread I thought "Well of course Will knows what he's doing, look at him!" I am envious of your career and where it's taken you but I know over the last year you've struggled with being separated from your family for so long, it can't be easy. Do you think you could pivot to something like consultancy in the long term and then maybe that way it is less important where you live? You've got a fair bit of experience behind you (not calling you old!) so maybe give it some time you could leverage that to afford yourself some more flexibility. Hopefully the pandemic will open companies up to be less concerned about where someone is if they're the right person.

Thanks! Yeah it’s been a weird year for sure. The plan just before COVID was to move to Malaysia and I think that might be the way to go when things do finally settle down and location for work isn’t as much of a big deal as it has been. Consulting is definitely a good option, and as more companies look to move into South East Asia could carve out a nice little niche for myself. I’ve also thought about just setting up something on my own but not really got a good idea for how to make that work. 

Lots of things to think about!

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26 minutes ago, Will said:

I’ve also thought about just setting up something on my own but not really got a good idea for how to make that work. 

Well if you do make sure you hire me as I will not have figured out what I'm doing at that point :p 

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4 minutes ago, Ashley said:

Well if you do make sure you hire me as I will not have figured out what I'm doing at that point :p 

I’d be glad to!

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Aww @Ashley thats very kind of you to say

 

In a weird sense I feel like sometimes its a blessing to have had to deal with "problems" at a young age.  For all the bad things its certainly given me a lot of wisdom & confidence to deal with problems now and in the future. 

I know people that don't go to the doctor EVER, have seen patients in work that havent even been registered with GPs suddenly ending up with a stroke or serious medical issue in their 40s/50s/60s very suddenly and the idea of that terrifies me more than the way my life is :blank:

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I'm in flux at the moment... socially and family wise, I think I'm in a good spot, by brother is still a dick who needs to drink a lil less, but he'll always be a work in progress, leave that with me.

Professionally I thought I was in a good place until last week (see jobs thread), this is the first proper permanent, full time, not all that bad paying job I've had in all my life, and it only took me 33 years. Just when I think I can take it to the next level (see jobs thread), whilst it's something which has made me feel less appreciated/valued than any job has ever done, it's not something I can just up and leave, coz monies. 

Having a house is nice, but I feel like those in the house buying thread that you may have bitten off more than you can chew, maybe you have rose glasses when you move in, and then the smallest things start appearing which you know you need to fix. The electrics are old, so will probably be a couple of grand to update the wiring at least. Weather has been shit today which has revealed the conservatory is not as watertight as originally assumed. So that's a couple of grand as well

It's all about money, and everything is a fuck you.

 

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48 minutes ago, EEVILMURRAY said:

Having a house is nice, but I feel like those in the house buying thread that you may have bitten off more than you can chew, maybe you have rose glasses when you move in, and then the smallest things start appearing which you know you need to fix.

Once the honeymoon of "I HAVE A HOUSE ITS ALL MINE" thing fades this is definitely so so true.  My house hasnt even been that stressful in terms of it needing repairs either.  You realise that yes you can do whatever you desire to the house, but it all costs money LOL.  No landlord to annoy if your toilet floods or the electrics have failed XD

All the money you save in the difference between a mortgage and rent now becomes your "if something goes wrong in the house" fund. :laughing:

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On 5/7/2021 at 2:34 PM, Ashley said:

What's your masters in?

Chemistry. It looks like I'll probably improve upon my original degree classification, hopefully that opens up a lot of new career options for me.

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Posted (edited)

The perfect relationship, the kids, the job, the house...rarely exists and if it does it's in films. I got to 40 some years back and felt a failure because I had never achieved all of that. It can really mess with you if you let it.

Find a purpose/goal in your life (we all have one), stop berating yourself too much (there's plenty of people who will attack you for free), never define/compare yourself fully by the actions/views of others (be true to yourself), try to improve yourself in some way, avoid being hurtful to others especially if they are in a worst situation or weaker than yourself and above all find balance in your life.

I am still trying to find that balance...

 

Edited by sumo73
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2 hours ago, sumo73 said:

The perfect relationship, the kids, the job, the house...rarely exists and if it does it's in films.

 

QFT.

I think as well. realistically, you're never gonna fulfill every single "category" in life.  Its not physically possible unless you are EXTREMELY lucky.  Not enough hours in the day to spin that many plates lol

Maybe your job is mediocre (or not what you saw yourself doing) but it affords you time and a stress free time to be a parent.  Maybe you spent your time building your career and have yet to meet The One or have a family...  Every good thing in your life isnt erased by the fact there is one thing you arent 100% happy with. 

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