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My dream job involves tea and cake and some colouring in.

In My Story on January 28, 2013 at 5:16 pm

In the first of A Woman’s Place case study, we hear from Brigitte who volunteers as a means to re-igniting her career.

Brigitte, 42 lives in Queens Park, Brighton. She has two children age 11 and 7.

She used to work as a massage therapist and before that, a teacher.

 Do you work now?

I volunteer for the Red Cross between 5 and 10 hours a week.   I do various dogsbody office-minion style duties revealing my true ineptitude.

I also volunteer doing severely under qualified counselling and care to the elderly, infirm, vulnerable and mildly insane.

I’m also making a paltry superficial use of three years of massage training.

I see you volunteer, do you want paid work?    Yes I do  but I’m a bit scared and possibly lazy. I don’t think I’ll find the right job with the right hours and salary.

What would be the job description that you want?

I can’t describe the job I want. Think it probably involves tea and cake. Maybe some colouring in.

Are you hoping to get a job?

I think so. I really want a job to come and find me.

If you do have a job is it your dream job or just something to pay the bills, something you’ve  retrained to do or the only one you could find?

Initially I felt volunteering would give me confidence and ease me gently back into the world of work and give me the opportunity to develop new skills or rediscover old ones. Now feel stagnant again. I’m just coasting along again in an indecisive smog.

Please let me know what you feel you have sacrificed to create your work/family balance. Have you found a balance?

I feel thoroughly unbalanced.  I feel like I have completely sacrificed any chance of a career, but due to self-sabotage and indecision and twirling around in long hippy skirts not thinking about the future.

And maybe my reliance and dependence on the development my spouses potential career has not helped me to concentrate on my career.

Do you worry that your career has  stalled. Do you mind?

As someone who’s not too daft, my lack of work related achievement makes me cringe with embarrassment and disappointment.

However I do have a belief in being available to my children.

As I have no family close by, it would have meant finding serious child care costing serious amounts of money that on any salary I could command would be quite frankly, pointless.

After realising that my first child hated being left without me, I was too weak, sleep deprived and ultimately traumatised by his upset to pursue leaving him again.

This altered and cemented my whole view of going ‘back’ to work.

 What would help you get the work you want?

I’m beyond help.

A great talent.

A quiet confidence.

Self motivation.

An inexhaustible energy.

Office hours in school time only. And to work from home at other times.

I would need family members only to look after my kids to alleviate me of any guilt.

I would need to go back a decade or more and give myself a good talking to about getting a ‘real’ job to come back to.