January 16, 2010

Which way is up?

There are many different directions available to us in life.
Some people are lucky and know exactly what they want to do, and how they will achieve it, often at a very young age.
Others have a plan, yet constantly find themselves confronted with challenges and obstacles in achieving their goals.
There are also people like me, for I know I am not alone, who have no idea which direction is the right one. Not because the choice may be the wrong one, but because the options are vast and all offer many good things.

My mind is in constant conflict with itself. I know that I am not stupid nor unintelligent, and I could do pretty much anything I set my mind to, the problem is, my mind won't set to anything for long.

I won't go into my history of indecision. That's boring and tedious work, and for me to try and concentrate on telling it right would take far too long.
Instead, I'll focus on what lies ahead of me now.
The undeniable is that I am a mother. My children have always come first.
Second...I now have a degree in Educational Studies (and how I got that is a part of the boring history of Kelly).
Two of my options for the future were taken out of my hands. I was not accepted into a Bachelor of Teaching, nor have I heard anything about the Masters degree I applied for. Which is lucky, because I have already changed my mind about doing it.

So where does that leave me?

Obviously, I am 'into' photography. I have the option of pursuing it as a career, getting paid to take photos and becoming a Photographer. However I am afraid of it becoming work, and I hate work. I want to enjoy my photography so am reluctant to make it less about who am I and more about what I do for a living. I think of photography as an extension of myself, alongside writing. They are my art, for I cannot paint nor draw, except in a way that has been described as 'naive'. I cannot risk losing the passion I have for photography by making it my work.

I also consider myself a writer, and when the feeling takes me, I let it take me. I write when I feel like writing and this is a freedom I have not had for many months. I set this part of me aside while I concentrated on my uni assignments, leaving projects half finished. They're waiting for me now. I can hear them all calling, adding to the voices in my head. No...there aren't really voices in my head. Just me.

(This blogging thing is really just a way for me to combine writing and photography, so I don't lose either of them in the mundane day to day life thing I've got going)

In reality, I am a job seeker. I have a file and job seeker number and everything. My degree sits like a title under the Education details in my resume, yet no one knows what it means. It's great having a degree, sure, but my degree is new and as yet unrecognised in the work force. I have to rely on employers examining my transcript to see what experience I have.

So when my case worker person asks what it is I want to do, what jobs I want to look for, I can't say 'I don't know'. Right now, I want to work with the Department of Community Services. I have put my name down as an expression of interest for mid-year intake into a Community Welfare course at Tafe to increase my qualifications and therefore my chances of gaining employment with DoCS. It's cliche, but I really do want to help children and their families. I want to be able to give advice to parents specifically, as I found a lot of the things I learnt at uni would have been great to know when my children were babies.

I put my name down for work at the supermarket as well. I'm not above that, I know the importance of teaching my children that working for a living is preferrable to a lifetime on welfare. I'd consider it settling, and just a job, but also somewhere that I will gain experience in dealing with people, working with & through people, and learning hands-on some of the management & supervision stuff I covered at uni.

I still don't know which way is up, not yet. I am at least realising that I can't expect opportunities to just fall in my lap. I'll leave that to dripping ice cream and jumping children.


  1. Hey great post Kelly.
    It must be difficult for you being in limbo with your career seeking post degree.
    I know it seems easy for me to make the comment that a degree isn't the be all and end all. I'm a believer that all the skillls you learn in your degree are relevant to any sort of job. Research skills. Time management. Training. Organisation.
    Your degree sounds versatile.
    Why don't you apply for a job at DOCS or even Centrelink or the ATO. There are lots of jobs within these agencies that don't directly deal with tax or the perceived aggression of centrelink.
    You have a degree now so definitely consider applying for a graduate program. Search for them on the nsw or Vic public service websites, or apsjobs.gov.au
    good luck!
    My degree was wishy washy too, by the way!

  2. DoCS is where I am looking first, but I hadn't thought of all the other agencies I could try! Thanks for that!