The Chapter Where Kanye Makes Me Quit My Job
I embrace many if not most stereotypical expressions of a millennial on social media. From posting eagle-view photos of my meals out to drunkenly tweeting about my love for Corbyn after one too many G&T’s, I am a fully-fledged social enthusiast. I guess it all stems down my teenage years – after being diagnosed with leukaemia at fourteen, I treat my old Tumblr account as a diary, a la Georgia Nicholson style, but without the snogging scale. Because of this habit, I definitely think that even today – eight years later – I’m all a bit guilty of oversharing on social media, particularly my good news. But then again, don’t we all? With internet access available in our very hands, we’ve become the generation that continuously immortalises the sales process of ourselves.
However, we’re no longer just showing up and presenting these idealistic identities, before they disappear as swiftly as Gemma Collins dignity after falling off that stage. Nope. Instead, we’re canonising what this process looks like through VSCO-filtered photographs, which we post all over our social media handles.
Whether it’s being greeted on Instagram with yet another flat-lay of the Glossier products you can’t afford, witnessing a blogger head off on their fifth holiday of the year, or even spotting a girl who was in the year below, land your dream graduate role, we’re continuously bombarded with images of people leading successful lives. And this can sometimes lead to a feeling of failure when comparing...
The feeling of failure
This very feeling of anxiety and terror, in fact, led to me welling up on the 6:29 am bus to work, just over two weeks ago. After catching up on my Instagram and Twitter feeds, I, in desperate times, decided to check my LinkedIn feed. Here I was greeted to find yet another friend of a friend land their Graduate Job. I, on the other hand, was mentally and physically exhausted by a job I had begun to detest. I had started the job three months prior who, as a soon-to-be graduate, was struggling to find an entry-level marketing job in the North East. However, with a Zara wish-list expanding evermore and also an ego to intact, I decided to pursue a promotion at my then part-time job. An assessment day and interview later, I was offered the job rather ironically the day after graduating. After months of an unsure future, everything was finally starting to fall into place which called for a cheeky successful update on social media.
All in the all, the new job role came with a bunch of positives: developing a new skill-set, seeing the success of my work firsthand, building leadership qualities, weekends off, and more job prospects in the future. However, with the workload growing more and more serious, and the possibility of having to move to a smaller, secluded area to further my career, I swiftly begun to realise I didn’t enjoy the job enough to leave the city where my friends, family, and five Greggs, are just around the corner. Despite these harrowing hurdles, especially the latter, I tried to jump over them but deep down, I knew what this job was – a Filler Chapter that had gone on for too long. It got to the point where each morning, I’d wake up at 5:15 am and a weird pang will hit me that made me feel like I was drifting further and further away from my truest self.
And here, I was, in the present day, sitting on that bus, feeling the same motion of worry. I felt I had joined the rat race that stranger had warned me not to do. And that’s when Kanye West’s ‘Spaceship’ came on shuffle with the opening line, “I’ve been working this grave-shift and I ain’t made shit / I wish I could buy me a spaceship and fly past the sky.” And that’s when my weeks of worrying came to a halt: I didn’t want to do this anymore. I was simply sticking in a job for an initial fear of going “backwards” in a world full of graduates Bear Grylls-ing up the careers ladder. But quite simply, taking a step backwards did not mean failure, but instead a new opportunity. Kanye said it best later in the song: “This job can’t help him [her]. So, I quit, y’all welcome.”
And that’s what I did… I quit. Well sort of, I demoted myself and went back to part-time, because girls got bills, and also an unholy addiction to Greggs to suffice. However, instead of using my smaller contract as a sign of failure, I now seized it as freedom: I now had free-time to kick-start the career I’d wanted to pursue from the beginning: marketing. My “what if?” fear had turned into an exciting prospect of “what now?”
But really, what now?
So far, I’ve had a couple of shifts at my local Oxfam, acting as their online assistant. I’ve rather luckily received some sponsored posts from brands on my Instagram. I’m also in talks with a marketing agency, about some possible working experience. The other day I went for a coffee and left with the email of a possible future client, whose social media accounts I may run. Although the future is unassuming, that’s also what makes it so exciting.
If there’s anything I’ve realised since graduating, it’s that you can take a whole load of paths in life but none of them are right or wrong. They’re just different. However, if you were split your life off into fifty parallel directions, and watched the stories play out, each one of them would possess its own unique blend of joy, sadness, and possibly even, welling up on public transport. What’s important is to remind that yourself that you’re going to make mistakes, and you’re going to mess up, just like I did by pursuing the wrong career path. But by trying new things, caring for your personal growth and knowing when your ego no longer matters, you are making progress. Doing this will allow you to be the captain of the spaceship Kanye talks about, with each co-ordination guiding you towards new ideas, opportunities and twists and turns, you didn’t quite anticipate…