I don’t know what I’m doing in my career. I studied media in college and then moved to Lisbon with my boyfriend and worked in a start-up digital media company. I got on great there and went from an entry level customer service role to the content team. It was a really young company and I only realised how much I learned there and how fun it was when I moved back to Dublin a year later. I got a job straight away in the online department of a well-established newspaper brand.
In the beginning it was kind of exciting – I had a proper title and decent money. We got a fab one bedroom apartment very close to the city centre. My boss was really interested in what I have to say because of my experience, which not a lot of Irish people would have. But I quickly realised how slow my new company is and the atmosphere is so negative towards change. Digital is not taken seriously within the organisation. After a closer look I realised my contract conditions are also very poor. To be honest I don’t even know if this is the area I want to be in, I kind of just fell into it.
I have been attending a lot of digital and start-up related networking events which I really enjoy, and I have been thinking about setting up my own company but I don’t have any good ideas.
It’s been so nice to be closer to family and friends but I suppose I don’t have that much of a circle in Dublin as I would at home in the west or even in Lisbon now. I would have stayed there longer if my boyfriend hadn’t wanted to come back so badly.
I’m not happy with my job and I think the bigger problem is that I don’t really know what I want out of a career. I did apply for a marketing job at a radio station that I was really excited about but I didn’t get passed the second round. So now I feel like I’m back to the beginning and I don’t know where to start. Any thoughts would be welcomed.
First of all I think you should be really proud of all you’ve done so far. You're not that long out of college and you have achieved a huge amount. I’m sure you've learned from the good and the bad and grown a huge amount along the way. There are always ups and downs on the journey. I hope you’re enjoying it overall.
You're in that tough stage a lot of graduates face these days - you have your foot on the ladder but it's not clear where that ladder is going and if it's the one you want to be on.
As you have identified yourself, figuring out what you want from your career is the key issue here – everything else is secondary complications. Once you decide what you want from your career and start taking steps to get it, all the other parts will fall into place naturally. Unfortunately, deciding what career to pursue is sometimes the hardest thing to do.
You're understandably becoming stressed by everything and I think you should take a step back. Take a weekend in all by yourself. You need quality time on your own.
Shut down the laptop, put your phone on silent. Clean the apartment. Go for a long walk. Come back, settle yourself and clear a space to work.
What makes you happy? What will you want in the future to maintain or increase your happiness? Make a one year plan. Make a five year plan. What do you want from your whole life? Decide on actions to make it happen. It is overwhelming but this is the most difficult part – deciding – because once you have decided you can begin working towards your dream and enjoying that process.
I encourage you to go big.
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