So if you’ve been a reader of this blog since the beginning (which was only January this year mind!) you’ll know that I am trying to live a more creative life and possibly change to a more creative career.
I’ve gone from wanting to make jewellery, to making candles to photography. Oh and some writing in-between. Right now I’m just trying to figure out what my passions are. I love my job and where I work but accountancy was never something I thought I’d do as a career.
I left sixth form a year early and embarked on an apprenticeship in business administration. I was fed up of education and wanted to work and earn money. I got my first full-time job (where I currently work now) as an administrator. By the end of the first 4 years of employment I had 4 job titles including finance administrator and was feeling a little overwhelmed.
I left to work at an Accountants in London for 2 years where I learnt a lot about the finance and accounting industry. I was really good with a spreadsheet and reconciliations so I guess that is why I went down this path.
When the recession of 2008-2009 hit I was made redundant but still in contact with my old boss where I work now. That very day the finance administrator handed in her notice so it was kind of fate that I ended up back here.
Over the next 5 years I worked my way up and completed accountancy qualifications funded by my company and now I’m the Management Accountant and head of finance.
My job entails a lot of budgets, forecasts, cashflows, balance sheets and spreadsheets! For the last 5 years I’ve also been heavily involved with our Capital Project where we have sold off a few sites and now we operate the college from a one-site facility and we have expanded so much taking more and more students each and every September.
The work is demanding and interesting and gives me a real sense of achievement. I still feel like I learn something new each day and it can be really challenging at times. On top of that I have a very supportive boss who always has my back. So I am very lucky and this post is not a bashing of my work life right now.
BUT accountancy is not my passion. I never grew up thinking that’s what I wanted to do with my life and how I want to spend every day. Because how we spend our days is how we spend our lives. I’m not going to lie on my death bed one day and say I’m so glad I spent my time doing that.
I’m naturally very creative when I’m feeling brave enough. I spent most of my childhood drawing, painting and writing elaborate stories set in magical lands. I loved to write and I loved taking photos. When I went down the path of accountancy I Iost all of that spark and my nerve. Yes I do believe you need to be brave to be creative. Being creative means putting your heart and soul into something and then seeing the outcome and sometimes having others judge it.
I started to lean more towards having a creative career last year. My wedding though took up most of my time and head space so it wasn’t until January this year that I set myself the goal of exploring what I really loved doing. I signed myself up for a 6 month photography course that also leads to a qualification. I go on Monday evenings after work for 3 hours per week. We get set lots of homework and they cover a lot in the classes and I am thoroughly enjoying it.
I’m also writing more and more. This blog helps with that but I’m also writing in a journal again. I’ve not ventured down the path of writing stories yet as I just don’t have the time right now but I plan on starting something in July once my photography course ends.
So right now I have two options staring me in the face and it’s the reason for writing this post. One gives me job security and a prosperous future and plenty of future jobs to pick from and the other is a little unknown.
Come September 2017 I could either:
- Take my boss up on the offer of a funded Degree and continue my career in Finance & Accountancy. I would be tied into my current job for at least the next 4 years (3 years to complete the Degree and 1 year after; otherwise I’d have to pay back the entire fee).
- Or, book myself onto the next level of the Photography qualification which starts in September (takes about a year to complete) and continue down that route of hopefully having a career change and do something every day that I enjoy and am passionate about.
I’ve spoken about it to a few people in my life and get rather mixed reviews. Some think I’d be stupid not to do the Degree through my current job and others believe I should follow my heart and take a risk. I could fund a Degree in Photography myself whilst I continue to work in my current field and hope that I’m good enough to earn a living from it in the future.
But if I’m honest I feel a little lost right now and I feel quite torn. I feel like I’m running on autopilot and hoping everything will just work itself out. I go from feeling motivated and confident in pursuing Photography to doing what others believe to be the best route back again to what I WANT to do. I’m not scared of loved ones opinions but I am a little scared that they won’t support me. And what if I fail?
So that’s the long and short of it really – do what I feel I should do or do what I want to do. I have plenty of time to make a decision. Its only March right now and I have until August to decide. I just hope I can figure all this out and be 100% behind the decision I make.
Have any of you changed career? Or are any of you thinking of changing career at some point? What do you want to do?