Creative Career

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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.

Career Background

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.

Creative Career

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.

Options

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:

  1. 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).
  2. 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?

23 thoughts on “Creative Career

  1. AishiteruTouka says:

    Do both. Have one for security, work hard and reach financial goals, but make sure you have time for adventures to take you into your photography universe. Connect and network with like minds. When you’re ready. focus, drop everything. Then pick up the first thing that comes to mind and run with it.
    I’m in a super similar situation. however, I dropped my career path in the creative degree field to do it on my own. Now I write about my journey to debt freedom. There is time and so much opportunity. Think big, dream bigger, follow your heart. All the other cliches and jazz.

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  2. devisecreateconcoct says:

    Oh how I’ve struggled with this. I have changed careers many a time – all due to my tendency to lean on the creative side. I have a very good job as well, but it doesn’t allow me to be creative. In my 20’s I left a good paying non-creative job to study music. Then returned to the good paying non-creative job (at another employer of course). I left that job again in my 30’s to design, make and sell handbags. I have since returned to a good paying non-creative job again (at another employer). Lol. The reason I returned every time is because it is hard to make a good living being creative which is sooooooooo unfortunate and wrong in my opinion. With all of that said, I never regretted leaving those good paying jobs to pursue my passions. If I hadn’t of tried I would always regret not trying and I learned a lot for all of those experiences. I wish to you all the best in whatever decision you make. Listen to your gut. 🙂

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    • reynoldsmade says:

      Such a good point! I’d feel worse if I didn’t at least try… Surely we’d all have more regrets if we didn’t try and follow our passions and what makes us feel energised. And that’s the thing nothing is forever and if things don’t quite go to plan there’s no harm returning to something you did before! Thank you so much and thank you for sharing what you’ve been through yourself. It really is helping so much hearing from so many people and how their careers are where they are now xxx

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Lindsayrose says:

    DO It! If you can manage financially then what are you waiting for? I was a trainee solicitor…. Worked for 8 years, lost my dad at Christmas and by that April I was in uni doing nursing. Follow your heart lovely x x x good luck

    Liked by 1 person

      • Lindsayrose says:

        Thanks sweetie, what I’m basically trying to say is if you can afford it then go and chase your dream don’t spend your life wishing and wondering because you only get one go at this game and you will either smash it or you will get to the end and wonder why you didn’t do what you loved. You go girl xxx

        Liked by 1 person

  4. bethanyjanewrites says:

    I graduated with a degree in Organizational Communication, but due to a lot of health problems, I couldn’t hold down a regular job. So I took up Freelance Writing, but even as I got healthier, I chose to keep up my writing. Despite many comments that I should get a “real job”, I decided to spend my time doing what I wanted to do. The uncertainty and lack of security in the freelance world ultimately gives me the freedom to live the life I want. Failing is a part of pursuing a more creative career honestly, it is how you wayfind your way to success. There will always be financial uncertainties with a career shift, but if you have saved up a decent amount and work hard, then I think it is possible to pursue. Weigh all your options, and I imagine the right decision will come to you. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • reynoldsmade says:

      Very inspirational Bethany thank you for sharing. Yes I think having savings as a cushion is necessary and the smart thing to do. I can’t change career just yet as we need to buy a home but I think I need to continue to work towards it. Not necessarily to be a full-time photographer but just something related. It’s wonderful you are spending your days doing something you love. Thank you for your kind and thoughtful comments x

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  5. MindfulCents says:

    I am at the job which doesn’t give me anything but financial stability. I compromise my personal values to earn the living. It doesn’t give me a feeling of achievement, fulfilling, and my job doesn’t make a difference in the world. I am not able to be creative and I am easy replaceable. So yes I am in search for a new field to work in.
    For you … my recommendation is to find creativity in your job because it seems that it meets all the other needs: great boss who appreciates you, you are making a difference and you are good at what you do. Or use photography as a side hustle.
    Good luck!

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    • reynoldsmade says:

      Hi Mindfulcents 🙂 Thank you for commenting. I hope you find the new field you are looking for. What are you thinking of changing to?
      Unfortunately there isn’t anything creative I can do in Accountancy. It really is all about numbers & spreadsheets. As much as I love the place I work not doing what I feel I was born to do makes me unhappy x

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  6. Dysis says:

    Ask your self these questions, they might help: where do you want to be in five years time? A degree in your job or down the road in photography. Which would you regret never doing on your deathbed? (morbid I know but needs thinking about) What would be the worst thing that could happen if you took the one you wanted? Could you make a plan to come back from that place? And finally something my mum always told me when I was little, ” in your heart you already know the truth, just listen.” Hope this helps. I recently quit my full time job and decided to look for a part time job just to cover the bills so I can work on my passions. It helps that I have a supportive partner who works full time. I just thought sod it, I can always go back full time if I need to. It might fail but I would have regretted not trying. You have to do what is right for you and no one else, but have a back up plan just in case.

    Liked by 1 person

    • reynoldsmade says:

      Hi Dysis. This almost made me cry but in a good way. Thank you. I suppose I’d always regret not trying and I’ve had enough regrets to deal with in life. I’ve always been scared to stand up and make changes that will change the course of my life. The more I think about it I’m sure I’d get a job back in my current field in a heartbeat. I’ve got 15 years experience under my belt now.
      That’s so inspirational! I can see myself doing the same! My partner is also very supportive and I know whatever I decided he’d be okay with it. I wish you so much luck with working on what you’re passionate about. And thank you for such encouraging words they’ve really hit home for me x

      Liked by 1 person

      • jessicaconstable says:

        This all sounds very wise. As you know, I took a leap and left my full time role last year to pursue a dream. I’ve found a problem in my plan was not having a longer term view in mind (I trained in yoga and traveled but expected to get certain on a ‘next step’ while doing those…and didn’t!). I’m now hoping to either get a better role back in my old work or relocate with my partner. However stressful I’m finding this limbo, I do not regret leaving my old role-it was NOT lighting my fire, and I think feeling like you’re growing is crucial in life. I feel like your mind is made up. Just make sure you save as much as you can (I know you’re on that route already) and also don’t let studying get in the way of DOING. Even with a degree, the fear of being a photographer will likely still be there, so ALWAYS be prioritising doing. If that is unclear let me know. And read ‘The Happiness Project’ – it’s brilliant!

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      • reynoldsmade says:

        It’s so hard feeling like you’re in limbo. Feeling lost about something that is a big part of our lives is hard. How exciting though that you might relocate! I completely agree. I hope it isn’t a case of itchy feet but then I’ve felt like this for as long as I can remember. Very good point Jess 🙂 I’ve heard of the happiness project and I think I even follow the twitter account. I’ll take a looksee. Thankyou xxx

        Liked by 1 person

  7. thosethingsthatmatter says:

    I can totally relate to this although I never did anything in Business. I pursued photography and didn’t get much support but I have learned to overcome it. I had to find other ways. If you are choosing between finance or photography I am afraid I would have no hesitation and say photography every time. Do something that you are passionate about and that excites you. If finance really does this for you, OK but it seems not.

    Liked by 1 person

    • reynoldsmade says:

      Thank you! It’s hard when others don’t support what you love to do. I can never understand it because I’d always support others even if I thought they were making a mistake. We all need to walk our own paths in life. That’s great you pursued what you loved and it all worked out 🙂 Thank you for your encouraging words x

      Liked by 1 person

  8. infinitybeckons says:

    I had the exact same conversation with my wife last night.

    My passions are travelling, reading and blogging and my ultimate plan is to write a book based on all three.

    I currently work in oil and gas which ethically doesn’t sit right with me but it does sit right financially.

    Although I’m good at what I do, it’s not my passion and supporting a wife and three children takes priority.

    If family circumstances and commitments were different I’d change it in a heartbeat, instead I’ll plough on to early retirement and plan for the day that my passion for travelling and writing is given the green light.

    What we “should do” should always be driven by the self and not by society.

    Liked by 1 person

    • reynoldsmade says:

      Isn’t it strange how so many of us end up in a field completely different to what interests us most?

      I left home at an early age and had no choice but to chase money as I needed to support myself. I wish things had been different but my nan always said it’s never too late to live the life you want to. I completely understand about the responsibility although I don’t have children. I can’t change career just yet as we want to get on the property ladder first and I’m not qualified to do it either. I suppose I just need to know I’m on the right path.

      Good luck with writing your book – something you can do whilst working your day job? Thank you for taking the time to share your story too. I’m finding all of you very inspirational! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • infinitybeckons says:

        Yeah I was in a similar situation leaving home relatively young and the best thing I did was to get a small house (it’s cheaper up north!) and gradually upgraded over the years so it’s good you have that goal.

        As for the book, it will involve an epic journey and that won’t take place until the kids have all left home, but I’ll keep in blogging and will be using that as flashbacks, so I am sort of writing it as I go 😀

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      • reynoldsmade says:

        I did that in the beginning but lost the house due to a break up (we owned it together) so it sent me back to square one. Ahh I see that’s a really good approach to book writing. Collecting your thoughts over the years is a good strategy! 🙂

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