In previous years September has been a source of anxiety for me; Returning to school, starting college, facing another year at university or having less than £30 left in my overdraft. But this year feels different. My head is in a much better place, I feel more confident in myself and at last I’m about to embark on a journey where I know that somewhere along the lines I’ll be doing some good.
Back in June, after having six weeks off for open heart surgery, I entered my previous office and discovered that despite previous agreements I would essentially need to be back to a full time rota just eight weeks later. I feared for my physical health and my brain was screaming at me in terror, my body was declaring to me that it just wasn’t right and in that moment I decided to leap. On 22nd June I quit my job.
On that day I applied for another job. It would be the first of a long string of jobs I hoped would give me a chance. That job only went and offered me an interview and then decided to offer me a better job, more suitable to me, than the one that I went and applied to. Some could say it was fate. From helping to arrange for luxury cars to pick up middle class people to go on their holidays that I could barely afford to dream of I found myself with a title that will give me the chance to make people’s journey through the health system smoother and hopefully as minimally stressful as possible.
After needing the assistance of the NHS so much throughout my life, I suddenly have the chance to use that patient knowledge in my daily life. I’ll let you into a little secret; I used to dream of being a paramedic but emergency service work and Marfan’s Syndrome don’t mix and I never felt I had the brains to try to become a doctor or a nurse. This admin job, and hopefully others that will follow over a *dream* lifetime ahead of working in the NHS, will hopefully be my way of helping people to get the treatment they need and ensuring departments run as smoothly as possible under the drastic pressures the NHS finds itself in.
I’m excited to start my new job. The Monday to Friday grind, leaving work at the office door on a Friday evening and returning to it Monday morning, the proper lunch break, the legal sick pay, the official holiday pay, an office with colleagues instead of getting left alone for hours. The peace of mind of a job that isn’t essentially zero hour contracts simply to exploit all the employment laws possible. The chance to get to know multiple colleagues, work alongside people and maybe even attend a Christmas party! I’m excited about starting my new job because in many ways it feels like my first experience of a proper grown up job with security for all.
There is something about making such a big and risky decision that has made me feel a lot more brave and confident in myself. I spent a long time feeling a lack of respect, lacking belief that I would ever be able to escape from one entry level job to another after dropping out of university twice and generally thinking that my CV and personality was far from interesting enough to get me an interview let alone a job offer. But this whole situation proved me wrong. I made a decision that deep down I knew was right for me and that I should have made a long time ago and it proved to be worthwhile and that I should believe in my head and gut a little more. It’s safe to say nobody around me was really that hopeful or positive about the decision I had made but hopefully this whole situation has proved to them that despite being a ball of nervous uncertain energy half the time I am at a stage where I am able to acknowledge what is right for me and when I should action up certain things.
I feel like an adult. I’m already looking out for Christmas party outfits just in case. I’m already thinking about what cake I can bake for my birthday next year to take into the office. I’m thinking about how to style those proper work trousers that I never pulled out previously. This is the first September where I am doing something that I truly want to do rather than something I feel I need to do or have been essentially forced to do through frustrating circumstances.