Is this your first ‘real’ job?

It’s been quite a while since my last post, purely because so much has been going on recently and I have just been swamped! At the end of June I finished my studies in Leiden, moved back to the UK, and have re-located from my home-town (Stafford) to Cardiff (well, close enough!), to live with my boyfriend and start my new job. So far I’m absolutely loving Cardiff, with it’s awesome shops (Cath Kidston, Urban Outfitters, Topshop, Zara, etc etc!) and its beautiful architecture (well, some of the buildings!). It nice to live in a city that’s big enough to have everything you need, but not so big you need to get the tube everywhere (*cough* London *cough*). I’m really excited to explore more of Cardiff, visit the museums, art galleries, shopping centres….

I have now been in my awesome new job as a Research Executive for 6 weeks, which has been really exciting, though tiring too. It’s my first full-time job, and so was a little hard to get used to at first, since I haven’t woken up at 7am everyday since I was in High School. Still, I’m enjoying it, learning a lot, my colleagues are lovely, and I’m studying for some qualifications too which is brilliant.

There is one strange thing that I have noticed gets said a lot when I tell people about my new job, and I’m starting to get tired of answering the same things over and over. And that is people asking me, ‘is this your first real job?’, or even, ‘welcome to the real world’.

And I find this fairly irksome because, no, this isn’t my first real job, I have had plenty of jobs before now, partly to gain skills and add value to my CV, but mainly because I needed to in order to y’know, pay rent, and feed myself, and all that other stuff. If what you’re asking me is ‘is this your first full-time job/job outside of studying’ than yes, yes it is. But just because I was in university when I was in my previous employment doesn’t make it any less real. It wasn’t a dream or a fantasy. I find it bizarre that just because I’m ‘fresh out of university’ people assume I haven’t worked or have no understanding of what it means to work for a living. What’s that all about?!

Likewise with the whole ‘welcome to the real world’ thing. The world I was living in before wasn’t any less real, regardless of whether I was working or studying (or both). I can only assume that people think all students just sleep all day and watch countdown. Well, some might, but I didn’t achieve my Masters degree by sleeping all day, I studied and went to work all day, everyday. When I wasn’t in lectures I was at work. When I wasn’t at work, I was studying. Yes, student life is different. But it’s not all rainbows and puppies, playing frisbee all day and living in a dream-land. And regardless of your perceptions of how students spend their time, it doesn’t make their life any less real. Some people spend their lives travelling, and living off the land. There lives are perfectly real. They might not fit into some preconceptions of what ‘real-life’ should look like, but at the same time they are not imaginary people. The use of the word ‘real’ in these instances makes my cringe. Was I not living a real life before? Was I not a real person? What makes me any more real now? Is every persons real-ness based solely on how they make a living? Pfft.

On a less rant-y note, next week I’m going on a business trip with some colleagues of mine (so I guess that makes my job ‘real’?). Either way, I’m really excited, and am so happy I landed this job! Even the words ‘business trip’ sound really professional! I feel all grown-up, buying office-wear and pretending I know what I’m doing..! The only downside to working everyday is that I don’t have much time to put into other pursuits, like my sketching and blogging, which is a shame. With my graduation, family birthdays and numerous socials my weekends have all been fully-booked and having time for myself is becoming a rarity. Still, I prefer to be busy, plus now I have money which is lush (and also one of the many shops in Cardiff I’ve already visited too many times…!).

Well, that’s it for now but more updates soon, and hopefully more exciting things to share!

Much Love!

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