Well, the offer came through, as I suspected it would.
My father, altogether not the most mild-mannered or easygoing of men – a man who I remember, in fact, as an extremely stern taskmaster – described their employee policy as “draconian”.
Fully monitored internet usage while on-site.
Sent home without pay if you’re late.
Regular out of hours work (unpaid).
No option to take on additional freelance work.
Given that the duties are not what I want and the salary is significantly lower than I was hoping for, this does not seem like an opportunity I should go for, all things considered.
And yet. And yet…it’s a full-time role in an agency. It could be worse, I guess. There are advantages to taking it. A clear grounding in social media work. Agency experience. Big name brands on my CV.
My instincts are still in revolt. I think if I took it I would be miserable. If there’s one thing I don’t work well under it is stern taskmasters and environments which make the Third Reich look like some sort of socialist wonderland.
Like I said, the penny even dropped for my parents on how intimidating this opportunity is. I’ve drafted my reply with questions but haven’t dared to send it yet. In truth, I feel like I need more time. I need time to think. To consider. To pray that another opportunity comes to the fore and gives me some slender hope that I can latch onto.
Is this job just a species of benign slavery which I would be best to forgo? Or is it the right next opportunity and I just need to stop being so childish and just accept it like the adult I am?
I don’t know.
Even in the age of big data and all the online analytics we could ever want, I still set a big store by instinct. I trust my instincts in a way that I trust nothing else. It’s that voice in your head, borne out of years of learning on the road through life; the friend and companion which has been there since the beginning. The thing within ourselves which cannot ever be replaced.
And my instinct is saying not to go for it. That all the signs simply point to disappointment. My head says that I may regret turning it down. But don’t we always feel like that when presented with something which is going to turn a corner of our lives?
To take this role would mean finding a new flat in West London. It would mean new challenges and a new life. It would mean joining new social groups in a fresh location. A job is never simply just a job, it always means more than we would first anticipate. Perhaps that is why it’s so hard to find the right opportunity. And why it’s equally as hard to say “no”.
But I know myself and I know what I can endure, which consequently means I also know what I can’t. I can’t stand anything which makes me feel trapped or constricted. And when I think of taking on this job, I don’t feel any of the usual emotions one should feel. Excitement. Eagerness. The desire to prove yourself. Joy at the achievement of landing the role. Perhaps tellingly, I feel one of those things. I fear only trepidation. I feel like I am about to walk int the cage with a tiger.
That, surely, is not right.
And on the horizon, just today in fact, have appeared more roles. Roles that make me feel excited and stimulated to work there. True, there is a world of difference between an offer and an opportunity. But it is that odd confirmation that there are other things out there for us. Somehow, we so often convince ourselves that this opportunity is the last opportunity. Or at least I do anyway I suppose I can’t really speak for anybody else.
I’m at a fork in the road and both are murky. One leads to an opportunity which leaves me filled with fear and distrust. The other leads into the complete unknown. And I don’t know which is the path to take.
But the strange thing is, even though I feel myself awash in a sea if indecision, I feel that I’m actually moving my life forward and, at long last, re-building something. Bit by bit, anyway.