Tuesday 5 November 2019

I know what's coming, I'm not working...

I find myself caught in a strange kind of halfway house.

I've been productively spending my time volunteering... it keeps me busy and makes me feel like I'm doing something useful for the world after many years of working for a fairly soulless corporation.

As well as the MyGuide stuff that I've been doing for Guide Dogs, I'm also about to be appointed as a trustee for a Nottingham domestic abuse charity and I'm excited to get started with that and to learn the ropes. As I currently have the time, I have the opportunity to go and watch them working at first hand as well as learning what it means to be a trustee.

When I met the other trustees, one of the questions that they asked me was how, if I was looking to get back into paid employment, was I going to find the time to do all the volunteering I do.

It's a good question.

My answer was simply that, if I do go back into full time employment, nobody is making me work 60 hour weeks and I should therefore have plenty of time for my volunteering if I stick to a standard 37.5 hours.  They seemed happy with this and it's 100% true that no one was making me do the hours I ended up working in my last job. That was entirely down to me and a misplaced sense of responsibility.

If I've learned anything over the last few months, it's that I get far more satisfaction and fulfilment from the stuff that I do for nothing than I ever did for any job that paid.

But here then is the dilemma: why am I looking for a paid job back in the kind of thing that I used to do? I'm distinctly ambivalent about going back to work in a corporate environment and I don't really need the money.... so why am I not looking to do more volunteering or, at the very least, look for a job somewhere that won't pay so well but will be doing an awful lot more good for the world and for my soul?

This morning I spent some time looking at maybe volunteering at a food bank. It obviously wouldn't pay, but it would undoubtedly be a good way to use my time.  I then spent the next couple of hours looking at business analysis jobs that I could do but really don't want to. I might apply for one.

This shouldn't be this hard.


  1. Interesting.

    I got made redundant, and started working as a day rate contractor a few months later, as a Business Analyst (I wasn't one before this). One thing it took me a while to get into was that I get paid for a set amount of hours. I don't get paid if I do more hours (I may get time in lieu if agreed).

    So whereas before I was in a 'profession' that I was dedicating 50+hrs a week too, often working into the evenings, now I work from 8am to 4pm, lock my laptop in a locker at work, and go home and forget all about it.

    The place I'm working in isn't maybe the best place for 'being better in the world' but it might suit you to have this approach? Makes it much easier to switch off and limit your hours.

    1. That’s pretty much my thinking with these BA jobs. They’re all very local, pay pretty well and I wouldn’t have any sort of emotional attachment to them. If I did contract work, I suppose I’d get paid even more although I don’t want to be away from home.

    2. We’re very fortunate in that I don’t *need* to earn what I have been earning. If the right part time opportunity came up somewhere worthwhile, I might just to that.

  2. "I then spent the next couple of hours looking at business analysis jobs that I could do but really don't want to."

    there's yr clue, right there!

    FULL DISCLOSURE: this is something I need to remind myself of too