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In a dead end job at 25

(17 Posts)
ParsleyCake Fri 07-Apr-17 19:38:41

This is a long whinge but I'm happy to listen to your stories too. I just need to speak about this in some way...

My life usually seems great, and I'm really happy when I'm just living in the moment. I am finally out of the depression of struggling through university, I have a 2.1 degree in Classical History, I am engaged to be married to my lovely fiancé who I've been in love with for 10 years, and we have a wonderful little boy.

BUT

I work in the deli in a local supermarket, and I'm scared to leave because it's the best job I've ever had (and I've had loads of jobs, having worked up to three at a time and stayed at most only 2 years at each since I was 16).

We are guaranteed a certain number of hours at specific times each week (great for childcare), there's loads of over time, everyone is lovely, and the employer really makes an effort to make sure that you can care for your family - they're great for being off work to care for a sick child, or any reason really, as long as it's reasonable. I even enjoy the work! I cook hot food and serve it to customers all day, and I practically run my own counter during my shift so I feel in control of the decisions I make and don't have co workers or a supervisor telling me what to do or hovering over me. I am in constant disbelief in the staff room when I hear the older staff moaning about their work, having been there since they left school, whinging about cuts to the benefits they get which absolutely no other employer at that level offers their staff anymore these days. These people don't know how good they have it. Iv worked at small convenience stores, fast food restaurants and holiday parks and been constantly taken aback by how terribly staff are treated.

But despite how handy it is for childcare, and how convenient and dependable it is, I feel disgusted at myself for settling for this when I worked so hard to get through uni. Looking back, I acknowledge how naive I was to study something so frivolous as History but to be honest, I don't really flourish in any particular academic field - so in a way maybe it was my only option to follow my interests? I have the typical story of being seen as smart and talented in my local high school until I was a small fish in a big pond at university. From there it went down hill.

My social skills are lacking, I am a complete introvert and suffer from social anxiety. I can't feel any motivation to find a career when I am so content in my current position. I just hate that I feel like a failure for having a kid so young and still living and working in my home town. I want to be able to be proud of myself! Most of the time, my happy little family is enough for me, but I feel restless now and again. I can't afford to go back to study again, and even if I could I have no idea what I would do, despite racking my brains for career ideas constantly since I was 17.

mamakoukla Fri 07-Apr-17 19:42:34

If you are happy at work and it suits your life, could you stay there but perhaps extend yourself outside of work? Either courses that could translate into something work related or something simply for yourself?

StealthPolarBear Fri 07-Apr-17 19:42:38

No need to be disgusted at yourself for working hard!
However it sounds like you need some serious career advice. Do you want to do something else or do you just think you should?
If you do, I'd suggest trying to get some experience (voluntary work of you can spare the time ) before you decide and then retraining if necessary.
Is there a management scheme where you work?
Does your df work?

mamakoukla Fri 07-Apr-17 19:43:12

And you are not a failure! Maybe a bit restless perhaps?

StealthPolarBear Fri 07-Apr-17 19:43:39

That said if uou like your job and are happy and financially comfortable there's no need to do anything different because you think people are judging uou or whatever.
but I get the impression you're quite anbitious

StealthPolarBear Fri 07-Apr-17 19:44:52

You seem to imply you failed at university. You got a 2.1 in what sounds to me (as a mathematician) to be a rigorous degree.

StealthPolarBear Fri 07-Apr-17 19:45:55

Oh no that sounded up myself. The maths comment was meaning I know nothing about arts degrees. Not stating my credentials blush
For the record I got a third

Sunnyshores Fri 07-Apr-17 19:54:15

You dont have to have a high flying career to be a sucess in life and conversely having a child when young and still living in your home town doesnt instantly make you a failure.

Youre very lucky to enjoy your job, the people you work with and be able to fit it in with family commitments. The grass isnt always greener.

It sounds to me as if it would be worth improving your self worth and confidence first, and then if you still feel disatisfied and want more, look at your career options.

silkpyjamasallday Fri 07-Apr-17 19:54:38

I think the most important thing in life is to be happy, and if your job allows you time with your family and a comfortable existence why change it? I've always felt I would be happiest working in a shop of some sort, but felt guilty because my parents paid for my education and I will have a degree, but at the end of the day your happiness is paramount and just because it's not a job that requires your level of qualification you are good at it and enjoy it. You're young and have your whole life to change what you do as a job, I say enjoy your time with your son while he is small it's so precious and goes by so quickly

KatherinaMinola Fri 07-Apr-17 20:01:01

Your life sounds pretty great actually, from the outside smile

I'm willing to bet your social skills won't be lacking for long if you work behind the counter of a deli all day. I'm sure it will be great for your confidence (and probably your catering skills too) in the long run.

Right now you have a young family, a wedding to plan and a job that suits you. Later on you could retrain - as a chef if you enjoy that kind of work (unsocial hours though), or as something else entirely. Being happy at work, especially when you have young children, counts for a lot.

SixtiesChildOfWildBlueSkies Fri 07-Apr-17 20:10:28

My social skills are lacking, I am a complete introvert and suffer from social anxiety

^ Yet you gained a degree, have a great partner, a wonderful son, and enjoy a job that allows you to be in control of your own decision making.

So how on earth can you be a failure. You did all this whilst dealing with anxiety, which to me displays strength, courage, and a myriad of other skills/abilities. Be proud of yourself my lovely.

Might I be right in thinking that you actually fear that OTHERS see you as a failure? Well, upon facing the door of 60 years on this planet, I can say it matters not a whit what others think.....I for one just don't give a damn, frankly.

You say you are content. Lovely. Enjoy that contentment and during that time save a little money each week if you can. Call it your 'lightbulb moment' fund and wait for that moment, so that when you do decide where to go, what to do, whether it be in a year or 20, you have something there to support you.

Please don't regret your life so far, it sounds darn good to me.

Pollypickypocket Mon 10-Apr-17 10:22:14

I would be 'content' where you are now especially while you have small children but 'on the side' be studying for career development. The main thing is to decide long term direction ! If you enjoy catering - look for evening classes - accountancy can be studied part time - the OU is very doable but you need to establish long term goals x

bluebelltippytoes Mon 10-Apr-17 11:09:49

I would go through my life and write down all the things I am proud of (2:1 degree, son, engaged, house, etc. etc.) and all the positive things that are working in my life. Review this list often and pat yourself on the back that you have a happy life.

Also, write down a list of all the things that aren't working (i.e. lack of a 'professional' job, career progression, etc.) and see if you can add some things into the mix to improve life.

I've done what would appear to be amazing jobs on paper but been incredibly miserable in the process. The big career is not always necessarily what it's cracked up to be. You do, however, need to focus on how you feel and if you feel a bit lost/unfulfilled on the job front then you need to work on that. It could just be small changes that set you on the path to success.

mumsies9 Mon 10-Apr-17 22:24:52

Ah I'm the same, I'm just a lowly housekeeper at 25. I'm an introvert to and totally not a people person. So the idea of job hunting is horrifying for me.

I had the opportunity to study at uni (would have been a science) but I decided against it because jobs in the south west just don't exist and I wasn't willing to sacrifice where I live and my whole family to move away for work. Some times I'll regret it but remind myself that I work to live, I don't live to work. I may never be rich, but i live a comfortable life.

I used to work in a place as temp ( 3 years ) and all the permanent employees would whinge about there jobs. But they only work 26 hours a week. Got nearly £9 a hour and hourly breaks. Alas they began laying people of and last in is first out. I still wish I was there it was.

Polarbearflavour Tue 11-Apr-17 18:11:52

Well it's up to you! You seem happy. Lots of people do enjoy working in those jobs and it suits them.

Your other jobs all seem hospitality/retail ish they generally don't have great T&Cs or good management.

I have worked for big banks and in the civil service which offer decent pay and benefits, part time hours, flexible working, training and career development, good pensions etc.

All depends what you want from life. Do you want to be doing your current job aged 65?

Polarbearflavour Tue 11-Apr-17 18:13:27

You may also want to have a think about your future. Workplaces change. Automation is growing. Will the job exist in 10/20/30 years?

TreeTop7 Tue 11-Apr-17 23:05:25

I think that a lot of people would envy you.

If you're not intellectually stimulated at the deli, perhaps you could do an evening class or join a book club ie get your brain exercise somewhere other than work.

Nothing wrong with being an introvert either.

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