Monday, August 29, 2011


 Isn't it strange. You can be overwhelmed. And you can be underwhelmed.

But you can't be whelmed.

Well, I'm going to take this word and use it. I'm currently whelmed with my day job. I'm in a true state of limbo. The joys of being a word nerd at one of the big banks, I'm tired of the bureaucracy, sick of not being able to get traction. The repetitive nature of the work is starting to get to me. And there is no way out at the moment. It pays well. The people are nice. I've made a new friend who I reckon will be around for ages - Jonella is great for one. However, the thing that makes my day is the run in the morning with Desi and lunch with friends. It's not complete purgatory, but it's not ideal either. I'm not overwhelmed (except with the bureaucracy), I'm not underwhelmed (except with the dry nature of the content).

I'm just whelmed.

So, being whelmed, it leaves me wondering about my next avenues of employment after this contract, which has a while to run on it, allegedly. Depending on what gets de-scoped, run through the mill or cut for budget reasons. Dunno.

And when I think of this I go into a blind panic.

Thing is, though I have a number of skills, none of them keep a roof over my head, food on the table or petrol in the car if I leave corporate Australia.

Okay, I look at these skills.

I'm a trained massage therapist, aromatherapist and reflexologist. Portable skills. However I did my training in London some fifteen years ago and my quals aren't recognised - or at least need topping up. I did these papers when I was working at an investment bank in London. The logic was that when I got married, I could have an income while I had kids about that house. Okay, the second part of the plan never happened, but it's proved a good beer money spinner and it seems I have half a talent for it. My regular clients keep coming back - but as I'd have to shell out to requalify, it seems like a waste. Besides, the way I do reflexology is a little different to the way more conventional reflex practitioners work - I'm a bit more "out there" - I think those were the words Jonella used - she's a reflexologist too.

Keep these as a hobby jobs, I reckon. Besides, working in these trades would mean having to work with the general public.

I'd rather drink bleach than work with the general public.

Same goes for the reiki. I've got my Reiki Two certificate - I don't see the need to get my Reiki Masters. I like working with it, but it's not my passion.

There's the tarot reading. Again, something I'm trained for, but there isn't much need for straight talking readers. I refuse to get dressed up as a fortune teller and do festivals or markets - it takes away from the integrity. Most people who come for readings know I read lying on my lounge room floor, cup of tea in my hand often saying thing like, "Nah, what do you want to do that for?" Pandora the Tactless Tarot reader. Joy.

And that's about it. I'm good with kids and animals, though sometimes after twenty minutes with the latter I want to run them through a blender. Better not risk that one.

There is a part of me that says go back and re-train in something. Personal Training has come up in the mix  few times - but personal trainers are a dime a dozen - lots out there, shrinking market - thought the good ones can make quite a bit - and I know some great ones. It does sort of appeal to my sadistic side - ask poor Desi and I demand she sprint up Anderson Street of a morning.

Besides, who wants a chubby personal trainer?

More of a possibility is going back to university on a part-time basis and studying Law, Creative Writing or Journalism at a Masters level. It's thought. But it needs to be funded, and unfortunately a corporate job will be the only way to do this.

I suppose my dream job would be to be a travel writer - getting paid to swan around the world - though who would want my opinion? I love travel writing - just I don't think there is a market out there for my views.

And writing the novel to turn me into the next JK Rowling. Well, again, I need to keep a roof over my head. Rowling, though magic - was a fluke of the gods. For every JK Rowling and Eoin Colfer and Lemony Snicket there are millions of wannabes. Rainbow Robertson needs a few more rainy Sunday afternoons to get off the ground.

There must be plenty of things that a reasonably intelligent and resourceful woman can do with her life outside of working in a bank.

Just have to work out what that is.

And in the mean time, remain rather whelmed, find joy in the little things, like running along the river in the morning, lunches and other times with friends. Look at the hobby jobs as a bit of a portfolio career.

Or maybe I just have to work out what it is I want exactly. At the moment all I want is sex and ice cream. These are not relevant when it comes to careers.

On that note, I'm going to take my whelming glumness to bed.


Kath Lockett said...

Sometimes, being 'whelmed' is perfectly OK. It just needs to be topped up with hobbies, friends and fun. Sometimes the 'day job' is the whelm and everything around it is the good stuff.

In the words of a dodgy movie that I love (Tapeheads) - "sometimes we gotta do what we havta so that we can do what we wanna."

But I so hear you on this - "I'd rather drink bleach than work with the general public." YES!

The Elephant's Child said...

Loved your use of whelmed. My favourite word in the same vein is gruntled. Though it sounds anti onamatapeic (spelling?) - not good anywhere.

Good luck in finding your path.

Vanessa said...

I think you are amazing, you never cease to inspire me with your repertoire of talents. Call them hobbies, call them gifts - I would say you are multi talented, vibrant, energetic and all encompassing woman who can quite frankly achieve anything you really want... xxxxx