These days, I love what I do (ok, not every second, obviously, but 90% of the time!). But in a previous life, among some wonderful highs, I spent my share of days at a desk I didn’t want to be at, at a job I wished weren’t mine, secretly wishing I could jump on my unicorn and fly far, far away.
It can feel completely soul-destroying at the time, whether you're dealing with a crazy boss, an OTT workload (I remember locking myself in a toilet cubicle at 10pm while on a magazine print deadline and silent-crying into a wad of toilet paper from sheer exhaustion on at least one occasion), competitive office politics or just spending your Monday-to-Friday doing something you know isn't your true calling.
But the one thing I’ve learned since? When the sweat and tears have long since dried and you’ve gained enough distance to look back and join the dots, each step and detour along the way has been a vital part of creating that current picture.
A few years ago, I spent some time working as the Features Editor on a wedding website – a job I loved for a time, until the entire editorial team quit or got made redundant except me, the lovely boss who hired me was gone and I was left on my lonesome with an, er, wacky new boss, dreading turning up at work each day. I spent time regretting ever taking the job in the first place, and felt like I was totally wasting my time (and slowly losing my marbles) in that role.
I stuck it out for a while, until leaving that position lead to my first proper stint of freelancing (before I got lured back into the 9-5 for a time by a shiny new offer) – and since launching Little Birdie, the experience I had managing that company’s social media accounts and writing wedding-related content has helped me land two of my current clients.
My point being, if you’re there right now in the in-between bit, have a little faith that a little method is lurking behind the madness – and eventually the dots will all join, just like Steve Jobs said they would.