Now I don't know about you but all I've been hearing for months is 'what do you want to do with your life?' 'What's your plan?' and I've stared back and these people blankly and said 'I work in Costa.' and these people just hurmph and turn away.
Everyone's been saying it from my nan, to ex-teachers, and even my boss! I finished college in June, and here we are three months later and I'm exactly the same as I was. Last time I saw my nan she asked 'So what's the plan now?' I just shrugged her off and said I wanted to make it through the summer first.
But now summer's over, so hello September and a 'new year' as I keep thinking. I went into college yesterday to pick up my results and my teacher asked 'what are you doing now?'
'Working in Costa'
'Well what about work?'
All I could think was that is work! That is my job! I pay tax! I pay my bills I work. But other people don't seem to see it like that. It seems like the second you finish a course everybody expects everything just to happen around you and well what if it doesn't? Some people are very lucky and just get spotted and scouted and scooped up by the industry. Others have to work all day every day just to earn enough money to afford to build a portfolio, but then you're working so much you don't actually get the chance and then your in a catch 22.
My old lecturer before she left wanted to make me draw up a five year plan of where I wanted to be. I remember worrying about this because I wasn't going to be in university, I probably wasn't going to be working for Vogue, I might be a photography assistant, or a junior image organiser but I wasn't going to be doing anything massive really.
I got really stressed about it, and I still get stressed now when I hear that quesion 'what's the plan?' I can physically feel the bubble of annoyance, anger, and desperation poping behind my eyes.
The only people that seem to get it are my parents. These guys are the best when it comes to future planning. My Dad asked me something once, and I think it's something we all need to ask ourselves:
'Do you want a career? Or do you want to be happy?'
Well lets face it, careers don't really exist anymore. You don't join a company as a fresh faced 20 year old and you're there getting higher and higher until you retire 40 odd years later. You probably chop and change your jobs every two to five years, because it gets boring, because the money stops covering your bills or whatever.
So the only option left is to be happy. I want to be happy. I am eighteen, it's my birthday on Friday. I work full time, I have a regular pay check, I get two days off a week. I don't pay rent. I have a long term amazing boyfriend. I have a couple of really close great best friends. I have a sister who comes out with me. I want to be happy.
And do you know what?
So in my five year 'plan' I want to still be happy. Maybe working in retail. Maybe more fashion orrientated than coffee. Maybe I will be doing the cover for Vogue. Maybe I won't. Maybe I'll be freelancing in London. Maybe I'll be a Visual Merchandiser for American Appareal. Maybe I'll be living with my boyfriend. Maybe I'll have written a book. But whatever I do in five years, I'm going to be happy.
It doesn't matter that right now you're working for minimum wage, 40 hours a week. One day everything will work out, and yes you are probably going to have to kick and fight and claw your way through every interview against a thousand other applicants but all it takes is for one person to say 'yes'.
So long as you can wake up in the morning and smile then I think you'll be okay in the long run.