So, this is the thing. I’m 47 and I’m not sure what I want to be when I grow up. When I was very little I wanted to be a number of things that begin with the letter ‘a’: architect, artist, archaeologist, apoet. Oh alright, the list wasn’t as exclusive as I’d have you believe, but I really did want to be those things. Apart from a brief period when I was about seven and I wanted to be a nun; the outfit seemed pretty cool, my teacher was a nun and she was lovely and I’d just made my First Holy Communion and the ‘holy’ hadn’t worn off. Oh, and there was that time I wanted to be a Gorgon and tried to magic myself into one using the contents of every bottle from the bathroom cupboard but merely succeeded into turning my mother into a banshee. But I didn’t end up being any of those things; not even the Gorgon.
This is my work-life in a list, with some of these things having happened simultaneously and some being ‘on the side’ so to speak:
Trainee mechanic (work scheme*)
V.A.T. clerk (temporary*)
Recording studio lackey
Jewellery maker (painting wooden miniatures which someone else made into necklaces etc.)
Pencil for hire (portraits mostly)
Pen for hire (poems, wedding invitations, seating plans, sundries)
Finance clerk (several different places)
Health Education Officer
Freelance writer (Published: 1 short story, 3 articles: No, you shut up!)
Mother (It’s work!!)
Supply teacher again
And that brings us to here. A few things that were unpaid, I have omitted. And today, I sent my resignation letter to my supply agency so I suppose I am now back to just ‘mother’ (still work!). I have assessed my bankable workplace skills, which are few:
Good grammer and speling (just kidding)
I.T. skills (Office packages, mostly.)
Good in a team
Capable of working independently
Can feign people-skills if forced (I might stop writing this on job applications)
You see? Not a lot to work with.
On the other hand, I also have these skills:
Can write poems in many styles, on many topics, to order
Can write lyrics but play guitar really badly
Can write in an academic style so it seems as though I know what I’m talking about
Can draw pictures in pencil, fabric pens or ink
Can paint, but not amazingly
Can decorate cakes as long as I can sit down to do it (I don’t copy – I like to innovate)
Can paint pictures on icing, using food colouring (Not a massive call for paintings that melt in a warm room, to be honest)
Can turn things into a pun to the point where you might want to punch me in the face (Also not a big call for this skill apart from on Twitter)
Can make toy cats out of old socks (Alright, technically that should be ‘Have made a toy cat out of old socks’ – He’s all black and his name is Sockrates)
Can be very creative (Currently working on a special creative project involving old eggshells – I will blog this when it’s done. You’re excited now aren’t you!) in fact, CAN’T STOP being creative!
Can usually save you the bother of going for a dictionary because I am a proper cleverclogs with words
So, what do you make of this? Is there a paying job in this mess?
I’m trawling through the job websites looking for something clerical but I haven’t any recent experience and I’d love to go back to library work but sometimes I wouldn’t be able to access low shelves unless I simply fell on the floor and I’d probably just drop all the books and get shushed by the other librarians. I’ve written a book for young children and I’m just starting work on the illustrations but from what I read it’s THE most difficult genre to get published.
So let me pitch you some ideas:
- If anybody wants to pay me to tweet for them I can guarantee** them 300 followers in just 3 years. It doesn’t sound like many but I have a very strict quality-control policy.
- Do you know anybody who wants a nice drawing of a hedgehog (no idea why I picked ‘hedgehog’ – psychologists, feel free to analyse) or a bag with their favourite cat drawn on it?
- Should I stand outside Aldi with a sign saying, ‘Will rhyme for money’?
- Should I just go back to square one, empty out the bathroom cupboard and turn myself into a Gorgon?
All suggestions welcome.
*This was the 1980s – thank you, Maggie Thatcher!
** can’t guarantee this but it’s where I’m at now