Happiness or full-time employment?

As a newly graduate, there is a huge stigma surrounding job-hunting. Finding a full-time job after you’ve thrown your hat into the air seems like a natural step for many of us, and yet not all of us want it. Yesterday I was offered a full-time job as a junior marketing associate with a top London marketing agency. At my third and final interview last night, after a gruelling day completing tasks and answering questions, the manager humbly told me that the company get sent over two hundred CVs a day. In other words, I should be thrilled that I managed to get to this stage, and trust me, I was. The starting salary was £18k, the company train you from day one, and the manager was unbelievably hot. However, I emailed him this morning and I turned the job down.

Rather than mentally torture myself for doing so, I am completely and utterly over the moon. Let me explain why.

I have always seen myself becoming a writer. Of course, that’s a notoriously loose term. The amount of times I’ve scrolled through Tumblr and seen ‘[insert name], [insert age], writer’ on the top of someone’s bio is staggering. Technically, you are a writer even if the extent of your writing goes in your diary. It may be sealed away from the public eye, but your thoughts are still written on a page. Surely, logic suggests then that you are not lying when you state that you are ‘a writer.’

I write in my diary and I frequently write articles for online publications. I also write plays, short stories and shitty poems when I feel like it. The ultimate dream would be to get paid for doing so and become the hippy, next-generation version of J.K Rowling. This probably might not happen, but it could. With this in mind, I settled for applying to editorial assistant and junior copywriter jobs. They allow me to write articles, edit website content and, in some cases, manage social media. This is as close to my dream as I can get right now.

You can imagine how surprised I was when the job I applied for online as a junior marketing associate role turned out to be working in sales. I was told I would be based in busy shopping centres around London, talking to people as they passed by and attempting to recruit them to sign up to one of our clients’ brands. New customers meant more money, and it didn’t take an SEO or marketing expert to work it out.

Rather than writing about politics and social issues that matter to young people, and helping understand myself in the process, this job entailed me enabling rich people to become richer as they sat behind their desks. The salary was tempting, and so were the suave suits I would be wearing, but I did not want that. I knew if I took the job, ten months down the line my pursuit of writing would be a distant memory.

After getting the job, I spent all night weighing up my options about my future. Wales won, but I was not happy. I tried to envision where I saw myself in ten years, and if the short term and long term goals I wrote down in my interview were true. I asked myself if I was lying to the manager and to myself, in order to get the job. And I realised, just in time, that I was. I have always found that there is a strong correlation between full-time employment and individual happiness. On another day, perhaps I would’ve taken the job over my happiness for the sake of the experience looking impressive on my CV, or for the sake of living comfortably with a steady income. Thankfully today I didn’t, and I am so proud of myself.

gary

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