Work diary – A week in January

Monday

Spotted: first student of the academic year – the black crested sports player. Campus otherwise deserted.

Tuesday

Had a meeting with my manager today, and we seem to be having a competition to see which of us can be the least excited by our work. At the moment she is winning, but I do need to work on my pretending-to-care face if I’m to have any hope of a decent reference, as by the end of the meeting I was virtually slumped in a heap on the desk. 

A memorable exchange ran thus:

Manager: Communications are just bull**** really. Anyway, this is one of my least favourite jobs, and it’s really time consuming, so I’m going to pass it on to you.

Me: … … Great. 

Wednesday

This job is excellent practice for if I ever need to win an international staring into space contest. 

Thursday: lunchtime

Went to the drama room in search of choir but there was no sign, and all was dark. I sang a bit and played ‘London’s Burning’ on the glockenspiel in the hope of drawing the musicians out of the woodwork, but no luck. I made friends with a ladybird crawling along the windowsill instead. 

Spotted on studentwatch this morning: the pink-crested jogger. 

Friday: lunchtime

Went over to the sandwich shop for my standard panini and was taken aback to find the place full of students. They had appeared seemingly from nowhere and in full force, as if someone had put a lure on pok├ęstop. I rejoiced to see the campus buzzing with life at last, but the novelty quickly wore off as I sat trying to eat my panini under frequent fire from mis-hit table tennis balls.  

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“Stop searching for your passion” – TED talk by Terri Trespicio

This talk has an interesting take on the kind of situation I’m in at the moment – worried about what my future might hold and afraid of making the wrong choices. As Terri puts it, being afraid of “picking the wrong job and getting on the wrong train to the wrong future.”

She argues that the idea of finding and following a passion is basically a myth that is worrying a lot of us unnecessarily. Life doesn’t follow a plan, and if we try to make it do that, we can miss out on other opportunities we might enjoy – and become passionate about.

Terri says that “success can fuel passion more than passion fuels success,” i.e. finding the kind of work you’re interested in can often stem from something going well or solving a problem. I don’t think you should stick at something indefinitely trying to make yourself feel interested in it, and I find passion can be a helpful source of motivation, but on the whole I think I agree with her talk. 

I’m definitely feeling the paralysing fear she talks about – wanting to keep my options open, I’m avoiding heading in any definite direction. But I’m not enjoying having my options open. I’m so consumed by trying to imagine the future that often it’s difficult to notice the present. 

I’ll try to keep a closer eye on what’s in front of me, and look out for problems that need solving. 

Do you believe in following a passion? Leave a comment if you’d like to.