Career U-turn

This week I started a new job which sees me working full-time for the first time in a few years. Not working a fulltime job, instead two part-time ones. The first is two days a week working as an adviser to NSW Greens MP Lee Rhiannon, which I started doing about three months ago after having volunteered one day a week in her office in NSW Parliament House. The second is working with the NSW Greens on communications for the upcoming federal election.

I stopped working a regular Monday to Friday gig – which was teaching English as a foreign language – over two years ago when I was on the tail end of my creative writing MA. The idea at the time was to work part-time and casual jobs – first teaching then as an IELTS examiner – and then to work more solidly on my writing.

To a degree it worked. I got a lot of writing done, particularly continuing work on the screenplay I’d finished the MA with, and also writing the first draft of a novel. But however much I was writing, it wasn’t looking like paying the bills, and with the work I was doing being particularly unsatisfying, I started looking for new directions to move in. That led me to looking for volunteer opportunities, which led me to the Greens, and here I am now working (practically) full-time.

So while the writing as a career didn’t really take off, taking the time out of full-time work to give it a go has led me into a completely new field. I get to use my writing skills – plus a host of others I’ve picked up over the years – the work is extremely satisfying, and I get to work and hang out with a fantastic bunch of people.

It reminds me of all the student theatre I did at uni – except for now I’m being paid and I haven’t had to wear a dress yet (a bit of a shame really). I’m hoping too the regularity of the work will get me blogging a bit more.

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