I’ve been in post-secondary education for 5 and a half years now and it’s been drilled into my head that what I need most (besides a degree or diploma) before I’m hired is experience.
So, when an opportunity to gain experience comes along I’ve rarely said no. Even when I’m way too busy. Even when it’s unpaid. Even when my workload is harming my mental health and relationships.
The most important thing that I’ve been learning over the past few weeks is how to say “no”.
Sometimes unpaid and underpaid work is okay. Like if it’s for a charity or non-profit doing great work I believe in. Or when the work is so above what I’ve done before I know no one would pay me to do it.
But sometimes it’s just not useful. Like writing articles for magazines that could have money to pay people but choose not to, because I am capable of finding paid working writing articles.
I’m going to keep scheduling my weeks hour by hour, this time leaving space for my partner, family and friends. Instead of cutting time with loved ones to gain experience, I’ll start dropping unpaid or underpaid work, or work that isn’t exactly in the field I want to be in.
Now that I’ve got a bit of experience under my belt, I can stop being desperate and start being a little picky.