So, further to my A fork in the road… post, I have compiled this list of priorities in order to help me with my decision about which masters to pursue. Many thanks to my mum for basically giving me this list!
- How do I want to live my life?
- Where do I want to live?
- In what way do I want to live?
- Do I want to travel with work or outside of work?
- Do I want to stay in one place?
- What kind of hours do I want to work – 9 to 5 or flexible?
- Would I prefer team work or individual work?
- Can I work within a hierarchical structure?
- Do I want promotion to be based on meritocracy?
- Can I manage work politics?
- Do I want to “climb the ladder”?
- What sort of job opportunities do I want 5 years down the line?
- What earning potential am I willing to live with?
I already know the answer to all of these questions. In an ideal world, this is how I’d like to live:
- I want to live a life that allows me to take part in my many interests and passions: such as circus; trans rights activism; cooking from scratch; enjoying the sunshine; walking, hiking, cycling and camping; spending quality time with friends.
- I want to live in Belfast. I honestly never thought I would say this, but I love this city, I love my friends here, I love that I’m close enough to home that I can hop on a bus and a train and be home in 5 hours.
- I’d like to have the opportunity to travel with work to events, but I don’t want to have to move country to work. I’d prefer to have the option to travel on short or longer holidays rather than having to travel constantly with work.
- I definitely want to stay in one place! (see above!)
- I want to be able to work flexible hours with some sort of structure – I hate being restricted to ‘9-5’ hours and I would very quickly hate having to do this.
- I’m not much of a team worker. I much prefer to work on my own – I hate relying on other people. However, I enjoy collaboration, with each individual being responsible for their own work, so there’s a balance to be had.
- I absolutely CANNOT work within a hierarchical structure. I have always been this way – I struggled to make it through secondary school because of this! – and I despised this aspect of the television industry in particular.
- OK, obviously everyone would love for promotion to be based on meritocracy, so my answer to this is yes. The reason I ask this question is really to lead into the next one…
- I absolutely 110% CANNOT manage work politics. I am blunt, honest to a fault, incapable of understanding politics in the work place and definitely unable to work within a structure that requires an understanding of politics. So the answer to this is NO!
- I definitely want to be able to “move up in the world” in terms of improving my skills and earning potential, but the idea of moving ‘up the ladder’ from one step to the next kills me. It kills my drive, it kills my creative energy, it kills my spirit. So no, I do not want to and cannot bring myself to ‘climb the ladder’
- The type of job opportunities I’d like 5 years down the line is to be paid for my expertise, whatever that may be. Fairly vague thus far. I need to think on this.
- Deciding how little income I’m willing to live with is a difficult one. I don’t live an expensive life. I don’t mind living on less, but I don’t want to get to 5 years from now and still be in the same position I’m in at the moment regarding money. I hate being skint. I want to be able to afford to pay a personal trainer once in a while, or to go away for weekends to do aerial circus or acrobatics training. I want to be able to afford travelling – I don’t mind travelling on a budget, but even a budget requires a fair amount of money for flights, accommodation, food, activities etc. I can’t really put a figure on this, but considering I have no interest in ever having a family, it means I can live on a lot less that someone who did want a family. More thought required on this too.
When I asked my mum what she thought, her response was “you know I can’t tell you what choice to make!” I knew she’d say this, so I asked her “what choice do you think would suit me better” and her response was “if money was no object, the choice would be an obvious one.”
I’m still thinking it all over, and more research is required, so again – any thoughts or suggestions are welcomed!