Hello Lovely Readers!
The last time I wrote, I told you that I had accepted a job at a Castle. I also described to you the extensive security checks that they had to do before I would be able to start working. Well, I am here to say that it’s a month later and I still haven’t started working. And the security checks I told you about before? Just the tip of the iceberg.
In addition to obtaining a police check from Canada (which finally arrived about a week ago). they also require extensive reference checks. And when I say extensive, I mean extensive. I had to provide references to cover every single time period for the last 5 years. Work references, personal references, education references. Everything. Then, after I provided the references, the security team had to vet the references. And now they can begin actually contacting the references. The process just keeps on going.
During this waiting time, I have continued to apply for jobs. At the very least I was hoping to find temporary work to tide me over until the Castle job started. But I have now found a job that might change things.
Now, this job doesn’t have nearly the same “cool factor” as the Castle job does. But it has a lot of other positives going for it. Possibly enough to completely override the “cool factor” of working at the Castle. What exactly are these positive factors? I’m glad you asked.
This job is a freelance minute taking position. Which means that, though I would typically have full Monday to Friday availability to ensure enough hours, it is much more flexible. (And when you’re trying to fit in as much travel as possible in a year, flexibility is key) And I would always get weekends off (have I mentioned how many short weekend trips are possible from London?). Also, though in a somewhat limited way, the Freelance job involves writing (which adds to my skill set on my resume).
If those aren’t enough positives, my daily transportation costs would be less (not by an extravagant amount, but by enough to make a difference). And did I mention that the Freelance job pays better? Much better. This detail, what with cost of living and such, would allow me to afford a great deal more travel, which is, after all, the main reason I am over here.
The Castle job is much less flexible (though it does include paid holidays) and it’s retail/tourism nature means that it involves plenty of weekend work. It also involves standing all day everyday, which I already know is terrible for my feet and ankles (background information – I took Ballet for 10 years, I have terrible feet and ankles). And, for all of the trouble it has taken to get this far in the process, the pay is really not that great for a full time, permanent type job. (This wouldn’t be such a big factor if it was more in my field) In short, both the lack of flexibility and the smaller pay would allow me to do less travel.
I am starting to think that the “cool factor” just doesn’t make up for all the negatives. A job that doesn’t give me experience in my field and doesn’t allow me to travel as much as I want? How does that fit into what I want from this year?
This week will be my first official week working the freelance job (I observed two sessions last week to get an idea of whether or not it was something I would want to do). I have decided that I will see how the week goes and, if it goes well and I think I would be able to do the work for the next year, then I will tell the Castle I am no longer interested in the position. It’ll be hard to turn down the castle job – so much work has already gone into the security and reference process (not to mention the costs involved). But I have to consider my purpose in being here. I don’t want to look back on my year here and regret choosing a job that didn’t let me do the things I wanted to do.
Are there risks with the Freelance job? Sure, but there are risks with any job, including the castle job. There is no way to guarantee which choice is the right one. It’s just a matter of deciding which of the options is more worth the risk.
I will keep you posted on my decision.
Life’s An Adventure!
“You cannot swim for new horizons until you have courage to lose sight of the shore.” — William Faulkner