Stuck in a Job Rut

by Melissa

My name is Melissa, I'm 22 years old and I live in NZ.
Currently I am stuck in a job rut working in a suburban working mens club/bar, an RSA kind of one (one of the not so nicer ones)

I had previously left another hospitality job at a working mens club where I had worked for 5-6 years- since I was about 16 or 17 years old.

The previous job I had at the working mens club, they would not let me further myself and my boss didn't like me very much.

I saw the advertisement in the newspaper for bartenders (it said training would be given)so I leapt at the chance as the job I was at then would only let me work in the kitchen and wouldn't let me broaden my experience by teaching me bar work. I started working the one I'm at now and in the first 6 weeks I met my partner who works as a chef in the kitchen who I am still with now.

We have both been there now for around 2 1/2 years as we started at about the same time, he is also the the same age as me.

In the past 2 years I have completed my Bar Certificate course at CPIT, I have also completed a cocktail making course.

At the start of this year I did a four week (2 nights per week) Barista Training Course as well.

Also, when I was 17 I did a traveling, nanny and au pair course by correspondence, which I passed.

Further more in 2008 I attended University in which I studied four papers, two in Art History and two in psychology.

I passed two out of the four as I met a guy at the time and let him swallow all my study time. Then I decided not to go back to university, started working at the working mens club I'm at now, met my partner, whom I live with.

I feel like I'm getting closer and closer to the stereotype of girls my age that have no ambition and are settling down with their partners and - GETTING PREGNANT.

I don't want that because I'm so much smarter than that and it would be a waste and I'm sick of seeing girls around here like that.

I'm so sick to death with talking to people who tell me to go travel while I figure it out.

I don't want to go travel without some good qualifications behind me because then I'll come back to nothing.

I know I don't want to work in hospitality for the rest of my life (I wouldn't mind doing hospitality while I'm traveling though)

I like art and I like learning about art but there just isn't enough jobs in NZ for that.

I also like to learn about psychology and how the brain works and why we do the things we do.

I wouldn't mind working with teenagers as I have been through quite a lot earlier on (bought up in a violent family, parents separated and went to live with strange aunty and her 3 ADHD kids. Then we went to live in a caravan park for 3 or 4 months with dad and my brother where I slowly developed suicidal tenancies and bulimia - both of which I'm over now as this was 5 or 6 years ago.

Mum and Dad eventually got back together and we all sorted our issues out)

I also look very young for the age, I'm 22 but at a guess you'd say I was in between 16-19, I get on quite well with teenagers and adolescents (I think i just understand them well)

As of recently I was thinking about doing a one night a week (6 week course)in professional makeup but then I thought "nah,I don't need another course that I probably won't do anything with", then I think to myself, well if I don't do that what the hell am I going to do, then I go back to going to work day in, day out feeling annoyed with myself for not putting my foot down and just starting something.

I've already missed my chance to go back to university as I was actually going to this year but hadn't filled out my enrollment properly and consequently missed out.

I always feel like I'm running out of time even though I'm only 22 years old.

Its Saturday night and

I'll be off to work shortly, probably thinking this over in my head as per usual.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

So here is what I have been through so far and this rut I am in, stuck in a job I don't like.
I just have no idea what I want to do and its eating me up inside!

Sorry, I didn't intend for this to be as long as it is!

Thanks again,



Simon's reply to Stuck in a job rut.

Stuck in a Job Rut

Hello Melissa,
The best place to start when you are stuck in a job rut like this is to begin to think about some of the areas you have identified that have interest for you right now.

These were:
1. Art.
2. Psychology and how the brain works.
3. Working with teenagers.

A good starting point would be to investigate these three options a bit further.

This normally involves finding out more information about each of them to the point where you feel you can make a decision for or against the options.

One of the things that inhibits people from making quality career decisions is simply a lack of knowledge about some of the career options that they may feel some pull towards.

So try to do something, even if it is something small that will help you get more knowledge about these particular career options.

This involves a bit of work in the beginning but in the end it is time well spent.
I would be happy to help you do this if you need a hand, either by e-mail phone or in person.

As you begin to get more information about each of these three areas the new information will either begin to ignite further passion within you about that type of career or conversely it will cause you to go cold on that idea.

This allows you to narrow down your career options and focus on the one or two that still hold interest for you, if any.

One of the best ways to get good quality information on potential career choices is to find people who are doing similar work and then find a way of getting an opportunity to talk to them about their work.

By this I don't mean asking them if they know of a job opportunity, but rather asking if they would be willing to give you some time to talk about the type of work they do as a way of helping you assess your career options.

If you would like me to send you a pdf document on how to practically obtain this type of career information by getting meetings with people already doing a particular job that may interest you, then please let me know and I will e-mail it to you.

You mentioned that although you have an interest in art, that the job opportunities may not be available in New Zealand.

Initially I would not let this stop me from investigating this, at least to the next level of getting some more information before shutting the door on it completely.

If you have some passion for this area, don't drop it just yet.
The first and a very important part of tapping into the career that is right for you is to not allow market forces (perceived or real) to kill any inner passions you have about a potential career option.

In regards to psychology, since you have already studied this at University, you will probably have some insight into whether or not you would like to pursue this area further.

I would be happy to check to you about this.

You may also like to consider the idea of doing a few hours here and there working with teenagers on a voluntary basis.

Many youth groups for example are looking for voluntary helpers at nights or in weekends.

This would also be a great way to fulfill your job information gathering as you would be rubbing shoulders with other youth workers.

You may also like to you consider completing my dream career finder inborn job skills assessment which I think you would find helpful.
Here is the link:
Dream Career Finder

I notice that you live locally, so you may also like to come and talk through some of these issues, which is nearly always the best option.

Let me know if I can be of any further help.

Simon Davies

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