Narrowing down is the hardest thing

two yellow lines on asphalt
Photo: Andrew Martin Pixabay

When you’re a person who likes to do more than one thing in their life, narrowing them down is the hardest thing. Sometimes I wish I could narrow my interests, but I’m not that kind of person. I could have achieved so much more if I had only concentrated on a few things. It feels like time is running out, and I don’t have time to do anything. I need to have time to be lazy too. I thought I wanted to be one thing, but my interests got somewhere else. That’s how my life has been. So many choices but so little time. Maybe one of the reasons why I have had so many problems with decisions is that I think the grass is greener on the other side. Perhaps I’ve been too unrealistic with what I’ve wanted to do in my life. It isn’t a lack of support from other people. I subconsciously don’t dare to do things because I’m too scared of failing. Or maybe I’m just too lazy. It can also be like that because I failed many times, so I don’t want to go through it again. I know when you fall, you get up again, but still, I don’t get anything done.

I could have narrowed things down, but I like to be versatile. I never wanted to have an ordinary job, so it was difficult to know what to study. When I finally do, that’s not enough either. The reality is that some people are narrow-minded, even if they might think that they aren’t. Their opinion is that you need to have specific education and a certain amount of job experience to be good enough to be in their little group known as ‘their business’. You need to be a student or have an amount of experience to even get an internship. Neither way, you can’t gain experience if you’re not allowed to practice your skills in a job. I’ve started to believe I’m not meant to be a graphic designer. At Helsinki Design School, where I studied some years ago, I didn’t get the encouragement I expected. I got the assumption that I’m only average compared to the others. One time I got feedback on a poster I made about my city from one of the teachers. I should have done some research, and she wouldn’t have put it on her wall. I know my town, so there is no need for it. I just think she didn’t understand my style. One opinion doesn’t make me believe I’m bad at graphic design. Drawing isn’t my strong point anyway. It makes you think twice, though. It’s the same with photography. I doubt my skills in that too. Seeing other people’s work doesn’t help me either. It’s a little depressing. It makes me think I’m not good enough at anything. It feels like I’m an outcast and don’t belong to this creative business club. Maybe I have wasted my time and life thinking I have what it takes to be a graphic designer. Or any other job where design is concerned.

It’s a positive thing to have knowledge of many things instead of only having one narrow one. Both have a good and a bad side. If you know about many things, it’s also more challenging to choose between them. If you have a narrowed skill, it’s easier to improve that. Either way, both are needed. If there is something you can’t do, there is always someone who can. I only wish someone could have some use for my skills in the workplace, but I guess there isn’t. Too bad for them.

Blowing one’s horn

Musicians blowing in traditional German horns
Musicians blowing in traditional German horns by Markus Spiske is licensed under CC-CC0 1.0

Blowing my own horn is not my thing. That must be one of the reasons why I can’t find a job. I don’t know how to brag about myself. It’s also a Finnish thing. We’re not good at it. It’s also an introvert thing. We don’t want to brag about ourselves and make ourselves something special. We like to be low key. But that doesn’t seem to be acceptable in the world. You’re nothing if you don’t want to blow your own horn. It shouldn’t be that way. We should be allowed to be ourselves and not pretend to be something we’re not. Some people seem to have problems with quiet people. Only because you don’t want to be a blabbermouth doesn’t mean you’re strange. Listening to people talk about things you don’t care about is stressful. Noisy people have the same effect.

Because I don’t want to blow my own horn, I don’t know if I could be a good entrepreneur. You need to be a lot of different things. A marketing person, a salesperson, a public speaker and someone who doesn’t give up easily. Most importantly, be good enough at what you do. Maybe it’s only me who thinks I’m good at something. Perhaps the reason why I won’t get hired is that I’m not good enough. They instead take someone with natural talent. I don’t have an impressive portfolio, and I don’t have what the employers are looking for. I’m not confident in blowing my own horn. No matter what I post on social media, I get some likes and sometimes nothing. If I don’t get much attention in my personal accounts, how can I get it on the business one? If I get any comments, it’s usually spam. I wouldn’t trust anyone. I feel it’s unnecessary work if I promote things on social media. It’s not easy to be ignored as a job seeker or/and an entrepreneur. I don’t know how to say something about myself or what I can do. At least when it comes to making it to words. It’s incredible how things disappear from your head when you should think about them. It has nothing to do with memory problems. I tend not to think about complicated stuff like that.

Maybe I’ve chosen the wrong path when it comes to careers. It seems you need to blow your own horn because the competition is tough. There are so many people in the design business, and I don’t know how to stand out. Maybe my destiny is to be without a job. I never wanted an ordinary job, but it has backfired. Only because I don’t know how to blow my own horn.

When things go dishevel

Photo by Frans Van Heerden on Pexels.com

I went to the career coaching thing because I wanted to elucidate my job search skills (and the job centre suggested it). I did get my cover letter and resume updated, but the rest is dishevelled. There is a difference between sending an open application to an ordinary job and to a place where a portfolio is essential. I don’t think I will get any replies from the companies I applied to. They don’t look for people like me. They probably take someone with an impressive portfolio. Honestly, mine isn’t that good. I should get more job experience, but I don’t think I even get an internship. I might sound pessimistic, but you become that when things never go the way you wish. The ‘you don’t know if you don’t try’- thing isn’t what I believe in. I’ve tried that many times, but nothing has come out of it. It has worked when it comes to studying, but never in the job search. One of the downsides of sending open applications is that you never know if they will get in touch with you. It can take ages, or they never do. I’m not gonna wait for it. They say you should be in contact with the companies you sent them to. But that feels awkward, and it feels like you’re disturbing them. You shouldn’t say to me that the worse thing that can happen is if they say no. It will be no, and those words don’t make me feel better. It only makes me feel even more useless and unmotivated. Life shouldn’t be about job search. It’s not a full day job. Will never understand why someone would want to waste their whole day on it.

The only time things aren’t dishevel is when it comes to spare time. I have a lot to do on that front. I went to an ice hockey game a few days ago. Nothing beats a live sports event. I never get to see ice hockey on TV because it’s on a paid TV channel. I only listen to the radio. I didn’t get to the event in time because I took the wrong bus and then got lost. I had to take a taxi, so I lost 15 euros there. If I only wouldn’t have believed the bus app, I wouldn’t have gotten on the wrong bus. I knew what bus to take, but I thought I would take another bus that went the same way. Never be too sure where you are. If you know an easier way to do things, do it that way. I’ve learned my lesson. Next time I go and see ice hockey, I will take the bus that gets closer to the place where the event is held. The trip home went right, so I got home safely.

Things can’t stay the same all the time. They have to elucidate sometime. It has in the past. Anything can happen in this life. Or it might not happen at all. I wish certain things would come more often my way, but I guess that’s too much to ask. I just need to move on. You fall, but you get up again. If, at first, you don’t succeed, you might have the 100th time. Whatever success means to you, it’s the right one. For me, it’s finishing this blog post. Tomorrow it might be something else.