Considering Jesh and I grew up together and did practically everything together, it was really weird seeing the massive difference in our lives. Now he is a successful Northern Territory police officer and Corrie got a job as a primary school teacher - they're building a life together. Meanwhile, in 2010 I struggled to find a job that uses my degree, so I am planning to move to the United Kingdom for a few years just to see what's in store for me there. Part of me wants to "settle down" too, but mostly I just want to go out and adventure for a few years. Or a lot of years. I'm wondering if there's a compromise that must be made between getting a job you love and doing other things you love. Like, if I were to be where I wanted to be professionally, would that mean I couldn't go travelling as much as I do? Probably. Maybe.
The other day a friend of mine set up a meeting between me and one of the local commercial radio stations here on the Coast. They wanted tips on how to be successful in online video, &c, and my friend thought I was the perfect one to advise them - and that I might get paid to do it. I went along but they didn't really 'get it'. I don't think it'll turn into paid work. While I was there I was talking to my friend's boss about some volunteer work I did at one of the community stations here. He asked why I left and I explained it was because I'd planned on going to South America, but that it fell though and I never went back to the station. The rest of the conversation went like this:
Friend: "Rohan tell them why you were going to Peru!"
Me: "Well, I was going so I could help out with-"
Boss: "Wait! Don't tell me it's ANOTHER mission."
Friend: "Yep! He was going to help out at a non-profit!"
Boss: "No no no! Don't tell me any more about it! Everyone you introduce me to has gone off to help other people somehow."
Friend: "Yes, that's because I have the best friends ever!"
Boss: "No! No more! I already feel guilty enough about what we're doing here and you're only making it worse!"
The comment was probably not meant to come out like that, but I couldn't help but think to myself, If you're feeling guilty then WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE? You could get a job at any non-profit you liked, but instead you choose to work in commercial radio and feel GUILTY ABOUT IT?
A few days prior to this I'd made my Project for Awesome video promoting World Vision Australia. Now, World Vision Australia is an example of an organisation I would fall over myself to work for, especially in the field of communications. World Vision's "social media diva" Richenda happened across my video and sent me these tweets:
As most of you probably know, I'm a real words person, and I'll treasure these tweets for a long, long time. That experience of dealing with the people at the commercial station, who were all very professional but ultimately nonplussed by my enthusiasm and what I had to say, really contrasted with Richenda's strong affirmation for the work that I'm putting into my online content. I thought, "Long term, do I want to be working commercially and feeling guilty and paralysed by my job like the guy in the radio station?" Of course the answer is no. Instead I want to be in Richenda's position where I can have the enthusiasm in what I do to encourage other people like she encouraged me. I'm not saying that automatically comes from working at an NGO or non-profit, but it made it pretty clear to me that, long term, that's actually where I want to be.