I have an interview on Friday

I have an interview next Friday. Not for a job: for a course. I am investigating going back to university. It is all very exciting, but also very very scary. I am 41 year old, I have no savings, I have a mortgage, and I am thinking of quitting my well paid job in order to live on a student’s budget, in a student’s accommodation, a student’s life for a minimum of 4 years.

I must be insane.

Thing is, if I take a hard cold look at my current career, I realise that I have gotten everything I can out of it. I am not interested in management, I am starting to get bored with jobs that used to excite me, so basically, I am stuck where I am unless I do something to change that. And change would be… something completely different, which has been very hard to target, since I had no idea what else I could possibly do. I have worked as a presentation operator in investment banking since 1998. My skills are tuned specifically for this kind of job and are not transferrable to anything completely different.

So what to do? Where to go?

When you are my age and you have that sort of background, you usually stay put. It is an easy job, easy money, flexible hours. It is a good job for people who need a certain flexibility in their personal life, which other jobs might not offer. If you are lucky enough to be permanent, you have great benefits and the security of a good redundancy package. And if you are a temp, you get a really good pay and flexible hours.

So why change all that, wondered a lot of people around me? When I mentioned my desire to quit my job in order to study full time, I had a very mixed reaction from my friends. Some of them were extremely supportive, encouraging me to follow my heart and not end my life in a dead end job with no creativity, which they believe (and I agree with them) will be the spiritual death of me. Others were quite worried for me and recommended that I think very carefully about whether starting again from scratch was worth it if it involved a tough life for 4 or 5 years. One friend almost hyperventilated when I spoke to him about my ideas: he couldn’t comprehend why I could possibly want to move away from a job I am good at.

But being good at a job and earning good money is no longer enough. I want more than that. I want to be more creative, and do something more rewarding than creating documents for people who don’t care about the environment and whose sole purpose in life is to make as much money as possible for their company. I want to create something with my own hands, something artistic, fulfilling, rewarding. Something that will make me spring out of bed every morning and make me feel that I never need to retire from something I love doing.

I have an interview on Friday, at a College, near Chester, for a 2 year long course in Wood Furniture Making, with a view to continuing afterwards with an MA in Antiques’ Restoration.

This seems to involve most of what I love: antiques, wood, creativity, being in a workshop, working with the environment and people who care about it, respect for our heritage and its conservation…

That college sounds too good to be true. And it is: It is a private college which costs a fortune to attend. I am very stressed. Not because I am worried I might not pass the interview and be selected to start next accademic year, but because if I am selected, I need to decide whether I am willing to fork out the thousands of pounds that will be necessary to complete that course and delve into the unknown world of grants, loans and scholarships which will probably be mostly available to british students only.

Ah well, one thing at a time: this week, let’s get through the interview.

Next, let’s get a lottery ticket and try to think up next week’s winning numbers.

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