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Digital Subscriptions > Psychologies > October 2019 > Create the career you really want

Create the career you really want

Are you stuck on a professional ‘dreadmill’ and feeling despondent about your job? Anita Chaudhuri talks to the experts about the path to finding fulfilment at work

Recently, I went for a walk with a dear friend. She’d just returned from holiday and was feeling blue about the prospect of work on Monday morning. My attempts to cheer her up weren’t exactly going down well. ‘It’s all right for you,’ she retorted. ‘You love what you do for a living. Me, I’m just hanging on for my pay cheques and the weekend.’

I didn’t point out that the pay cheques in question would make most people think they’d won money on the lottery – nor that we had always had different priorities. When my friend left university, her focus was to earn as much cash as possible. Growing up in a singleparent family, she dreamed of owning her own home, and of being able to help her mother financially one day. She went on to achieve her goals with remarkable speed.

Now my friend is stranded in a career in mergers and acquisitions. She couldn’t care less about the mood swings of the Nikkei, but she faces 20 more years of Monday mornings. Her kitchen pinboard is littered with cards from famous restaurants and printouts from Le Cordon Bleu cookery school in Paris. Instead of handbags and glad rags, she dreams of chef’s whites and kitchen knives. What she really wants to do is retrain to become a chef. There are only two obstacles standing in the way of her secret ambition. Firstly, the pay cut would be extremely painful. Secondly, although my friend has worked her way through a bucket list of haute cuisine hotspots, she can barely boil an egg.

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