Off on a Bit of a Sabbatical
Hands up if you've felt personally victimised for being a millennial? Yes, you there with the almond flat white and avocado on toast. Or you there who should have five years experience for an entry level job. And even you there living out of your backpack in the middle of nowhere.
There's no shortage of advice for 20-somethings. From burying yourself in work and networking to get ahead in your career to ceasing these best years of life and travelling the world, it's never been more confusing to be in your 20's. Add the smooth, creamy layers of judgement for spending our money on a good brunch and you cannot help but feel lost...which apparently is what the 20s are for anyways.
So what do you do when you think you've got it figured out, but aren't quite ready to admit it?
Thus, begins this chapter of my life.
Up until last week, I was working for a social media marketing agency. No, I didn't hate my job and no, I wasn't looking for a career change.
Is it so bad to say that I just needed a break?
I knew that this was a career I was passionate about. I've always believed in the power of the media and moreover, of social media to democratise communications. Social media allowed for stories to be told by everyone, particularly those who had long been disenfranchised who could find the platforms and the networks to shout across to and dismantle the political and capital structures that have long bound us.
I came to this from a place of activism - realising that social media was allowing the little guy to talk and challenge long-standing ideas of representation and dominant narratives. I'm unabashedly a feminist, a proud Asian Australian and doesn't want to take no shit. Social media let me do that and to find other inspirational people doing the same.
But I began to realise I was losing sight of why I started.
It's hard to not bow down to the pressures of jobs and careers and money. And I'll admit, I'm an ambitious person. I was all too happy to start climbing the corporate ladder and see what difference I could make with more knowledge and more power. But what it came to was selling products I didn't believe in, to people who would just blast you for nonsensical reasons on anything you did.
Don't mistake this as a "fuck the man" manifesto. No, I know I am a servant to the man as much as it pains me to say it. And I don't pretend to ignore the fact that I will likely be back in a job very similar to this - resigned to trying to exert my values in every tweet, every email and every conversation.
The scariest thing is not knowing if what you want is really what you want.
It's been a quick and almost accidental road to where I am now. And most days, I know that underpinning all of this is a real passion for what I do.
It's just not how I imagined it - not the 10 hour workdays and weekend work. Not the endless cycle of tiredness and exhaustion. And definitely not the feeling of defeat and resignation that I've started to feel.
So, when the perfect opportunity comes about, how do you turn it down?
Three things I knew for sure:
- Travel has always been something that made my soul happy. Tick
- I wanted to keep exploring the world of social and digital. Tick
- I wanted to develop some sort of side hustle or hobby that gave me a life outside of work. Tick
Enter Nomad MBA - a truly unique experience to join 25 like-minded people to travel, study, create and grow. I couldn't believe my luck in finding something so fitting to my direct needs. For the next three months, I'll be in SouthEast Asia with people around the world who are coming together for one simple reason - to see where this could take us.
Scared? Yes. Excited? Hell yes. The most exciting thing about this is that I don't have a flight back home yet. I am coming to this completely open to whatever may come - all the good; all the bad - for three months, for six or maybe even more.