I dislike my career but feel trapped

Agony aunt Mary Fenwick has words of advice on a common problem


I dislike my career but feel trapped

A couple of years ago, I decided to try to change career and become a landscape designer. Unfortunately it all went wrong – the recession kicked in and I just couldn’t find any work. As a result, I had to move back in with my parents, and I found some part-time work in administration. Three years later, I am still working in an administration role, and I now seem to be categorised by recruiters as a short-term administrative assistant – it seems that my other experience doesn’t count at all. But the truth is, I actually dislike this administration work intensely, though I seem to have found an accidental career in it. And after my previous efforts to change course, I can’t see how to escape the situation. Lucy

If we throw the ingredients of your letter up into the air, they might come down like this – here is a hard worker who is prepared to balance her vision with practical considerations. A dedicated person who works regular hours and is able to pay attention to administrative detail. A reliable employee with a good track record of adapting to change.

So, imagine a notice at your local garden centre where that person offers free landscape design at the weekends in exchange for before-and-after photos, plus the cost of any materials, for example.

Never mind the recruiters, I’m looking for someone like you…

More inspiration

Research nationalcareersservice.direct.gov.uk

Read One Small Step Can Change Your Life by Robert Maurer (Workman Publishing, £12.99)

Read What to do when your comfort zone at work feels like a velvet prison by Vanessa Anstee on LifeLabs

Read What can we learn from those colourful people who thrive, rather than simply surviving at work? by David Head on LifeLabs

Mary Fenwick is a business coach, journalist, fundraiser, mother, divorcée and widow. Got a question for Mary? Email mary@psychologies.co.uk, with ‘MARY’ in the subject line

Photograph: iStock

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