Friday, 31 May 2013

When One Door Closes.......

For years we have had the talent shows on TV, such as Britain's Got Talent, The Voice, X Factor etc. and have watched as hopefuls of all ages, take to the stage in front of a panel of judges and the viewing public, to showcase their talents in the hope of winning a prize, or in fact setting the ball rolling for a complete career change.  Yes, of course we have the deluded ones, who really can't sing for toffee, or who put on a ridiculously cringe-worthy performance of a dance routine etc. but no-one ever did them a favour beforehand and told them so, or diplomatically advised them to take singing lessons etc. before letting them subject themselves to the sometimes harsh words of criticism and rejection they ultimately face!
Maybe if the people around them had any decency, they would have advised that their performance needed much improvement before going public with it, at least then preparing the participant for potential critique and disappointment, instead of letting them have false hope and wasting their time - (however some really do believe that they can sing as well as their favourite pop-singer and weirdly enough, their relatives / friends believe it too!!) 
Some seem to do it for a 'laugh' and don't seem that surprised or bothered to be told 'no'.  However, what bothers me are the really talented ones, who secretly or not, know they are good and have what it takes and for them, what really strikes me, is the pressure and emotional rollercoaster that some of these participants go through.  They pass one audition, with the judges telling them "this audition will change your life forever",  or "this is what we have been waiting for" etc. filling the poor hopeful with overwhelming certainty that they have at last got their break and perhaps can now fulfil their dream to sing / dance / perform etc. and give up a humdrum job, as they now have the prospect of 'making it big'.
As they face the next round(s) of the auditions and maybe get into the finals - with that dream goal well within their grasp, they are rejected, by the judging panel or the voting public in favour of another of the show participants!  Wham-bam!!!
What next then for the poor emotionally-crushed person??  For some, they feel they have no more chances left - they may have tried other shows and been rejected even before the actual audition shows, or they have reached an age where they feel they are simply chasing after a dream and this was their last-ditch attempt to do what they have been working towards and yearning after, for many years!  I hope some of them get some sort of counselling and career advice, as I imagine that the pain of rejection, especially so publicly, must be absolutely soul-destroying. 
I hope for those people, the saying, "as one door closes, another door opens", comes true, as what is someone supposed to do with a great singing voice, if not use it to earn a living and enjoy doing so - if that is their calling, then why not?  It seems so cruel to dangle the dream in front of them and then whip it away in a blink of an eye!  I always think like that, when the participants go to judges houses on the X Factor - they are given a taste of a lifestyle they could have if successful and then some are booted off the show, because that judge didn't pick them for their final mentoring group.
In summary I feel blessed that I am able to do a job I love and for which I trained long and hard for and I really sympathise with those people so publicly rejected and denied their chance to 'live their dream'.  One thing's for sure though, those people really must have guts and determination to stand up in front of so many people and do their 'thing' - hats off to them I say and good luck!!!

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

What's the Definition of a Proper Job?

One thing that has really stood out for me since quitting office life, is how other people judge what a 'proper job' is!  It seems unless you're in a 9 to 5 daily commute to an office, anything else is just not proper work!!  Has anyone else found that although you run your own business, the fact that you work from home instead of at a corporate office, you feel judged, or it's even been commented about 'when are you going to go back to do a proper job!?'  The cheek of it!!! 
As if running one's own business is just some silly little game to while away the time!!  There's always something to do, even if for example, I'm not actually out doing training - the accounts, marketing, answering the phone and emails, doing the admin and filing (yes! even a dog trainer has admin and filing!!), researching my subject and keeping abreast of new developments, ordering in stock that I need, following up with recent behaviour case clients! etc.
So when the sun is shining, no I'm not in the garden sunning myself, nor watching daytime TV - I'm actually working as if I were employed in a company - I even give myself a short lunchbreak and then back to the computer I go, or off out to see a client.  I also find that the nature of my job(s) isn't taken too seriously either - dog training is still widely thought of as something that people do as a hobby on a weekday evening - because they like dogs and charge their clients next to nothing. 
Yes I love dogs and helping people train and build a great relationship with their family pet, but I studied long and hard to get myself qualified, so my 'hobby' is actually my 'bread and butter' business that I do on a full-time basis. 
I've even heard a fellow greeting cards business owner say that an acquaintance, referred to hers as a 'silly little cards business'!!  So it seems that there's a bit of snobbishness when it comes to working for yourself and an assumption that if you're about in the day, well you must be unemployed!  I doubt a self-employed neurosurgeon would attract any criticism or judgement-more likely admiration. 
Well all our businesses and jobs count for something-we're all contributing to the grand scheme of things with our goods and services.  At the end of the day, happy people doing what they love doing and earning enough to live, is surely a good thing!!