Career Crisis: The hand you’re dealt

Not all those who wander are lost.

It’s quite a famous saying, but I’ll admit that I didn’t know where it came from until I just googled it. If like me you didn’t know; it’s from a poem by J.R.R.Tolkien – that guy that wrote Lord of The Rings. You must’ve known that!? 🙂

Even though I often say I feel a bit lost with my career, there’s always still a little voice of positivity in my head that says; ‘You’re not lost, you just haven’t got to where you’re going yet.’ And I do genuinely believe that – I’ve never really known what I’m ‘meant’ to do in my career. Some might say I’m having a career crisis; I don’t know if ‘my career’ even exists yet, and that’s the scary yet exciting part! But I do know that I’ll never know if I don’t keep trying – keep trying new things and jobs and people. I will keep wandering! Luckily I am too determined to give up…

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But we all need a helping hand sometimes, right? Recently I’ve been meeting with other creatives (for fun, company and advice) and found myself saying; ‘Can I have a mini version of you to keep in my pocket every day please?’ because they give me a little pep talk and the kick up the bum I needed. Unfortunately I can’t carry them around in my pocket all day, but I do need reassuring quite a lot. It’s linked to my inability to make decisions about creative things… which is linked to my procrastination.

Career Crisis The School of Life

Nobody’s perfect and luckily, as I’m aware of my downfalls, I’m trying to combat them (I’m going to an ‘Overcoming Procrastination’ workshop at The School of Life actually). To eliminate any opportunity for me to freak out and procrastinate, I’ve been using the Career Crisis cards to reassure, challenge and keep my mind on track when I start to doubt.

With the cards there’s little room for me to doubt, unless it’s something I don’t agree with. In the pack of 60 prompt cards there are a variety of quotes, facts, questions and activities;

‘Stop thinking of jobs you might want to do – and start to think of qualities in jobs. In short, not ‘Graphic Designer’ or ‘Teacher’ but words like: creative, leadership, meaning, calm, team-spirit.’ – For this I chose words including: creative, collaboration, variety, flexibility, support.

‘Change begins when the fear of not acting at all at last outstrips the paralysing fear of making a mistake’ – This one REALLY resonated with me. I often leave things right to the last moment because I’m scared they won’t be as perfect as I imagine in my head.

‘In 1700, in Western Europe, there were some 400 different kinds of jobs you could choose from. Nowadays, there are approximately 500,000. No wonder we sometimes have a bit of trouble settling on what we might want to do.’ – OH, so THAT’S why I’ve been finding it so hard. I’m glad there is more variety nowadays but to put yourself into a box for the sake of it, just doesn’t make sense to me.

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When I came across this card, I shouted ‘YES!” out loud (I was home alone, so just the neighbours to judge me):

‘People don’t tend to leave jobs because of the pay or office politics. They leave when they are no longer learning.’

I totally relate to this, and some of you might remember when I quit my well paid, comfortable job back in October 2015? I hadn’t been happy for months – feeling like I wasn’t progressing, being challenged or valued as a designer. I can’t remember if I shared this at the time, but my day mostly consisted of Pinterest, Photoshopping textures/ bottles/ mannequins onto visuals for the interiors team or running errands. The final straw was when, I’d been part of the team for almost 1.5 years and there was a more junior member of staff ‘below’ me, I was asked to do a lunch run for the team. I honestly have no problem doing errands and helping people (I love to help, and I guess that’s one of my downfalls sometimes – being too nice) but that was the moment that I realised I wasn’t in the right job anymore. How was that valuing the skills that I’d developed and practiced for 18 months?

I was SO scared (and did look for other jobs to move to), but I knew that I HAD to get out of that studio. I quit… and you know the story from then onwards (if you don’t, read it here). They didn’t try to stop me leaving; even my boss said he knew it was time for me to move on. It’s been almost a year since I worked there now, WOW!

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And that was a very unexpected turn in my career! There was no way I’d ever have quit a job with nothing else to go to – if you’d told me that whilst I was at Uni I’d have laughed in your face. But as scared as I was (and I was SO SO scared), the safety of a salary just wasn’t enough to keep me there anymore.

What I fear most about my career going wrong is… Arrange according to urgency;
1. I won’t be creative enough
2. I won’t make a contribution to society
3. I won’t earn enough money
4. I will be a nobody

Some A lot of people probably thought I was so stupid, but I knew I had to do it for my sanity. I’m not really motivated by money; sure, I need it to live but I’d much rather be poor and happy (which is good, because that’s where I am right now ha) – P.S. I’m available for Freelance design, social media, writing etc. Drop me an email. I don’t regret leaving but I don’t regret staying too long either, because I became aware of what I had, what I didn’t have and what I could have;

‘Every moment of unhappiness is, potentially, a new business waiting to be born.’


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For now, I’ll just keep that little box of sunshine to the side of my desk incase I need a pep talk. It’s always within reach, just like my career dreams 😉 (And let’s not forget Don’t get a job… Make a job, too)

What I’m learning is that life is just one big game. You can ‘play it safe’ as society tells you to, or you can be stuck ‘in jail’ and keep rolling for that 6 for the opportunity to one day hustle your way to something different. Something you love!

Do you like the idea of the Career Crisis cards? Maybe you’re going through a career crisis and need a pep talk? Drop me a tweet & I’ll pull a prompt card just for you <3


I was kindly sent the Career Crisis cards by The School of Life, but only after I’d expressed how much I needed them… and so as always, this post is 100% my honest opinion


  • erin

    15/09/2016 at 2:07 pm

    So much I could say to this, Tasha. I feel like in so many ways you’ve plucked thoughts out of my head and written them yourself. I totally get how the fear of failure basically creates this massive procrastination circle., I spend so much time paralysed by this fear of fucking up and looking stupid.
    I could honesty never be so brave as to jump ship like you did. I have so much respect for you, I’m slowly trying to grow so eventually I can move on from being employed to self employment but it’s slow and hard work.
    I love following this part of your journey because it is so inspiring 🙂

    erin | words and pictures

    • Natasha Nuttall

      29/09/2016 at 11:19 am

      Thanks Erin – I keep reading things where I feel exactly the same… like my own thoughts are written somewhere else! It’s so weird isn’t it? I am so bad for this non-starting attitude incase it’s not perfect. I hate talking the talk but not actually walking the walk 🙁 It is a really slow process and I’m still not really out of the woods as maybe I’ll have to go back into employment for a bit to gather more funds ha But we’ll get there eventually, just don’t give up 🙂 xx

  • Alice

    16/09/2016 at 6:15 pm

    Never heard of career crisis cards before, but yes I love the idea of them. And I like the one you photographed here as well, I can imagine that being very true. I’m having a massive career crisis at the moment in the sense that I have no idea what I want to do. I’d love to blog full time, but obviously that is quite an unrealistic goal (for the near future anyway, it won’t stop me from working towards it!), and I don’t think a vintage clothing shop is very realistic either and that’s my other dream! In terms of more ‘feasible’ careers, I have no idea!.

    The Velvet Black | UK Style & Beauty Blog

    • Natasha Nuttall

      29/09/2016 at 11:11 am

      They’re a great idea – I’m so bad at making decisions so any way to make it easier for myself haha Vintage clothing shop sounds amazing but I can imagine that’s quite a tough one, the same as full time blogging. It’s so rare for anyone to be a full time blogger nowadays – they all have side hustle going on e.g. social media consultancy, workshops, freelance writing. You should check out Kristabel’s blog if you haven’t already as she has written some posts on it – just google I Want You To Know. And good luck with your decision making! 🙂

  • Suzy Marie

    28/09/2016 at 10:08 pm

    This post resonates with me so much right now, it’s madness that you’ve written it as all of these thoughts are swirling around in my very separate brain. I am at the stage where not acting is way more frightening to me than trying and failing because I just feel so cramped by what I’m doing. I’m still learning and I’m busy and stressed but it doesn’t give me any creative outlet and that’s it for me. Line drawn. Just procrastinating on what to do about it now haha! Also, I heard a podcast recently that said that procrastinators are some of the best creatives – just in case that makes you feel any better! xx

    • Natasha Nuttall

      29/09/2016 at 11:01 am

      Oh Suzy – I’m glad and sad to hear that; Glad because I’m not alone, but sad because I don’t want anyone to feel this way! There’s no magic solution and the only person that can really change anything is you. I’m reading a book called Designing Your Life atm and it’s good for helping people to realise and decide what to do in their lives so maybe you should give it a go? And thanks for the info about procrastinators being the best creatives… it makes me feel better but I just wish I could get things done! haha xx

  • Kate

    16/02/2017 at 3:24 pm

    I try and keep up with creatives / people i went to uni withs vlogs/blogs to see how they are getting on.

    this post shouts to me..well screams to me as a similar one did 2 years ago..

    Not sure if they are still working for yourself / freelancing but if you are – good for you! there is some kind of expectation we should all go and do a 9-5 job and stick at it regardless of if we hate it, aren’t challenge and because ‘its money’ not sure where this ideal came from that we should all follow this rule book and be unhappy in a job because its ‘expected’ we get a full time job.. my answer is NO… life is honestly too short to be unhappy and if you were made to feel unhappy in your work place and unchallenged of course you would leave.. i would have done the same thing. many of my friends are in the jobs they can’t stand, spend most of their time slagging off and are miserable but they have lots of money.. to me happiness is so much more important than money – if i have to spend 5 days a week in an office feeling miserable they money isn’t even worth it.

    I work for myself but have just found a part time office job doing a little bit of social media and design work – only 2 days a week with super flexible hours any days of the week i want to! I would of never gone back to ‘normal’ employment but something like this is just ideal. don’t think i could ever go and work for someone else full time though.

    like you say on this post.. sometimes its less money and we are poor but its worth it as we are happier and stress free!

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