Wednesday, 26 January 2011

New Directions

You know those career dreams you have? The 'if I could have any job' ones? The ones you've never really pursued and only ever fantasised about? What is yours?

One of mine is being an archivist - well, specifically, a genealogist. However you can't just jump straight into being a genealogist or historical researcher, you have to train as an archivist first. I've been thinking for a while how I'd like to do that, but hadn't seriously considered actually pursuing it.

Until now.

For a couple of years now I've had my heart set on a career in politics. I've done two public affairs internships and I've concentrated on applying for (or, more realistically, been annoyed at the lack of vacancies for) related jobs. But is it what I really want? I do enjoy politics and I have interested, but it's not the only thing I have a passion for.

For as long as I can remember I've been a history nut. I studied history right up to Advanced Higher level and did consider doing a joint honours in Law and History at uni, before deciding that'd be too much work. I even attempted to change degree after my disastrous first 2nd year, only to be told I couldn't go straight into 2nd year History but would have to go into 1st year - something I was not keen to do. So I stuck with Law. But I did do a historical legal dissertation on Gender and the Roots of Citizenship. And I briefly flirted with the idea of doing a Masters in Gender History.

Part of what I love about history (and indeed this is the same reason that I'm a fountain of celeb knowledge) is I want, I need, to know details about people and their lives. I am infinitely curious and can spend hours on Wikipedia reading up about all sorts of things, but it is the lives of real people that really fascinates me. I so dearly wish I had a time machine so that I could go and visit the past and see how life really was - first stops would be my two historical soft points of Restoration Britain and Georgian Britain.

It was my parents' genealogy projects that really got me thinking how much I'd like to be a genealogist. I love it when my parents tell me new things about our ancestors and I think it's amazing that my mum has managed to trace back certain strands of her family tree to the late 17th century! Working at The Real Mary King's Close allowed me to pretend to be a 17th century Edinburgh woman, and I think it's amazing that they've been able to find details about REAL people who lived on the close through the remarkably preserved contemporary documents.

In order to become an archivist you have to study for an accredited Masters at one of 5 unis in the UK - the two Scottish courses being at Glasgow Uni and Dundee Uni (this, and the Welsh one, can be done as distance learning courses, which is appealling). I don't really want to do a postgrad, I've had enough of uni really, but it would be vocational I suppose so could be better. Not to mention the appeal of studying for something that I genuinely want to do.

I have a Law degree and did a course in basic Gaelic (and still have the course workbook, CD, dictionary and grammar book so can easily reteach myself) - both of which are extremely advantageous when it comes to applying for the Masters. Yet that is not all, you NEED to have work experience (either voluntary or paid). They don't just let you do the Masters without having had a go at archiving before.

So I have decided I shall apply to do voluntary work. I've found 3 places in Edinburgh that advertise for volunteers, although I imagine the demand is quite high so places will be competitive. Still, no harm in applying. There's also a paid traineeship in Glasgow which I might apply for, application details aren't released until May anyway so no rush yet. Maybe being an archivist isn't going to be for me? At least I can find this out for myself through volunteering. It would be nice to find something I could do for a living that I love though.


Wednesday, 19 January 2011

As it turns out getting my wisdom tooth out wasn't that bad. In the end the dentist elected only to take the upper right one out for the time being and see how that goes, but in all likelihood I'm going to need the upper left one and very possibly the horrible lowers out too. Urgh.

I believe I have a few followers now, thank you very much. A thousand apologies for my no doubt extremely boring blog, but I suppose in a way it reflects my extremely boring life! If I did anything of any consequence then perhaps I'd have a reason to write here.

I have been at home in Glasgow for a few days and am going back to Edinburgh at some point this evening. Driving tomorrow - when will I ever be good enough to pass? I have been learning for so so so long and it makes me angry thinking about how long I wasted with my old instructor, not to mention how much money I wasted too!

Talking of money I very helpfully have received three bills in a very short space of time, on top of booking accomodation for my trip to London. I do need to pay these bills but I have no money, oh good. Looks like I'll be dipping into my savings again to help pay them! Brilliant.

And I haven't heard back from my interview last week. They said 'middle of next week' - well it is Wednesday and I have heard nothing. I hope they get back to me either way. If only to be polite.

Nevermind. Life isn't so bad really.

Thursday, 13 January 2011

I wanna lose control

Check me out!

Tomorrow morning I have an interview for a paid internship with a public affairs firm in Edinburgh, which would be amazingly convenient. I reckon it'll only be minimum wage, which is a bit of a step down from the £8/h I'd been earning at the government, but it is better than nothing. Fingers crossed! AND I have managed to secure an interview for another paid internship with a public affairs firm in London. Seeing as I'll be down in London for a 'romantic' weekend over Valentine's I'm going to meet them then. Poor K, I book a weekend away but end up arranging an interview for myself to coincide.

On the downside I have to get at least one wisdom tooth out on Monday and I am really NOT looking forward to this. My top teeth came through fully ages ago but the bottom ones have been giving me a lot of trouble for a long time and apparently won't fully erupt due to overcrowding. Removing the bottom ones would be very difficult and require a surgical extraction, due to their location in the bone and how close they are to a nerve, so instead I'm having the top ones out. This will, I am told, make a difference to the pain in the bottom ones as the top teeth won't be mashing down on them and crushing up the already swollen gum. Here's hoping it works as a surgical extraction is the last thing I want - it's bad enough having to get any teeth out let alone that way! I have had teeth out before for orthadontic purposes, but not since I was about 13. From my memory I couldn't feel the pain but I could definitely feel the sensation and it's not pleasant. I am really not happy about this at all but I know it needs to be done.

Incidentally I am still planning on making the other blog, but I have yet to come up with a suitably witty name for it yet. Suggestions are welcome.


Monday, 10 January 2011

Fishy fishy fishy

I hate applying to jobs. Am currently attempting to whittle down a 'why should we see you' to 400 words. At the moment I'm on 446 but there's nothing more I want to cut out. Damn.

K has fallen asleep. Actually he fell asleep about an hour and a half ago despite my protestations. What a bad host!

This job app needs to be in today so I should try to finish it, bah.

Friday, 7 January 2011

Hot Chocolate

And so this is 2011. It's been rather uneventful thus far. My temping assignment at the government came to an end today. I was offered a permanent position but it was admin and I wasn't sure, so my consultant said if I wasn't sure then I probably ought not to be put forward for it. Was it wise of me to turn down the opportunity of a full-time job? Probably not, but I don't want to do something I'm not happy in and I'm fed up with them only giving me admin jobs rather than policy like they know I want.

So now I have to concentrate on job-hunting again, oh joy. And hope that the agency finds me something INTERESTING in the time being. Fingers crossed for a couple of internships. Traineeships too, but knowing I'm one of hundreds applying I'm not holding out an awful lot of hope.

Lastly (before I go and drink the titular hot chocolate) I wish all my non-readers a happy new year. And I will make that other blog... eventually.