Saturday, 16 March 2013

You won't feel upbeat all the time ... and that's ok

I know. My last post was about how one should choose to flourish in Denmark, well any country that isn't 'home', as long as one applied a positive attitude. I still mean that. However even though I do maintain that having a positive attitude will get you further than fuelling negativity, even positive people like myself will get moments of feeling a little lost and sometimes a little hopeless. It doesn't mean that I'm going to give up - that's not in my vocabulary for one thing - but it is ok to have these feelings as you can use them to spur you on.

Even though my last post is less than a week old, I have been feeling pinches of uncertainty since I was on my flying visit to the UK four weeks ago. I'm sure that many can relate to feeling like you just don't quite belong back home. I guess I found myself in limbo. Although I'm happy in Copenhagen it's still very much 'belongs' to my fiancé; however when I was in London I didn't feel at home either, I'm not certain on the reason why but probably a lot to do with the fact that I don't have a base there anymore. I was very much London's guest.

I was inspired to write this post early this morning - I'm talking 3.30am early due to my inconsiderate overboer inviting their noisy drunk friends back to their place to carry on drinking above our heads - I couldn't sleep so I looked at the time on my phone and, because I couldn't sleep, I checked all manner of social media for an hour. Including LinkedIn. One of my former colleagues, who I think very highly of indeed, had changed her title. She has been promoted. In fact, three of them have. When I left we were all on the same level. Don't get me wrong, I'm very happy for her because she really deserves it. But, and I don't know whether this was due to me tired and emotionally strung due to the inconsiderate neighbours,it reminded me that despite all my determination to be employed within two months I had been well and truly left behind in the professional sense. Being awake too early has got to be the worst time for these sorts of thoughts as you have so much time to process them and hence, not go back to sleep. It's annoying. But it still irked me. And then the "ifs" came wading in. "If I'd stayed I probably would have been promoted too", "if I'd stayed then I'd still be in the 'marketing loop'", "if I'd stayed ... etc".

But would I be happy? I don't know. The last job (where three people have been promoted) I had I was in tears at home and in the office at least twice a week and that includes my last week there. Had I been promoted, there's a chance that would have meant even longer hours, more work from home after hours and more stress.
So am I seeing things through rose tinted glasses because I still haven't settled properly? Maybe. Probably. In fact, I know I am.
Do  I feel stupid that I haven't got a job yet? Stupid, no. Disappointed, yes. Frustrated, definitely. But it IS tough. The last place I called for feedback following yet another rejection told me that I had made it down to the final 15 out of a couple of hundred applications. I just didn't quite make it due to the tough competition. So it's not because I am unemployable.

The good thing is (there's that positive attitude!) that I am happier since leaving London. I have found my love of writing, I am keeping up to date with marketing tools by volunteering at an expat initiative and I am learning a new language - being bilingual is something I have wanted to do since I was 8 years old. And I'm fulfilling that. It's very easy to look at things we haven't got and get upset but it doesn't help if that's one's sole focus. However having a little weep from time to time is fine. It's normal. I am positive but that doesn't mean I walk around with a smile plastered on all the time. As long as you take action from it and remember why you made the move in the first place. When people, be they expats here, Danes or friends in UK, ask me how I'm finding Copenhagen I will answer honestly, and if I am feeling down about something when the question is posed I will, without fail, also tell them what I am doing in order to start turning the negativity around. I have written the two major worries I have when I have these moments of doubt. I hope that you will be able to gain something from them in some way.

The longer I am unemployed the longer people will think that I'm no longer current in marketing
I am still current in marketing. In fact, probably more up to date than I ever have been as I have more time to read articles, go to seminars and practice the skills. This blog is not only for blogging my experiences as an expat but also to keep my Google Analytics skills in check. As it turns out I have taught myself how to set 'goals' and enable Webmaster properties - there's something I didn't know when I was doing it for a living! Now I can get more indepth because it's my own website.

People are moving on and I feel like I have plateaued
I think about everything I have achieved since moving here. Ok, I haven't secured employment yet but due to my commitment to the language, I am at a stage with Danish now where I can understand the gist of most conversations and can now effectively have a proper conversation in another language. I am getting closer every day to fulfilling my dream of being bilingual. I have also lost 5kg since moving here as I naturally feel more healthy. I have progressed - just in a way I don't necessarily think of.

So, you see, it's not a bad thing to have moments of negativity and lack of self esteem. Just make sure you take action.

What do you think? Can you relate to anything from that massive stream of consciousness? What have been your worst moments and how did you overcome?