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Forums / Welcome and orientation / Post-Work Sadness

Topic: Post-Work Sadness

6 posts, 0 answered
  1. asianaussie
    asianaussie avatar
    19 posts
    26 July 2019


    1st post. I'm currently a part-time student studying to be a Beauty Therapist. When I'm not studying, I am working currently at a Salon as part of assigned work experience.

    But this is not about my current job. Prior to studying, I had worked for 3 years at a non-profit retail shop. It had been my 1st job (I was 18), and starting as a part-time volunteer, I was soon promoted to Casual. Yes, it was challenging and stressful at times, but I loved working there, especially my co-workers. They had all been supportive and I've made some good friends from there. They've listened and helped me as much as I helped them. We were pretty much family. Sadly, prolonged financial issues had led to the closure of all this charity's retail stores in Australia. Mine closed last month.

    I know I'm working now, but I can't help but feel lonely. I'm introverted and been outcasted my whole life, from school, church, even my institution/new work. The people I had worked with had been the closest I had to friends, and being able to work had distracted me from my loneliness and alienation. For once I could finally be myself and share views/issues and have fun being involved in rallies, camps, and adventures.

    Now it's mainly about studying and working, which is full-on. I've barely had time to connect with people due to the flexible, unpredictable schedule. This work I'm doing is simply all about sales and making money, and working fast-paced and client-oriented with people who are so different. I've already been struggling with bad reviews. My current boss obviously pressures all of us to 'sell well' and 'keep a good reputation'. It's been only a few weeks, but I just don't feel I fit in and doing Beauty may have been a mistake. But I'm contracted to stay until December, and pulling out would be a huge waste.

    I know it sounds childish to complain. I know work isn't meant to be fun. I'm lucky to be doing Beauty, to be working in a 'wellbeing' industry. I'm lucky I'm getting pay, much more than my former job.

    Yet I feel empty. I feel lost. I feel lonelier than ever, and I feel stupid during nail work, massaging, waxing whatever. Talking about 'anti-aging benefits' or 'makeup trend' feels more effort compared to political, social issues happening, what I would regularly interact with my former customers and co-workers. Reading the 'bad reviews' and all this are really bogging me down. I just wish life was much kinder and fairer sometimes.

    1 person found this helpful
  2. Ebi
    Ebi avatar
    77 posts
    26 July 2019 in reply to asianaussie

    Hi asianaussie,

    Welcome to the BB forum.

    It sounds like you got so much meaningful interaction in your former job. And also, that you find social and political issues easier to talk about than make-up and other beauty topics. Have I got that right?

    It seems like you're really getting in touch with your values and what is important to you. When you were working at the non-profit shop you were connected to your values and you were also connecting with people with similar values. How lovely! It sounds like you felt connected and included, like you had found your tribe, in that former job, in a way that you haven't felt before or since. That's pretty powerful and worth fighting for...

    I'm sorry to read that you're feeling empty and lonely now. I would be happy to chat more if you'd like write more.

    Thinking of you, Ebi

    1 person found this helpful
  3. asianaussie
    asianaussie avatar
    19 posts
    28 July 2019 in reply to Ebi

    Hi Ebi,

    Thanks for your message.

    Yes I am battling loneliness and isolation unfortunately. I am generally introverted and has social anxiety. I have a tendency to be wary of people, I often behave or say things that isn't considered 'normal' and offend them as a result.

    When I chose Beauty, it was mainly family pressure for me to 'just get out there'. It's a very people industry and you've got to play bubbly, chatty and friendly. This was something I did to challenge myself, but especially now to support myself.

    It takes me a long time to trust and open up to people, and I don't like being forced to adopt this fake persona to cash in and get a 'good reputation'. Working more days and spending less time with friends, it's been alienating. It's taking a mental toll on me.

  4. PamelaR
    Champion Alumni
    • Community champion volunteers who are not currently active on the forums.
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    PamelaR avatar
    2740 posts
    7 August 2019 in reply to asianaussie

    Hi Asianaussie

    Feeling lonely and battling isolation is very painful isn't it. I understand how you feel being introverted and working in a field where people expect - smiles all the time, good interaction and chattiness. Interestingly I worked in an environment that this was necessary and I always came home tried, drained and exhausted. Always leaving little for social contact. Nothing left to give - does this sound a bit like how you are feeling?

    Being wary of people is okay. For me it's helped me survive for as long as I have. Over the years I've learnt how to assess people - almost instantaneously, by listening to the clues by body responses give me. Rather than think everyone is suspect. It takes time though to pick up on what's happening.

    Apart from that, there seems a few other pressures in your life, e.g. your family. It doesn't sound like you're really doing what you want, i.e. an Arts Degree? Would this be right? It seems like they want you to get out there (stop being introverted), earn a living to pay off your debts. What are your thoughts on that?

    Being forced into doing something you don't want to do is awful. No wonder you are feeling lonely, isolated and depressed. I understand how you feel because I too was - forced into doing a commercial course at high school when I really wanted to do an academic course; forced into learning classical music when I wanted to do ballet or play sport. I followed the path they wanted, by getting married young. But that was it, the marriage was dissovled 2 years after and from that point on I did what I wanted. Unfortunately all my training was in the commercial field so I kept on getting work in an office. It paid the bills. Most of my life was happy, with my current husband.

    Since retiring I've learnt I should have got a job outside, e.g. park ranger, zoo keeper. All my time is now spent outdoors. Love it. But even though I didn't do what I truly wanted in my earlier years, I was still able to carve out a life that I could enjoy.

    Not sure how you feel about my story. It's just letting you know at your young age, you have a life ahead of you. As you get older you will become more empowered and will learn to make your own decisions, even if it means going against your parents and your cultural upbringing.

    I'd really like to hear what you think about this and how you felt after you posted.

    Kind regards


  5. asianaussie
    asianaussie avatar
    19 posts
    7 August 2019 in reply to PamelaR

    Hi PamelaR,

    No worries, feel free to delete my other post.

    Thanks for reading my post and sharing your story. At this stage, I am not fully independent yet, and my parents only want the best for me. I understand that they want me to be able to be financially stable so I can do the things I want and enjoy. But I feel restrained and trapped right now, I'm someone who values originality and truly wants to live out life, rather than just doing what society expects of me.

    But at the same time, I need to be realistic. As much as I don't like saying this, I am aware that the Arts isn't a financially sustainable industry, and it's very competitive. I'm not saying it's impossible, but I have to realise this.

    When I read your post, it gave me more insight into what I'm doing now and the future. Of course at this stage I haven't lived as much as you had, so I can't truly understand at this point. There is one thing I can agree with you, and it's true - there are still ways to enjoy life, even if it didn't go the way you planned it. As much as I do wish I'm still in Uni, I am optimistic that there are things that I will find that I enjoy, just as you had recently.

    Thanks again for replying, best regards to you.

  6. PamelaR
    Champion Alumni
    • Community champion volunteers who are not currently active on the forums.
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    PamelaR avatar
    2740 posts
    7 August 2019 in reply to asianaussie

    Hi Asianaussie

    I'm pleased to hear you found something of use in the post.

    Interestingly you don't really have to truly understand my life, it is more about knowing that life has so many angles to it. There is never a straight line, it twists and turns. What's happening for you right now, may not be the future for you. From what you've said, I feel you have motivation to do something other than what you are doing at the moment. My thoughts are - when the opportunity arises, take that. Opportunities arise all the time in our lives. It's feeling okay to grasp onto these when they come along.

    I understand what you mean about not being fully independent yet. I also see how that can affect what you do. It's great you to understand this. You are highly intelligent and my thoughts are - don't lose sight of what you want - originality and living your life to the fullest.

    When you talk about not wanting to do what society expects of you, then this is difficult. I've made decisions in my life that went against by upbringing, but not necessarily against 'society'. For me, I eventually came to the realisation that societal norms are useful and valuable in the long run. Living in an anarchist world would be problematic. What I've found is we can select the societal norms we want. There are so many these days, dependent on your viewpoint in life.

    At 22, you have a life ahead of you. So many things to decide, so many perceived barriers. I would not like to be 22 again, unless I knew what I know now. Feel free to let us know how things go for you.

    Best regards to you too.


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