Summing up the last 12 months… as mentioned in my previous “yearly” update, I got an internship in Linköping. Which turned into a job offer with a 6 months probation period, which turned into permanent employment… which is no longer permanent, as my workplace decided to shut down the design department.
At first I was pretty happy and relieved about it, since I had been pretty idle at work for the last few months, and felt frustrated that I was not moving forward in my career. But after a month of being unemployed, it’s been hard to keep my spirits up and continue to focus on making new projects for my portfolio that are targeted more towards the direction my career that I want to take – interaction design and digital design. I think a lot of my self esteem comes from being employed. Plus, I don’t have many friends here, so at least I had some kind of social contact in the office.
Still, I do have some small successes from the past year that I need to keep in mind and be grateful for. I got 7 weeks paid notice, and technically speaking, they could have let me go back at the end of May rather than letting me continue as a permanent employee, so then I’ve been paid for several months more, which in turn improves my unemployment payout. I got a chance to work on some small projects for a customer which I was really proud of (and he was more than glad to be a reference, and possibly could even be a future continuing customer of mine). My Swedish has improved a lot, to the point where I can watch television, read (general knowledge) books, partake in conversations with a small group of people, and understand most of what is going on during a business meeting.
I got a job interview in Linköping in the field that I want to work in – which gives me some hope that I might be able to get an interaction design job even if it is offered to someone else – and even completed the interview in (bad) Swedish. But in Swedish nonetheless! I couldn’t have done that 1 year ago!
Travelled back to Canada twice to visit family and friends. Thought it might be awhile before I would travel back to Edmonton, but depending on how long I’m unemployed for, I might end up going back home next summer for a few weeks.
I’m really unsure what I should be focusing on… studying Swedish… studying interaction design methods… learning new prototyping software // programming… Feels like there is so much to learn. Almost as though, why kill myself working and stressing when I should try to relax a bit and enjoy the time off, since I don’t know when I will be able to freely travel and partake in interests as now. Live in the moment.
Despite that I know this intellectually, I can’t help but feel anxious… for all possible outcomes, whether I succeed or whether I fail. What if my portfolio is not good enough? What if I don’t find a job in Linköping? What if I’m offered a (less than perfect) job in Linköping? What if I’m offered a job in Stockholm and have to move? What if I don’t find a job and need to return to school? What if I don’t get into any schools? What if I’m ACTUALLY accepted and need to work my ass off in school and go through the same stresses as when I studied before?? In that case I shouldn’t be stressing so much now but maybe even taking it easy and enjoying my downtime.