It is one of those sad truths of life that if you are going to spend money, at some point you are going to need to make some money. This is the basic idea of a working holiday. That you work in order to support your holiday.
As of yet, I have got the balance of this concept completely wrong. For four months, I have been having an amazing time in London, emptying out my carefully amassed savings, and it has been wonderful. I have partied and wandered and eaten and just generally enjoyed myself. What I haven’t done, however, is busy myself with that whole “getting a job” thing.
In hindsight, this was probably a mistake.
Now those dual beasts of reality and poverty are screaming up behind me at great pace, threatening to overtake me and send me back home. Which means it is now unquestionably time to get a job.
But what job to get? The obvious answer is “anything that pays”, but that’s surprisingly hard to apply for. You do need to have some idea of what you’re going for before you can start really looking. And, at the moment, I really don’t.
As you can probably tell, job searching is far from my favourite activity. I look through the jobs on offer and daydream about what I would actually like to be doing. I fantasise about people paying me to do the things I really love. For example, “Why won’t anyone give me a job where I can talk about food all day? Where’s that career path!”
As it turns out, here in London you can get paid for just talking about food all day! In my search I came across a position that was perfect for me: a food tour guide.
The role was a pretty simple one. Between two and five times a week you would take groups of 12 or smaller around the East End, showing them some key food experiences and giving them a potted history of the area. Brick Lane curries and London’s best bacon sandwich were all part of the day involved. The talking was a mix of scripted work and improvising to suit the participants.
And I would be great at it. I know this, and those of you who know me or have read my work over the years would, I hope, agree.
Sadly, though, it seems that my clear aptitude for such a role did not come across in my interview. I did not get the job, and I can’t help but feeling that the company made a huge mistake. Similar to the mistakes that Masterchef Australia made by not casting me those two times.
Because this is exactly what I am good at. Nearly everyone I have ever met has, at some point, been regaled with some sort of food related lecture. I speak with vast knowledge and unbridled enthusiasm, and people at least appear to be interested when I do. I need to find some way to take advantage of this!
So dear readers, while I continue searching for any job that will pay me, please help me think of some way I can do this. What roles can I take on in London where my natural talents and interests will make me money? Give me suggestions in the comments below. If you know of any actual opportunities, that would be even better.
I know that talking about food for a living is a bit of a pipe dream, but dreaming is what a holiday is for, isn’t it?
In the mean time, though, back to the job sites. Let’s hold off reality just a little longer.