I'm job hunting in the hope of finding a new sense of purpose – Hayley Matthews

I was chatting to a friend recently who’s changing careers, and he was telling me about starting a user-experience design course which pricked my ears up.

Saturday, 8th January 2022, 4:55 am
When her youngest child goes to nursery full-time, Hayley Matthews suspects she may clean all day like Monica from Friends or watch telly and eat biscuits

He has friends who work in that field, are making good money and having a good life, and it’s motivated my job search. He also said a career change in his 40s is exciting and it got me thinking.

To be honest, writing isn’t my main job, I’m a full-time mum and my kids are my world. Yes, I love to write a weekly column for the Evening News, however, when the little one goes to nursery full-time in the next few weeks I’ll either become Monica from Friends, cleaning all day, or will sit watching TV, eating biscuits and drinking coffee, 9am-3pm.

But seriously, a purpose is key to a happy life, I’ve discovered. My kids are my purpose and always will be but I also need to be Hayley during the day. After all, it’s when we don’t have a purpose that many of us find the big black dog at the door.

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So what do I do? What jobs do I apply for? “Oh, that’s that lassie off the telly, she’ll no make soup and sandwiches in a café!” Oh but yes I will! I’m clumsy, but I love being around people, chatting, hearing stories, fixing problems, working under massive pressure, being fast paced and finding easier ways to do things.

I’d thought about retraining as a psychologist and helping those with mental health struggles. However, I’ll be 50 by the time I finish a dissertation and finding a job in my 40s is hard enough.

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A friend looked over my CV and said I’m a round peg trying to squeeze into a hexagon-shaped hole. I love that analogy! And I know what she means.

I’ve not always worked as a presenter. I’ve been an area manager, running three broadcast studios in Edinburgh, Cardiff and Glasgow for 10 years. I trained broadcasters, taught script-writing, taught how to present, completed studio budgets, worked with the CEO and directors on marketing and business development, recruited staff and was great at client relations too.

I even managed public-sector relations and was on first-name terms with many police chiefs, along with council and Scottish government staff.

Without sounding like Ron Burgundy, I was kind of a big deal in the information broadcast world, albeit in my late 20s. I'd loads of energy and would easily do a 60-hour week.

But I’ve also worked in the media for 20 years as a broadcaster, TV presenter and now a columnist. So what on Earth do I do now for a job? I’m genuinely at a loss.

It’s hardly your average CV but I want to be out speaking to people, doing something I’m good at, using my skills to better a workplace, charity or company when the kids are in school. Oh and I want to be earning some decent wonga again.

So if anyone is looking for a creative media expert who can present, write scripts, people-manage, talk for toffee, problem solve, who is funny, reliable, hard-working and always smells good, please apply within. Alternatively, if you’re stinking rich, have a massive disposable income, are bored then I’d gladly be your rent-a-friend during school hours Monday-Friday!

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