I don’t usually stay in paid jobs very long. Sometimes employers seem to get ideas that I want to progress within their organization and take on more responsibility – when the truth is the opposite. My career is in unpaid work for charities. Paid work – I go in and do my work and flee – switching off the moment I leave the door.

Some employers don’t seem to understand that. So as soon as I sense pressure to relinquish my low paid job, I usually look for work elsewhere. But during the Pandemic, have felt that it was right to step up and do more within the health service, so I have completed a lot of training and taken on more responsibility in a short space of time.

But now it is time for one of those incredibly awkward personal development appraisals/reviews. I hate them. They make me cringe on so many levels. Yeah, I know what I have accomplished in a short space of time, but I only did it because it seemed the right thing to do in the wake of a Pandemic. I am not interested in promotion or a better salary.

Normally – I prefer to make a difference in more satisfying ways. I get to work with people from all backgrounds, many of whom are from abusive backgrounds and I have the privilege of investing time, kindness, training in them to become skilled volunteers, who can then serve on local, national and international projects.

I have done all sorts of things for paid work – gardening, animal care, decorating, party-planning and event organising, cooking, legal work, accounts, housekeeping, editing and proof-reading, and….healthcare (for both the NHS and private healthcare providers). Healthcare is a rewarding job. I love people, and I love making a difference to people who need some care and support. Sometimes I enjoy the technical side of my work. I even take pride in the admin side of it! But the most rewarding assignment I had was when I was a volunteer in nursing care, training other volunteers to care for terminally ill patients. That was such a deeply special and sacred assignment to me.

I hate going into an appraisal and feeling like I have to fight – I still struggle to get through to some of my employers that my heart is in working on an unpaid basis for charities – and I want to work on a paid basis for just enough hours to cover my living expenses and leave me with a little I can share with others.