Kat, 26, Estonian, Talent Agent
By Tolu Oshodi
What is your biggest struggle as a millennial?
When you look at other people’s Instagram or Facebook and you just think “wow, they’re really living the life.” And then I think about my own and it’s like: I wake up, I go to work, and then I’m on my commute (and I never see anything worthy of taking pictures of), then I’m at work doing what I do and then go back. Then literally, in the evenings I’m so brain-dead that I don’t really want to do anything, and everybody’s out having fun! And I just start thinking “Wow…am I really living? Am I doing this right?”
I think the main struggle is trying not to compare my life with anybody else’s just because they post about it…all the time (and it always looks so fun)!
What was your worst job experience ever?
I don’t think that I have ever been fully happy in any of the jobs that I’ve had.
I’ve enjoyed several aspects of all the jobs that I have had. When working in a cinema I liked that the whole team was actually a team, and we worked together. Working at schools, I liked that I had a lot of freedom: I could choose my own shifts. And in my current workplace, it’s a completely new industry for me to learn, but I think in general I can’t say that I have ever been fully happy in any of my paid jobs.
So you’ve found more gratification doing independent projects?
Yeah, like a lot of the theatre work, even though I wasn’t getting any financial gain from it, it was something that I did for myself. I really felt that when I went home at the end of the day and I was tired and hungry I felt like “yeah, today I’ve made a difference”. Even if it wasn’t in anybody else’s life, I had made a difference in mine.
On that note, what has been your best job experience?
For me it was doing The Little Shop of Horrors at uni. It was such a small team of us putting it together and I was essentially the Stage Manager/Prop maker/ powerhouse! I did everything. To pull it off was really cool and the feedback that we got was great. People were basically amazed at what people could make with their own hands. And to make the puppets myself without having had any sort of training was really cool.
Would you say that you’ve enjoyed studying more than you’ve enjoyed working?
100%. It’s so weird because after uni I was so excited to work, not even in my field, I was just excited to go to work, to get the paycheck at the end of the month because I was like “This is what I’ve been working towards for the last 3 years”. But literally, pretty much one of the most recurring thoughts that I’ve had in the last 2 years is that I just want to go back into education. I don’t even know whether it’s because I gained so much from it, but I just think that the job that I’m doing is not fulfilling me, so maybe studying will give me more time. I feel like I’m sort of wasting time at the moment so if I was studying at least I wouldn’t feel like I was wasting time until I find something that I want to do.
What would you study?
I studied the technical side of theatre, and I would like to now go into learning the business side of it.
Do you think a degree is worth much in the current job market?
I’m so conflicted. But I think for myself, going to uni is purely just for myself.
A lot of the job applications say that you need to have a degree, but then at the same time…you don’t. I know people who have gotten the job when the job application says you need to have a degree and they don’t have one, but they got the job because they can do it. So I don’t think you need to have a degree to get a good job…I think you need to have good connections, and I think one way to get the connections is through University.
What do your parents say?
I don’t think they’ve ever understood what I really want to do and I actually got asked that on Wednesday at my appraisal meeting “So what is it that you want to do?” and I said that I didn’t know…
I think my parents understood the reasons I came here when I was doing my course. They were like “okay, she’s got a very clear direction, she knows where she wants to go and she’s going to do all of those things” and I thought that I knew that as well.
Even though I’m pretty good at taking rejection and getting the no’s because everyone gets them, getting rejected so many times has made me massively doubt myself and my abilities. So at the moment my parents think that I’m sort of in the field but I’m totally not in the area that I want to be in. So yeah…they just don’t really know what to say.
Have your feelings towards being in London changed?
A lot, I initially didn’t think I would like living in London at all, and then I absolutely loved it. But I can say that for a good few years I felt like London was the city that dreams are made of but also the city where…dreams are crushed.
Do you think your days in London are numbered?
Yeah…I do. I think if I hadn’t met my boyfriend I wouldn’t be here right now.
The work you do plays a big part in your life and if you’re not happy and you don’t feel fulfilled in what you do then you just think “what’s keeping me here?”
And people can read this and be like “well, why don’t you just go then?” but there’s enough stubbornness in me to not go until I’m ready. So I’m gonna give it one last really good push and if the city then rejects me then I understand that this place is not for me and I gave it my best but it’s time to go and try somewhere else.
What is your biggest lesson?
Even if you get 1000 no’s – if you know what you want to do/should be doing, you just need to keep doing it. Even if nobody here says yes to you – you will eventually get that yes somewhere… you might just need to dig deeper and find another way. So for myself, I’m going to try again in London but if it’s a no here it doesn’t mean that it’s a no in general.
Why did you stop fighting?
Do you know what?…I don’t know.
It just happened so naturally that I feel like I just tried less and less every day because I wasn’t getting anything back from it. It is one of those things where you need to find the motivation in yourself and you need to keep pushing because nobody’s going to do that for you. I’m not the type of person who needs a pat on the back everytime I do something right, but there are times when you feel like you just have no motivation left.
I do want to start fighting again, I just feel like at the moment it’s the calm before the storm.