Volunteering to Go Back to Volunteering

When I decided to take the job at the farm my thought process was “I might as well give it a try. If it doesn’t work out I’m sure they will be OK with me going back to being unpaid”

When I talked to them about the job a part of me knew I wasn’t the right person for the job. I decided to give it a try anyway.

It didn’t take long for me to realize I was right and that the job wasn’t the right fit. I loved working in the barn. I loved working with the horses and the goats. I didn’t mind my Monday volunteer shift dragging arenas, watering horses, and pushing the manure back in the dumpster I was good at all of that.

What didn’t fit?

  1. I wasn’t really qualified for the job. I am not a handyman type and they need a handyman type. I can figure things out if I have to, but I was muddling through jobs and they need someone who can just do it.
  2. I didn’t enjoy the job. I’m not a handyman type. Turns out I didn’t enjoy trying to be one. I no longer enjoyed what had been my happy place.
  3. The lack of a real structure to my time stressed me out and increased my anxiety. I technically had a schedule, but I found out quickly that you don’t necessarily leave when scheduled. My three-hour shift one day turned into an eight-hour shift due to broken fences.
  4. I didn’t like not feeling like I was good at my job. That sucks.
  5. I felt like I was doing the farm a disservice if I kept the job. They need someone who is qualified. Not someone faking it until they make it.
  6. Keeping the job was not good for my mental health. My anxiety was through the roof. I had trouble sleeping. I never felt relaxed. It was bad.
  7. I’m more valuable to them as a volunteer. I’m a good barn volunteer. I’m a good barn lead. The job was going to eventually replace the things I was good at with things I’m not good at. That doesn’t work for anyone.

So, I told them today that I didn’t feel like I was the right person for the job and that I wanted to go back to only volunteering They accepted that, and effective immediately I am once again a volunteer only.

I still feel like I want to find some sort of part-time job that suits me, I just need to figure out what that is. Maybe I will finally apply to be a substitute teacher.


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