How do you handle work and money for now and for the future? Do you live hand to mouth or do you deliberately plan your financial future? And are you setting up arrangements for the future yourself, or are you a member of a pension fund?
Nikki Dix-Stork (26) worked full-time in a supermarket after her studies, but ended up at home due to burnout. “I just started to really hate the work,” she says.
Nikki Dix-Stork (26)
Profession: Beginning entrepreneur
Works weekly: About 40 hours a week
Income: Up to December 1, € 1972 gross from employment, after that, probably € 1636 unemployment benefits.
Pension set up? Accrued a bit of a pension at her previous job.
What kind of work do you do?
“I am currently unemployed. Or actually, I recently started my own company, but that is not earning me any money yet. After I completed my leisure management studies two and a half years ago, I couldn’t find a job in that field. So, I went to work full-time in the supermarket where I worked part-time as a fresh employee since I was 16. I thought an employment contract like that was pretty great. Mindless work, make money and save some. Until I was just done with it.”
Why were you done with it?
“After a while, I just started to hate it. I was not being challenged, I had lost my ambition and I was feeling like I was being lived. I increasingly started to think, I have a degree; what am I doing here? But, you know, finding work in my field was not easy, especially since the Covid outbreak. I applied for about ten jobs, but I didn’t hear back from most of them. And the few times I did get a job interview, they didn’t pan out. Most of them required more work experience.”
What did you do then?
“At one point, I was at home, due to burnout, which happened because of a bunch of things piling up. I was mentally and physically exhausted. After a month on sick leave, my employer and the company physician told me I had to start getting back to work. I told them several times that I couldn’t do it, but that fell on deaf ears. It made me feel absolutely miserable. Finally, in consultation with my employer I decided to end my contract. I quit on October 1 and will be getting paid through to December 1. I was supposed to get a new job by that date, but it doesn’t look that’s going to be happening. So, I will have to apply for unemployment benefits. That’s not the end of the world, but it kind of scares me.”
Do you actually want to be looking for a job when you’ve just started your own company?
“I am applying for jobs, but to be honest, I’m not at all excited about it. I love being at home. I finally have time for the household and our kittens, and I get to invest a lot of time in my company and my recovery. But I’m not making any money yet, so the smart thing to do would be to have a job until I can live full-time on my enterprise. On the other hand, that does cut into the time I can put into my company. It’s hard to get motivated to get a job. I still haven’t completely recovered from that burnout and if I start pushing myself, that’s not going to get better.”