Ah, work. Everyone’s favourite topic (not). I personally think we can learn and grow a lot from the jobs we do in our lives. Some teach us a lot about ourselves. Others teach us a lot about what we want to do (or don’t want to do). Some just drive us to our wits end but whatever it is, I think each job and experience is important to us as a human. Some people have a varied job history and some people have been in the same job all their life (like my dad). I think I fall somewhere in my middle, although I am only 25 so I have a lot of time to mix up my job still.
1. Pottery class assistant: This was my first “job” and I was so proud of myself for getting this. Basically, in year 11, I took art for GCSE. My teachers were opening an after school art class for year 7’s to practice pottery and wanted some help from older students. They were also going to pay you. Albeit, it was like £2.50 an hour but at 15 years old and being picked over 60 other students, that was pretty amazing! We had to apply and say why we think we should get it which looking back, was actually quite good because it gave us a tiny small sense of what it might be like in the real world.
2. Retail assistant in Primark: This was my first proper job and my gosh…. what a job! In all honesty, I don’t look back over my time in Primark with regret. I had some great times, made some great friends and certainly made some good memories working there. Like the time there was a fire in store but we were still made to go to work and tidy up among the debris (yes, true story). It was mind-numbingly boring, always too hot and I never got to work on a decent department (I was on shoes… I have literally picked up more shoes in my life than anyone else I know) but it was my first job when I was in sixth form, earning a bit of money to go out clubbing. It wasn’t all bad.
3. Admin assistant: I worked on and off as an admin assistant in a hardware shop where my mum has worked for years. I would sometimes do 1 day a week, get a bit of money for it and it wasn’t difficult. Lots of filing and posting things. I could eat when I wanted, chat to my mum occasionally and sit on my bum all day. So not too shabby!
4. Optical assistant at Vision Express: Leaving this job was one of my biggest regrets (the next pointer will show you why I left). I’ve always loved going to the optician. I’ve always wanted glasses (I have them now, my eyes are so bad!) So being in that environment was amazing. I really took to this job. I picked everything up super quickly, was good with customers and selling them their frames. I think I could have done really well had I stayed there.
5. Teaching assistant: But I left because I wanted to start college and become a teaching assistant and a part of that course was having a placement in a Primary school to practice what we were being taught and getting first hand experience. I thought this was it. This was what I wanted. How wrong I was. I couldn’t hack it. I was frustrated and I already had anxiety at this point and it was just making it worse. I hated the kids (no offence), I hated the staff (some were nice – the teacher who shouted at me for wanting to open a window in his green house of a classroom wasn’t) and sigh. That was a bad time of my life and a huge waste of money.
6. Blogger and online business owner: It’s taken me a long old time to get to where I am now. I’m still grafting, I’m still learning and I’m still growing but I think I’m in a solid place right now where the only way is up. I started my blog purely as a hobby, reviewing books because I had nothing else to do. And here I am, 4ish years later with my own online business, a successful blog and actually earning money from it. And earning more money than some of the jobs I’ve mentioned above. I’m very proud of myself but I still have a long way to go in this whole self-employmet journey!