I have been thinking about career paths I could have taken. I say could instead of should, because there is no regret about any of the decisions I made about these jobs. I value the experience I gained, and they form part of who I am.
If you’re a prospective employer, please note, this is not my CV! That said, let’s jump in…
Many years ago you could leave school at 16 and enrol on a Youth Training Scheme (YTS). I was fed up at school so I didn’t want to hang around for the 6th Form. I didn’t want to work in a shop or an office (have since done both!) and there didn’t seem to be any other options. The school took us to a careers convention and before I knew it I had been whisked away on my first adventure.
Unfortunately it was a bit too adventurous for me at such an early age, and I developed dreadful homesickness. End of promising career number 1.
Living away from home again (but not too far this time), these were good times. My fellow nurses were also my flat mates. We enjoyed working hard, and we could play hard too. The hours were antisocial of course, but that didn’t matter much because we had our own little group.
The work was incredibly interesting and rewarding, and we learned so many life skills and people skills, and animal handling skills … In true James Herriot style, working with animals provided many anecdotes.
Promising career number 2 came to an end when I failed to qualify at college for the main purpose of the job – Animal Nursing. I immediately became disillusioned and decided I needed a nice straightforward 9 to 5 job.
Luckily the local bank was recruiting and I started promising career number 3. I don’t know why I had shunned office work before, as I really took to it and enjoyed what the bank had to offer. I settled in quickly.
Computers had just been invented (well they’d been around a while but not in the format we know today) and the back room I worked in had just one desktop computer. We were allowed to use the computer when the Machine Room Supervisor felt snowed under and deemed one of us juniors fit to do some data input. I absolutely loved it. I also loved the machine that printed the magnetic strip along the bottom of the cheques, as did most of my peers, so we had to take it in turns to use it.
The bank had regular in-house training courses and the best one was customer service training. We had to do role play. I still uphold the standards I was taught that day, but sadly think that customer service in general these days isn’t what it used to be.
While I was enjoying working at the bank, ambition kicked in, and I realised that as a junior in that branch, I was going nowhere fast … and I wanted my own computer!
I found another job in the financial sector and not only did I get my own computer, but I got my own office too. It was before I knew what a recession was. Times were booming and it was all very swish. The managers would have champagne breakfasts at their weekly meetings. There was very little stress and I was very happy.
This career path did take some twists and turns, and I changed companies a couple of times. I always stayed in the area of finance, as I felt that was my niche. Ironically, I was made redundant from that first job, so I didn’t keep my own office for long, but I continued doing what I wanted to do. Even though it was actually what I thought I didn’t want to do at first! This career path came to a natural end when I left work to start a family.
All these years later, I am still friends with people I met while doing those early jobs and I think that is something very special.
Finally, my careers teacher suggested I should have been an architect. I have no idea why she said that at the time, and that’s probably why I didn’t take her seriously and follow that path. I felt, perhaps, that she was just going through an A-Z of jobs and that was the one she pulled out of the hat for me.
However, I am really interested in buildings for some reason, and I do look up at things above street level. For instance, if I walk along a High Street I will look above the shop fronts to see what history there is in those buildings. I’m also fascinated by social architecture, such as council estates and high rise flats etc. So perhaps, in a previous life I may have been a town planner, or maybe it’s something for the future.
I hope you have enjoyed reading this somewhat lengthy post. Please do let me know in the comments what your favourite job has been, or even what was your worst! I would love you to tell me.
Thanks as always for visiting my blog, I appreciate your support so much,
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