Thursday 1 April 2021

How I Got Where I am Today: Finding Your Vocation

Thanks to my friend Eva for this image

I was browsing Twitter last week when a tweet from Donna at 'What the Redhead Said' caught my eye. She was responding to a tweet from a random American guy who said it was depressing that our society had failed to provide ambitious role models for our children and then he shared a graphic (which is pretty hilarious when you look at it closely) that apparently shows the top 10 jobs that kids want nowadays.

Put aside the fact that this guy had obviously made the graphic up, or at the very least not checked his sources very well as the jobs add up to nearly 137%, there are very random spelling mistakes and careers like teacher/ athlete are bundled together, what was interesting, was the backlash it had stirred in people, with him receiving over 7.000 responses, including Donna's.

It set me thinking about the job I do nowadays and how I came to this place. If you'd asked 17-year-old Michelle what she would be when she was grown up, it certainly wouldn't be a self-employed stay-at-home mum. The teen Michelle would have told you she was going to be a big success, running an empire, probably a hotel empire and that she wasn't ever going to have kids.  

Things really can change over the years, and I am so glad they have. What I do now suits me and it suits the lifestyle of my family. I'm able to be available for my kids after school, to run them about when they need it and to volunteer and support my husband in the pressured job role that he has. All whilst earning a living from work I enjoy and being able to meet friends to chat and pray, as well as volunteering with various charities and even having the odd spa day whenever I fancy. 

People dismiss young people who wish to be an influencer, YouTuber or blogger but many of us are living proof that you can make a good living doing this work. It isn't easy work, anyone that thinks it is will be in for a shock, but you can enjoy yourself, make a difference, stand out and succeed if it is what you desire.

I thought it might be interesting to share my history of education and work to demonstrate how diverse your career path can be before you end up doing something that really works for you.

Age 14 - started working in a petrol station part-time and was a supervisor shortly after, I stayed there a number of years

Age 16 - got my GCSEs - very average grades as I hated secondary school but knew I wanted to be a hotel manager

Age 18 - finished college with a BTEC OND Merit in Catering and Hospitality Management

Age 21 - finished university with a BTEC HND Distinction and a Ba Hospitality Management

Age 21 - commenced a trainee management program with a hotel company for a couple of years

Age 23 - I'd had enough of long hours and low pay, so I went to work as a receptionist for Pepsi and moved into Facilities Administration and then Training Administration

Age 25 - headhunted back into hotels as a Front of House Manager

Age 26 - moved into recruitment, recruiting for temporary catering and hotel staff with a big national agency, got promoted numerous times and ended up managing a branch with very decent pay, commission, company car, private healthcare etc etc

Age 30 - had JJ and no longer wanted a pressured job role

Age 31 - went part-time at a University in HR, setting up a bank of casual staff for them. Stayed there for nearly 10 years and got promoted/seconded several times within HR.  I got my Masters in HRM and was a Development Facilitator by the time I left to move away

Age 40 - went self-employed as a blogger and social media manager and 8 years later I'm still doing the same

I've had an up and down relationship with being self-employed over the last eight years as I've struggled with feeling as if I am doing enough. I've always been a very driven person and I thrive on being needed and gaining a sense of satisfaction. So, the fact that I can earn money fairly easily from blogging and don't have any colleagues relying on me has been tough at times.

I feel like I've now come to a place of acceptance though. In this season of my life, working part-time from home really works and it allows me time to look after my family and home, as well as taking time to just relax and enjoy the things I want to. Yes, I am very blessed!

So, as you can see from my potted work history, your career does not have to be a straight A - B, it can be a meander with a trip via many detours and still lead you somewhere that is right for you and feels fulfilling.

The moral of this story? When your kids tell you what they want to do in life, support and encourage them and don't limit their ambition. Allow them to go their own way, make their own mistakes and hopefully end up doing something they love, and that fulfils them. Not all children go to University and become doctors and that is perfect. Where would we be, without all the other vocations?

Currently, I've got one maths genius who wants to go to Oxford next year, one who is working hard to get good grades to be accepted to be a paramedic and one who changes career choices quite regularly and that's OK. They're all good kids and they'll do just fine when they find their niche. There's no hurry....

Why not pin this post for later?

A potted version of my work history showing how I became a self-employed blogger earning a good living at age 40

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