Wednesday, 9 December 2015

My Career Path Thusfar

This post idea is whole-heartedly taken from this beautifully shot piece by Siobhan (whose amazing new blog look has me itching to update my own site... Go take a look!)

I loved hearing about the jobs she has had, especially because I understand the feeling of not wanting to be pushed into one narrow path, to be followed until I retire.

As a child I wanted to do it all: to be a vet on a Monday; a singer on a Tuesday (thankfully that never moved beyond the pipe dream stage); an actor on Wednesdays; a writer on Thursdays and a painter on Fridays... I no doubt had plans for what I'd be doing work-wise on the weekend, too.

In school I liked pretty much everything, eventually choosing to do languages at university because I hoped it would yield more opportunities than other subjects.

If you, like me, find the idea of being pushed into doing just one thing simultaneously terrifying and dull beyond belief, you have to watch this video. Seriously, it will do you so much good.

In the meantime, I am a 23 year old French & German graduate with a little gaggle of jobs in my past, and today I wanted to tell you about them...


Yup, I'm not kidding you... My first job was cleaning out the chicken shed on a family friend's farm. At age 12 I was paid £2.50 or so for maybe a couple of hours' work and I loved it. Not the mucky specifics of the job; there is nothing glam about a week's worth of chicken sh*t, let's be real. Instead I loved feeling like I was independent, and my hen impressions at this time were solid gold. Dr Dolittle I was not, but was I training my ear for my language skills later in life? (Probably not.)


After my chicken shed days were behind me, I started babysitting for friends and neighbours for what I realise now were hilariously good rates. I remember being damn good at it; I love kids and I wasn't down for being a sitter who'd plonk themselves in front of the TV and ignore the sound of children's feet out of bed, oh no. They'd be in bed and asleep or they'd have to endure the punishment of me sitting in earshot, ready to call them out on any shenanigans. I also had a wicked trick for making kids fall asleep when they really needed to... It never failed me.


At 15 we did our two weeks of work experience, and I was very excited to be working for the Motor Neurone Disease Association. I'd chosen to apply to a charity as I had no idea what I wanted to do career-wise (little has changed) so I thought I'd try something that felt really helpful. However, the week beforehand brought a phone call, saying that they were sorry but they had to cancel on me. (I was pretty gutted.)

Long story short, my mum mentioned the situation to the ladies working in her favourite shop, and some rules were bent so that I could spend two weeks with them. I again loved it, and was asked to stay on to help out on the odd Saturday. Being the first to open all the boxes of new clothes was my favourite part of the job by far!


All UK language students are expected to take part in a Year Abroad, and as part of this our uni suggested that students studying two languages aim to spend time in two countries. My position started just five days after I finished my second year of uni, originally set to last two months but I ended up staying for another month as I was having so much fun. Being an aupair is always an intense experience, but I was lucky that it was intense in purely a positive sense. I loved the hyperactive five year old I was in charge of, her parents were fantastic and the surrounding area was utterly stunning. It was one of the best summers of my life and I still chat to friends I made there now!

A photo posted by Anna (@byhermirror) on


Alas, this was the only job on this list that I really didn't love. In retrospect, much of it was to do with the work environment - the team I was on was very unhappy and while things never got nasty, it was clear there were problems from long before I got there that were not going anywhere. Thankfully I loved the kids I was teaching and my home life was really happy, but it's made me want to put off any thoughts of teaching for a long time yet.


And now we come to my current job, one that started when I got back from France... and I love it. At present I work at the very same shop I did my work experience, but I get to be involved with lots of aspects of the business, including writing copy and taking product photos for the website. I work with a lovely team and every day is different. At times it can be much more demanding than you might think for a shop floor position... but I love it and I learn something new every day.

So there you have it... Head to the comments to tell me about your career experiences - what were your best and worst jobs?


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