When I was in school, I wasn’t one of those people who was drawn to a career and knew exactly how they were going to get there. I knew I wanted to do something that included the arts perhaps, but that was about it.
By the time uni came around I wanted to get into production, TV or radio, I wasn’t fussed, but most of my experience was in radio so that’s what I focused on. Once I finished uni however, this was hard to get into without having to work for free. I loved the hours spent at a radio station though, I even used to travel to Oxford every day for a couple of weeks and never minded the long commute or the long days. But, having dreams of being independent and moving out outweighed my dream of going into production. My parents definitely would have supported me, don’t get it wrong, but I wanted to land on my feet as soon as possible.
So, I fell into marketing. A uni friend of mine was working in an agency at the time and she told me about a job opportunity. I applied and I got it; it really was that simple.
Almost 8 years later and I’m still in marketing. I have worked on the most amazing brands and the coolest projects, but for a while, it hasn’t felt fulfilling, nor worthwhile. Other friends of mine have real adult jobs in finance, the voluntary sector or therapy. Actually helping people. I, on the other hand, help sell booze to millions around the world…
Many people within marketing love their job and so they should, so many elements are so interesting and interacting with clients on a day to day is great, but my heart wasn’t in it anymore. Not for a long while.
A Global Pandemic
The long hours, amongst other things, made me quit my last job in Feb, ready to start at a new agency in March. But when Covid-19 hit and the lockdown was imminent, they put my hire on ‘pause’ just 3 days before I was meant to start. So now I have all this free time. And what better way to while away the time, than figure out my next steps. Now, granted, I’m pregnant so career-wise, my next steps are, nothing. But this is the time to try and figure out other avenues I can explore.
Production would be a dream, but I have bills, a mortgage and family to pay for and support, so I can’t afford a career move that’ll mean a significant drop in earnings, even if I did have recent relevant experience. So, what else is there and what support do I need?
A Career Coach?
I’ve thought about getting a career coach, but have you seen the price of those?! I found an excellent service in SEVEN but couldn’t justify the cost at this time (£2,156 + VAT ). They had a really good roadmap to help you find your way, which made sense to me:
- Clarify – here is where they encourage you to draw on all the skills you acquired over the years, including work experience, as well as all the activities and personal projects you focus on outside of work.
- Qualify – distil all the skills and passion points into clear career buckets, that may be more enjoyable/worthwhile. It may even be that you need to explore a different avenue of your current career, rather than starting from scratch.
- Implement – once a path is chosen, clear goals will be set to help you make your way there.
I had a free phone consultation and trust me when I say I was sold, the only drawback was the money, especially where I wasn’t earning anymore.
However, I have since found a free service where trainee coaches give free sessions to help their portfolio. With Coach Me Free their trainee coaches offer at least 3 free sessions, while their qualified coaches offer 1 free session. So, this could definitely be an option. I’ll be looking into this over the next few weeks and I’ll update you on if I decide to go this route or brave it on my own.
This is the perfect time to acquire new skills and there are so many free workshops, taster sessions and free or discounted courses to help advance your career or help you make a career move. Here’s what I’ve been up to in the last couple of weeks.
I found free workshops on how to work for yourself, have the flexibility and work from the comfort of your own home (which all work for me as I’ll soon be a stay at home mum, at least for a year). Rather than sign up to their courses, some being hundreds of pounds to complete, I found a course on Udemy that has actually helped me pull this blog together, so we’ll see how I get on. If working for yourself or blogging is your thing and you’re willing to spend a bit of money on honing your skills, then, by all means, check out some great ladies with interesting backstories and advice: Kate Kordsmeier, The Bucketlist Bombshells and Blogging In The Fast Lane.
But through the Udemy course, added to the free sessions I did, I’ve learnt so much about hosting, content creation and striking partnerships and am so excited to see where this takes me, so watch this space!
This is something I’ve always been interested in but, I don’t exactly fit the bill of what you’d have in mind for a coder, however, a sponsored ad for _Nology came up on my Instagram for a free workshop and I joined it! It was just to make a piano site that could play and look like a piano, probably quite simple code, but I got so excited that I could do it! It was fast-paced but I found it so interesting that I was tempted to sign up to their 3-month course. But again, with a little one on the way it seemed like a waste to do now, only to then not use what I’ve learnt for a year or so.
Instead, I signed up to a free Harvard course: Introduction to Computer Science! This is a 12-week program that I’m yet to start but I’ll let you know how I get on! If I enjoy this, then Hubby and I have agreed that I’ll sign up for _Nology towards the end of next year and then I can start 2022 with a bang!
A skill I’ve always wanted to pick up and I’m sure will come in handy in the future. Again, I haven’t gotten started with this one, but found a discounted course on Udemy so I’ll see how I go.
I can accept failure. Everyone fails at something. But I can’t accept not trying.Michael Jordan
Basically, I’m investing in myself and trying to gain skills that’ll be needed for the foreseeable, that can be used in a career that I love and can be used while working from home, global pandemic or not. In the meantime, hopefully, my blog will inspire anyone out there, who has felt lost, to find their way. This is definitely trial and error and I may suck at some of the above but hey, at least I’m trying.
I’ll keep you posted!