INSPIRE - MENTOR - COACH
Growing up entailed the same constant question, ‘What do you want to be when you grow up?’. Being good natured and polite, despite the question driving me completely mad I would always answer ‘I don’t know’. But what I did know, was that I would complete my GCSES, my A-Levels, apply to university, write some sort of dissertation, graduate and start in an entry level position at a corporate giant and work my way up - the ‘classic’ cycle. I assumed that with my education and the knowledge of Venn diagrams, bunsen burners and algebra I was sure to succeed.
I had had a great education and I was a good student. I did everything that was expected of me and got the top prize. I was the type of individual who listened, worked hard and got on with it. I graduated from the University of Leeds with a 1st class degree in Communications and Media, had a year during my course to study in the USA and almost immediately after graduating was lucky enough to step onto the first step of the career ladder and ready to work my way up the system with a great grad scheme opportunity at an incredible PR company in central London. A peachy set up some may say.
I would learn all I could, have the chance to move up and go on to do incredible work, because after all the stereotypical 9-5 working life gives you the foundation to do ‘anything’
Errr… Hang on a moment
Wake up at the crack of dawn
Face the morning commute and observe the facial expressions and body language of your fellow travellers.
Close your eyes and imagine doing that for 25 years
Ask yourself if that floats your boat
Accept that it has to float your boat.
Get to work. Sit down all day. Eat lunch at your desk.
Face the evening commute home.
That’s the majority’s view of what work is like.
After three months of monotony, almost as immediately as I stepped onto the ladder, I then stepped off of it at the end of my 3 month contract by choice, after it sucked away my soul.
I had a blinding insight. A sort of nearly quarter life crisis. It smacked me in the face as to what I DID NOT WANT. I did not want to commute every day, sit at a desk staring at a screen, work for an unknown individual at the very top of the chain and have monotonous days after monotonous days... I wanted to do me. After having constant panics that came often and in waves that I didn’t have any passions outside of work, bizarrely, my passion in this instance was right in front of me, a very important and incredibly large concept - LIFE. I’m aware at 22 that this is an enormous statement to make and I’m fairly sure everyone is aware of it and feels the same about it. But, surprisingly, very few do anything about it.
I decided I wanted to live my life how I wanted to live it, not how society expected me to live it. This meant not being what was expected but what was meaningful to me. This journey would mean continually defending my decisions to everyone, making harder decisions about how to carve up my time, really figuring out what I can do - my skills, my passion, my strengths, my weaknesses.. It means long days and nights wondering if I am nuts. It means hard work thinking about things that I had never thought about before - my products, my value, my marketing and my brand. How would I make a living? Would people buy into me as an individual? Many questions and multiple answers. Nothing that I had been taught in school or university.
People are beginning to realise that life is short, and doing what makes you happy gives you a far greater fulfilment than monotony at work. This is the generation of the start-up and the sideline business with the capability to work from your laptop or smartphone and even big businesses are starting to get a piece of the action. Not only this, but it's now almost an expectation to be able to earn money from more than one source. The reward for doing what you love creates such a buzz no wonder it’s become addictive.
This is my story. A story which I have a passion to SHARE, INSPIRE and TEACH about giving insights to those who desire it. Not from someone who has been in industry for 30+ years, but from a millennial. A millennial who does not know all the answers, but a millennial who is learning a whole lot more by living a portfolio life in the 21st century. With technology at our fingertips, emotion in our hearts and brains filled with thoughts - let’s make the most of it. I’d like to be an ambassador to those, like me, who were too scared to divert from the ‘norm’, take a chance, believe in yourself, invest in yourself and make a start on creating your own future.