Today I’ve read two inspiring blogs. Read them here and here. Blogs where I wish my story was like theirs. Maybe I could say that I was the one who didn’t really get it at school, the style didn’t suit me, and I wasn’t engaged. Except that wasn’t really me. Yeah there were some subjects that I didn’t like….Physics! I think that was more about the teacher though – scary man with a beard and stern face… Everything else, I pretty much loved. I was that quiet mouse in the corner that people called a ‘swot’. I hid under my hair, I did my homework, I studied like mad for exams and I was devastated if I got less than a B, and I was disappointed at that!
This doesn’t mean that I was a straight A student though. I did well in the subjects I was passionate about, which was basically English and Media Studies and the rest I worked hard at and got good results. Same goes at A-Level. I didn’t get a first degree. I took a year out and then went to uni but I got it wrong. I didn’t enjoy my course and after the first term I left. I ‘gave up’, but I knew it was right for me. I had absolutely no idea of the path I wanted to take – I’d always been an academic and wanted to achieve. It’s what drives me, and I’m terrified about ‘failing’. After a career in retail management and studying gems and jewellery, I ended up going straight to a part time master degree, which was brilliant – I was learning and applying at the same time. It totally works for me – I need to apply it for it to really make sense. I see no point otherwise. For three years I was terrified of failing. My masters was in HR Management and I was surrounded by people who were already pro’s – what could I offer in a debate? I wonder this same thing every day, but I find that my opinions form, they shift and they develop, the more I read and ‘listen’. I’m the lurker that’s quietly taking it all in, considering my stance. For a little insight, read Quiet. I smile way too much when I read this – I’m most definitely an introvert, with extrovert tendencies if I find the right energy source!
Now, my chosen path is risky. I forgot to mention that when it comes to life choices, I’m pretty risk averse! Yet here I am consciously choosing not to have a perm job, and trying to follow my heart. Did I mention that what’s in my heart keepings morphing into something slightly different almost daily…? There’s nothing more certain than change they say…
So what am I actually blogging about you ask? Well. I’m a traditional academic and a qualification junkie, but I love learning and being inspired by things and people. I’ve always recognised that just because I value academia, that doesn’t mean that others have to follow my path. What’s important is that you find what works for you. The life experiences you have and the people you meet along the way give you far more value that you realise. I am extremely fortunate to have travelled around the world, exploring beautiful countries and meeting exceptional people who life extraordinary lives. This is the best experience I’ve ever had, and the learning I gained from travel and appreciating different cultures and ways in which people live their lives, has inspired me to do more. I’ve also had a few good managers who have believed in me and given me autonomy to do what I love. If you’re an employer, or have some recruiting clout, hire the school leavers and encourage them to think broadly and dream big. If you can, encourage career breaks so people of all ages can experience something else, and hopefully come back to you! Nurture the talent and support growth. Forget the academic stuff as essential – yeah it’s nice to have, but practical stuff is always better (in my humble opinion). I seek out beautiful surroundings and people who inspire me to think differently, not the same as everyone else. Make the journey work for you. (Photo credit – me!)