I put a lot of work into getting my degree, so I was pretty annoyed when people described it as a ‘Mickey Mouse degree’. Most of my friends had studied Business, and I wanted to prove them wrong, so I fought hard to get onto a graduate scheme.
Unfortunately, in my rush to prove myself to other people, I failed to ask myself what I really wanted from my career. I thought it was all about money. For some people, it is, and that’s fine. But I wanted something different.
After three years in a sales driven environment, two friends challenged me. They knew I had been unhappy at work, and it was starting to affect me outside of work too. They set me the task of applying to jobs by the end of October, and to have started a new job by the new year. To be honest, I actually forgot about this challenge until one of my friends sent me a text in the last week of October asking how my search was going. This spurred me on, I had a look online, and there I found my dream job! Although I hadn’t enjoyed my three years at the company, when I started writing my CV, I realised how many transferrable skills I’d gained. Thankfully, those skills were enough to enable me to completely change direction and start working for a charity. My last day at my old job was Christmas Eve and I started my new career at the beginning of January.
Initially, I did ‘look back in anger’. I was angry at the way I had been treated in my old job. I was angry at myself for not leaving sooner. But once I had settled into my new career, I soon realised how much that first job had helped to boost my skill set and increase my confidence. Since then, I have worked my way up, and at each point I have been able to look back and be thankful for the skills I gained in that first job. It has also made me more grateful for my job now. So if you are going through a bad experience at work, don’t be angry about it – do something about it, and don’t forget to take something positive away from it.