The very lovely Alice over at Nipper and Tyke tagged me back in the far mists of time for #blogajob, aka the ultimate nosy person’s tag (not that I’m saying she is nosy, but I am so I’ve enjoyed seeing people’s responses). The premise is simple – The title of Alice’s original post “All the Jobs I Have Ever Done” sums up the expectation, although I’m told, much like a proper CV, omissions and poetic licence are allowed. Phew.
And so to begin:
The ‘what am I doing with my life?’ phase
You know the age I’m sure…angst and philosophy-ridden late teenage years; just about to leave school; no question that life isn’t happening and won’t be happening but what does it all mean? What am I doing with my life?
I’ll tell you what …I was scraping together cash working in a factory printing labels onto food products that were then shipped to fancy (possibly) hotels in UAE. I was also being a removal person (riding in the lorry was amazing!), working in a supermarket’s cash office (I can count! I can count money!), photocopying for days (and days), and frying the odd egg (in a leisure centre kitchen with awol staff, it was the stuff of nightmares).
The ‘what do I want to do with my life?’ phase
Aha! I am searching for direction. My temping agency sends me to less kitchens sadly and more dreary offices where I do things like help with due diligence (due what?) and data entry. Alongside this I attempt to get a grown up job that lasts longer than a few weeks.
Among other wanderings, I inadvertently stumble into an interview at a big City Bank and feel like a fish so far out of water I was building sandcastles in a desert. They (and I) wondered why I was there and they showed me the door while I admired the lovely art collection and tried to work out what the funny smell was (greed, fear and furniture polish I’m sure of it).
Respite from these horrors came in the form of a rather lovely day a week at a Swan Sanctuary. I had visions of being swan-woman and filling my house with swans. Oh and Indian Runner Ducks. The sanctuary’s ones were aptly named Alfie and Spencer (remember Spencer, whatever happened to him?).
Finally my sliding doors moment: an interview and job offer for a journalism job somewhere soulless in Canary Wharf. The next day, an interview in an oh-so-soulful converted warehouse full of creatives in Kentish Town and a job offer at an Arts Festival.
The ‘I am doing this with my life’ phase
And so it begins. The start (yes we finally got there!) of my career in the arts. A few giddy London years then off, off and away. The Festivals became bigger, the positions became more permanent and more senior and it very quickly became a viable career option without the need for my part-time job in a shoe shop, I’m a trained children’s shoe fitter don’t you know!
Sometimes I can’t really believe all the
stress experiences I had, places I went and extraordinary people I met. Meeting the giggly Desmond Tutu then watching him (and thousands of other people) dancing happily to a band I programmed is definitely up there as a standout memory.
I’ll leave the namedropping at that, but it has certainly been an adventure.
And it’s one that continues merrily without me involved. Arts everywhere – going on in villages, towns and cities all over the UK. Thoughtful, funny, silly, experimental, beautiful, traditional events…little and big opportunities to celebrate and connect with places, people and art-forms, to fuel creativity and discussion and to have a jolly good time.
The ‘I’m not doing that anymore’ phase
Lots of happy memories, but no I’m not doing that anymore and I don’t know if I ever will be again.
So what now? Well along with this lovely dabble into writing and my role as a volunteer, my tasks currently include play, play, play, play, eat, and (sometimes broken) sleep.
I often think people classify me in some fanciful ‘not working = not ambitious’ category. This is simplistic and so very wrong. I am working hard at lots of things; I don’t have paid employment, there’s a difference. I am also fiercely ambitious.
Ambition: A strong desire to do or achieve something.
I do, and I achieve and I have a burning desire to do more and achieve more with my life. Whether that is with a job title or stacks of money (unlikely) remains to be seen!
And talking of meeting people, I’ve definitely met the most extraordinary person I’ve ever met doing this role. You know where I’m going with this don’t you!? He’s, oh I don’t know, about yay high…likes ice cream and tractors, calls me Mummy…
Ta da! My CV. Sort of. Not really. And now I need to tag other bloggers. I’m going to throw it out there to the following. As ever with these thing, please don’t feel any obligation to do this, but if you need something for a rainy day here you are.
Kate (K) at LesBeMums
Annie at My Inner Onion
Nicola at Rust and Stardust
Claire at Art and Soul