By Daisy Bavage NeedToLive Administrator
I never thought that I would be where I am today…
In the current age that we’re living in, getting a job is pretty difficult- let alone getting one that you like! There is a whole lot besides determination that goes into securing a position that you actually want; qualifications, experience, your network and contacts, and sometimes just pure luck. And even with these, you’re still not guaranteed anything!
So, I had accepted, after 5 years of working in retail and fast food, that this was my future. I had been told several times that I was ‘better than that’, and there was a part of me that agreed. I knew I couldn’t exactly call myself a guru of anything, and I didn’t have a degree, but I felt that certain qualities that I possessed were being lost in the retail industry.
Don’t get me wrong- I loved the customer service part of my job! I genuinely thrived off helping customers and improving their experience, even if it was something as simple as helping them to choose which lipstick to go for. I have so many memories from my retail days that I actually cherish- helping a bewildered husband buy some beauty products for his wife from the very vague list she had provided, and getting to witness the visible relief when he realised that I was capable and determined to help. Catching up with regular customers and hearing all their updates about grandchildren, holidays they’d been on…I was truly grateful for that aspect of my job.
Having said that, I couldn’t help but feel like I wasn’t fulfilling my potential. I know myself well, and I am very aware of my strengths and weaknesses. My high quality customer service skills very being fully utilised, but with my motivation, attitude and general mental drive, I felt I could be much more fulfilled in a ‘proper’ career.
However, I was not really in the position to have this mindset. My work experience was explicitly within retail and catering, and I hadn’t been to university. This didn’t exactly make me a strong candidate for a ‘career’ job- being good at promoting loyalty cards wasn’t exactly going to land me a job in marketing…
And so, I accepted that my career prospects went as far as the shops in Drake Circus shopping centre. I would be stuck in a job that I had to do- we all have bills to pay!
At the beginning of 2019, I started to get restless. I realised that I needed to at least try to find a job that I could feel fulfilled in. I started applying for Admin jobs, as I thought this would be a good way of getting into a ‘career’ type job, without necessarily having to have suitable qualifications.
Unfortunately, it was as I had guessed; I would get plenty of interviews, but when it came down to it, there was always someone with more relevant experience.
It was starting to look like my only option was voluntary work experience. I’m not completely opposed to the idea; I really enjoyed my time volunteering in a charity shop. Even though I wasn’t getting paid, I was thriving off being in a working environment and having responsibility. But, as I said- we all have bills to pay.
I decided to at least try voluntary work, and so started sending out emails and calling companies in the hopes that they would allow me to get some work experience with them.
In my first week of doing this, I stumbled upon a job ad on Indeed for another admin job. Even though I was pretty defeated at that point, I decided to give it a go.
I was quite intrigued by the job, as rather than just sending off my CV, I was asked to complete a questionnaire, with questions regarding travel and hospitality. It didn’t feel like I was applying for a job; it was all quite interesting and fun!
Much to my surprise, I got a call asking me to come in for an interview.
I was pleasantly shocked at how well it went; I had never felt so relaxed in a job interview! There were of course standard interview questions such as talking about a time I made a mistake in work and how I dealt with it, but the whole time it just felt like I was chatting to friends!
When my family and friends asked me after the interview how it went, I would reply that I wasn’t getting my hopes up that I had got the job, but I had a really positive experience and was genuinely grateful for it.
I couldn’t believe it when I got the call offering me the job!
I started my first week, and could not believe my luck. All the work I was doing was stimulating and interesting, and the hours flew by- it never felt like I was ‘at work’, where your shift drags and you can’t wait to leave. I couldn’t wait to get in the office!
Even though the job advert was for ‘admin’ work, I found myself in a diverse and dynamic role, managing all sorts of responsibilities including researching upcoming events, finding desirable destinations for luxury trips, writing the company brochure, helping to manage social influencers and so much more!
I am so grateful that TMA International and The NeedToLive placed their trust in me to fill the role and saw my potential without judging by experience and qualifications- to say that this is rare in an employer is a massive understatement, and I count myself very lucky to be part of the exception.
So what I’m trying to say (in what has turned into an unintentionally large article!); it is possible to shift from a job that you have to do, to a job that you want. In my case, it was down to luck that I applied for a job with such an open and accepting company- it’s not always going to be so easy.
Take hope from my story that you can have a job that you love!
Author: Daisy Bavage
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