By Hannah Goodwin, Guest Blogger
I was very privileged to be brought up by loving parents, who despite not being able to give me as much as they wanted growing up, were able to support me and provide me with a Grammar School education.
My peers at school were very set on what they deemed ‘a talented student’. The students who excelled in Maths and Science or dreamed of becoming a doctor or lawyer were given top priority and the utmost support and guidance, over those with creative tendencies like me. The trouble was…I had no idea if I wanted to spend the rest of my life fighting someone else’s battles in a courtroom! I was 15 years old and was expected to know my dream job and my skills in the workplace!
Not only was I unaware of what I wanted to do with my life, but I also didn’t quite understand the weight of what my peers were asking of me at such a young age and so I let the pressure break me down into a very insecure and anxious girl. When the time came to decide whether or not to go to Sixth Form, I was in the early stages of depression with terrible grades and no ambition to improve them in time. Instead, I decided to leave school at 16 years old and take an apprenticeship in hairdressing at Toni&Guy, as I recalled having a passion for it in my early teens. Unfortunately, my depression from high school had declined into diagnosed clinical depression and severe anxiety and I was forced to quit my position at Toni&Guy, to focus on my mental health and finally take the time to discover my passion in life.
Through the next 2 years, I tried my hand at just about everything I found remotely interesting. I completed a Music Production course at my city college, where I was able to express my love for singing and playing guitar, which was incredible for my emotional stability.
Next, I completed a Business & Administration course, where I found my focus on administrative tasks and interest in the operations of large corporations.
Then, I began working full-time in the national outdoors retailer, Trespass, where I was promoted to Store Supervisor after 2 months of working as a Sales Assistant. Here, I found my ability in leadership and customer service.
I took a rather large leap at 18 years old and accepted a position within the British Holiday provider, Eurocamp and moved to Europe to work as a Holiday Representative. I stayed with this company for 5 whole years and in this time, I was promoted through the ranks to Team Leader and lived in several parts of Italy and France. Here, I found my strong independence, my confidence and my love for traveling.
When you take all of these lessons that I learned in those 2 years, you can see how I ended up becoming a strong, self assured young woman, who despite her lack of University education, gained enough life experience to still make her parents extremely proud and also, impress a CEO of a company enough to hire someone without the impressive degree, but with a background of tough skin, leadership capabilities and a hunger to learn and grow. I am now, at 23 years old, a HR & Events Manager for TMA International Ltd. That is worth more than any degree that I could’ve been pressured into.