Friday, 26 January 2018

Is A Career Change A Bad Idea?

I have been thinking a lot recently about change. Not for any reason really but I suppose I am subliminally seeing a lot about it. It is January after all, if you don't see one post on dieting you are a very lucky person indeed. It seems to be everywhere doesn't? Change yourself now for a better, newer you. It always seems so very physically based as well, I mean bodily. We are urged to change ourselves to make life better. Will doing that make life better though? I spend most days thinking that if I am thinner I will be happier. Why? Because I genuinely think that. I am also fed that by the world which doesn't help, but there is a big part of me that thinks or rather remembers, when I was thinner I was happy. But let's be real. There is a reason why I can't click my fingers anymore and just be skinny. I chose a different life. I chose a life of family eating and even though I exercise regularly it usually ends with a cup of tea, some chocolate and a cuddle with my husband. Why? Because that's what I choose over skinniness. So when all the "be a better version of you" adverts come round all linking to your physical looks, I think that at the start of a year wouldn't it be more  popular to share "life change" based adverts instead? I know they are there, and maybe it's what I read that means I don't see them, but we can all recognise that if we want a new start, a fresh start, there are loads of ways to do that without changing what's on our plate.

From a young age I wanted to work with kids. I had the opportunity to test out what I wanted to do in year 10 in work experience week. I knew that it confirmed I would be working in schools, but I never, ever wanted to be a teacher. In a way I knew they had more to consider than a teaching assistant and I knew I didn't want that responsibility. I wanted to work with kids on a different level, much closer to them trying to really support their individual needs. After my GCSEs I went to college to get myself a diploma in childcare and education that would mean I was qualified for the job. I was guided into university knowing full well that I wasn't going to be taking my PGCE year to complete my teacher training certificate. I would get my degree in education and early childhood studies and then become an overqualified teaching assistant. And that's what I did and I loved it. I got myself a job one day after my graduation in a high flying school in the city and spent 3 years there before I got pregnant. I then took a year's maternity leave and within that time my family purchased a flower shop in town. My sister was a florist and for them it was all a great opportunity. For me, it was an exciting family project to be part of and it kind of came down to me and my sister to make something of it. Latterly in my maternity leave we all set up the business and started working there. That was only for a short time before I headed back to school, to work solidly for the time it would take which would mean I could keep my maternity pay. The months just flew by and it wasn't long until I left teaching knowing that I was going into another job that was going to suit where my life was then. 
I never formally trained in floristry, but it came as second nature. I really loved it and took to it so well. My sister controlled everything and I was really just a shop girl who was given an opportunity to grow creatively. I don't think I would have ever started this blog if I was still working in a school. Being in the flower shop opened up a whole new world for me really; it really made me fall in love with art all over again and it stretched my imagination into the possibilities a making so much. And this was on such a low level. I know it was so good for me because I don't have it anymore and it's now been 2 years since I worked full time in the flower shop. I started to reduce my days more once I had Etta and I decided to leave the flower shop as it stopped suiting how we were living. Onto another new project which only became possible from the blog again as I went to take photos of products for a local company. Now I never would have worked there if I hadn't been in the shop and developed my love for creative projects. I worked there one day a week and it meant that I was a stay at home mum for the rest of the time.

When I look back and see where I was and then where I went, it's hard to have ever imagined that when I started out on my career path that it would ever end up anywhere near where I find myself. I changed to make my life better, and for the family it was about making our life better. It was about making time to socialise, making time to holiday in term times, not having to be tied down in the same way to the constraints of formal job positions. I changed to make life better and it inevitably has. Since having kids, and them now both being in school, I am reflecting again on what I should do, but so much of me knows that working in a school probably isn't it. 

Moving career from education to creativity was a crazy step. I went into a new job totally blind, then onto another job with no education and only self taught processes carry me through it. People placed their faith in me though and I have delivered. I have learned, I have grown and what's more, I have helped improve our family life tenfold because Rob and I work for our family and nothing more. It's not to get a higher pay rate, it's not to work up any kind of ladder; we work for our family so we can have the way of life we want. I think something we realised so early on was that that was all we wanted. Us. We needed no more and we built what we could afford and live how we can afford and that is good enough for us. Rob has this saying that "there is always more money" and he is right. Not in the banks, but there is always more opportunity if you choose to look for it. And most of the time there is paid opportunity where ever you look for it. 

My career isn't glittering, but years ago I started to make different choices in my work life and where I am now is just where I need to be. And for me that probably means it's not where I am going to be in six months time, but it means that I am still in a career that is perfect for my life.



  1. I can relate to so much of this Emily- I too am in a totally different scenario (and a pretty good one to be honest that works for our family) than I thought I would be. I have a broadcast journalism degree, and whilst i have moments where I wish I was still working in radio, in reality what I was doing just isn't compatible with family life if you want to be there for your kids before and after school (my hours were 6am -10am and 4pm - 7pm!)I agree that opportunity is everywhere though if you look hard enough for it, and are prepared to utilise and adapt your skills. You take beautiful photographs, so I can totally imagine you working in product styling and photography, or something similarly creative! x

  2. Thanks Becky. Life is full of surprises so its so good you can just make work work for the family. we really find that the most important thing. And now, i am not really planning a career in blogging just seeing what the opportunities are as they come by! Have a good week!


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