‘What do you want to be when you grow up?’
‘An Astronaut! A Rockstar! A Policeman! A Teacher! A Vet!’
This is all a conversation which, I imagine, we’ve had or heard in our lives. Maybe it was when you were younger with your friends at school, maybe it’s with your own children if you have them, or maybe it is with yourself trying to decide what you want to do. But sometimes the answer isn’t always so easy, especially when the decision of what you want to be is actually going to affect your life.
You may have seen on TV a teen drama like One Tree Hill, Riverdale, Gossip Girl etc and on there it depicts that all of these characters have it all worked out (well not all of it, they obviously have trouble and things which they need to work out) but throughout the series they seem as if they know what they want in life. Which career path, which goals, and that is what they spend their time working towards. But in real life, we may feel it’s not that easy. When you pick your options in school, GCSEs or A-Levels, you sometimes don’t know the path which you want to take. You don’t know if History will help you more than Geography, whether to go French over German, or if Physics outweighs Biology.
Well I was definitely in that situation. For my GCSEs I ended up picking Drama, History, German and Food Technology, and for my A-Levels I picked Drama, Media & Psychology, before switching Psychology for Design & Technology in my second year, but I had no link as to why I picked them, or whether I wanted to use them for anything in my future, I just knew I enjoyed them! Throughout my time in school and college I batted between ideas of what I wanted to do, I wanted to be a Teacher, a Youth Worker, a Theatre Technician, an Actor and probably more in between, but I could never settle a decision on one.
When I finished college I ended up becoming a Teaching Assistant, and I did this for 2 years before becoming a Learning Mentor within a school. I loved my job, but something didn’t feel right, I still felt like there was something else I wanted to be doing. While working at the schools I continued to volunteer through Youth Work in the evening, as well as continuing to fuel my love for drama and theatre by attending shows, reading and more.
After around 5 years working in the school I decided that I wanted to move onto teaching in a full time position and therefore I visited Brighton University, applied for the course, took all the pre-exams which were needed and was all geared up ready to begin my studying when I realised that, actually, this still didn’t feel right. So, I contacted the university, explained my situation and that I would not be continuing onto the course, and that was the end of that.
However, I still felt I needed to move on from my job in the school, and so I continued to think and search with what I was going to do next. While I was thinking about what I was going to do, I looked into jobs within different theatres near me, but couldn’t find anything I wanted. However, throughout all of this I continued to volunteer with Youth Work. I talked to my parents about it, and friends around me, and it became clear to me that now was the time that maybe I took that step further and tried to pursue Youth Work as a full-time thing. It just seemed to be everything I did was calling me in that direction, so I listened, and I went for it.
I went through Oasis College, completed the courses I needed to do, and began to apply for jobs. I sent off applications to 4 different jobs and heard back from all 4, with 3 of them offering me the job. However, I said no… to all 3. At the time, I don’t know why I said no, I had worked for this and had been offered the role I wanted, not once but three times. However, it felt right saying no. There was something about these jobs that clearly wasn’t talking to me and calling me to say yes. I continued on with my job in the school and gave up hunting for a Youth Worker role. It obviously wasn’t meant to be, and I had accepted that. It was some time later that I was sent the job description for where I am now. It was the role I wanted, it included all the type of work I wanted to do, and it was only 10 minutes from my home! I applied, was offered the role and, this time, I accepted. Nearly 2 years later and here I am now, writing this to you.
But you’ve probably read all of this and are now sat there thinking ‘so what?’.
Well the point I am trying to get across is that, for anyone who is worried and concerned about what comes next, what they should do or pick, especially at a time like this, then you don’t need to be afraid.
You don’t need to be afraid to say no if something doesn’t feel right.
You don’t need to be afraid to break out of your comfort zone and try something which might help you in the future.
You don’t need to be afraid of what the future will bring, because there is always time to think about it and find the help and support where needed.
You don’t need to have it all planned out. You just have to try as best as you can.
“The best way to predict your future is to create it.” ― Abraham Lincoln
This week’s resource…
Video: Original Cast Perform "When I Grow Up" | Matilda The Musical
Can be found: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2LMn5MS8_Ag
About: They're all grown up! The original cast of Matilda the Musical have reunited and recorded this beautiful rendition of "When I Grow Up" in support of the NHS.