From a very early age we are asked to share with others – whether it be teachers or fellow students – what we wish to be when we “grow up”. This is true throughout our lives, from children who haven’t even mastered the art of tying their shoelaces through to young adults in the final stages of their education. Statements from youngsters are taken with the proverbial pinch of salt, but, as we grow, there is much more emphasis placed on making a clear career decision. Doctor, barrister, engineer, chef…the list is endless. But why should we ever have to decide?
Rolling back to 20 years ago, I remember watching every crime drama going, on television with my dad. Inspector Morse & Detective Frost were regular characters in my teens, and I found the criminal justice system so interesting, that I strongly believed I wanted to pursue this in my career. Then Ally McBeal came along and the decision was cemented – I was going to be a lawyer!
After studying law at A-Level, I went on to gain a 2:1 degree in the subject from Northumbria University in Newcastle. Finding it difficult to secure the training contract required to continue with my chosen path, I opted to settle down and start a family, whilst continuing to work in the legal profession, as a personal injury litigation executive. It wasn’t for me and I knew I had so much more to give, but it suited home life and, like many people today, I was stuck in a rut.
Following redundancy and a further addition to my family, a social media notification two years ago was all it took to start the ball rolling with a new path that went on to propel me to where I am today. I didn’t even know what PR was until a few days prior to meeting Scriba’s founder, Katie. I would never have dreamt that I would become an operations manager of an agency – helping to run an office, plan training, organise events and deal with recruitment, amongst countless other tasks. I manage accounts system, liaise with our clients, arrange awards ceremonies and keep the office stocked with everything we could possibly need. My responsibilities go on and on, and I love the variety of my role and the amount of learning and development I have been exposed to in such a short time.
A key thing to remember is that skills are transferable to so many different careers. If you are a great communicator and problem solver, with excellent time management awareness plus a drive and enthusiasm for a new challenge, then you are an ideal candidate for a position requiring these disciplines, regardless of the sector.
It goes without saying that you cannot suddenly decide because you like watching Casualty that you can become a surgeon, but at the same time there is no reason why you cannot seek further education later in life – our career paths are not laid out for us, we choose them.
A firm believer in fate, I think I was always destined to meet Katie and work at Scriba PR, but my earlier life and education provided me with the skills I needed for the role I have carved here. I’ve found my passion now, and I didn’t discover it until the age of 32. Did you know that Walt Disney started out as a newspaper editor and J.K Rowling a secretary – people’s lives alter and so can their careers. This is why nobody should ever fear change. Go for it!
My interest in the legal profession remains – but I’ll definitely stick to PR and just watch Line of Duty from my sofa!