There has been a lot of talk about exam results over the last week or so. You or your child may have been one of those affected this year – either positively or negatively. Whatever the situation, this is not the place to get into the rights or wrongs of what has happened.
Personally, I was rubbish at exams! I am originally from well south of the border, and was the second cohort to take on the GCSE’s which had a bit more coursework that counted to the final result, but was still quite exam heavy at the time. But what I have learned over the years is that as important as our time at school and those exam results are, they do not necessarily close any doors to a positive future. We should all make the most of any learning and development opportunities that come our way throughout our lives, especially at school but through our later years too. But we should also never think that we’re stuck on a particular path if it isn’t working out how we hoped. That’s also kind of been the theme of our #MondayMotivation images that we’ve been sharing each week.
Over the last couple of years, the social media hashtag #nowrongpath has grown momentum. This is when people share their journey to where they are now and prove the point that where you start out isn’t always where you end up. For some, they know where they want to go from an early age and make every effort to get there. But many others start out on a direction and either find it wasn’t for them or that life has opened their eyes to other opportunities. So, for this week’s blog, I thought it might be helpful to share my journey to where I am now, that will hopefully serve as encouragement for those who think they may be stuck or not sure where to go or what to do.
- Left school with 3 GCSE’s;
- Took and passed a 1 year Construction Course at college – planning on being an architect;
- Re-sat 2 GCSE’s and passed 1;
- Switched plan and started a 2 year Business and Finance Course;
- Got offered, and accepted a job after the first year work experience placement on that course and began working in finance for the NHS;
- After 3 years, I was made redundant and spent a short time working as a Kitchen Porter – doing the dishes in the staff canteen of a large Pharmaceutical Company;
- Eventually got a part time job in finance at a University Student Union;
- Also got another part time job at a Christian Bookshop which later became a full time job;
- After another 3 years, I returned to finance to become a Regional Finance Assistant for a large Christian Charity;
- Left 3 years later to go to Bible College;
- 15 months later I moved to Scotland with my now wife;
- Spent 4 months working as a Chef in a busy Restaurant;
- Spent 18 months as Assistant Cafe Manager for a Charity run Community Cafe;
- Was then involved in setting up a Charity run Furniture Re-Use Project and managed this for 6 years;
- Spent 2.5 years as Managing Director of a Furniture ReUse and Community Support Charity;
- Left to take on 2 Development Roles – one for a Community Development Trust to move them closer to having a Community and Sports facility, and the other for a large Christian Charity setting up Charity Shops and Furniture Projects;
- Also established a consultancy business, helping people to turn their Ideas to Enterprise;
- After just over 3 years, I left to work in a full time Development Role to convert a former Church to a Community Facility;
- Just over 4 years later, I am now in this Community Coach role.
I started with some wild idea to be an architect, discovered I was better at finance stuff, did a bit of catering, then got involved in charity enterprise activities, learning about development and Social Enterprise as a result, discovered a passion for “Developing Projects that enable People and Communities to be Developed”, and ended up in what for me as I am just now, is the perfect role. I guarantee this would not have been the journey a careers person at my school would have set out or even been aware of the end destination. It’s not exactly a linear path!
So, whatever stage of life you are at, or if you’re trying to encourage a child of yours along the way, be encouraged that there is no wrong path on the journey of life. And if you have a passion for something burning inside you and either don’t think you could achieve it or haven’t got a clue where to start, then I would love to help you. Please get in touch and let’s see if together, we can get you on your next right path.