When I was in my late teens I had an abundance of confidence. I knew exactly where I wanted to be, what I wanted to do and who I wanted to do it with.
As a young fresher at University I asked the Editor of the Newspaper if I could write magazine style, Women’s interest type articles. She said no. I rolled my eyes as I received a very patronizing and dismissive email. Instead of being deterred I hunted down the senior student who would be replacing the current editor the following year. I asked if I could arrange a meeting with her and pitched her my idea of a starting a thought provoking ‘Women’s section’. To my delight she loved the idea (and my perseverance) and I went on to create and edit a challenging and controversial Women’s section.
After University, without securing a paid job or apartment, I packed up my bags and ‘moved’ to London. I had just begun an internship at a popular women’s magazine and with my family three and a half hours away I knew I had to jump in to London life if I was to give myself the best chance at achieving my dreams.
Thinking back the idea of slumming it in bedsits and friends floors whilst attempting to shine at a once in a lifetime Magazine internship seems impossible not to mention undesirable. Admittedly, I was a bit ridiculous and possibly naive but I was ballsy, brave and prepared to work hard.
Now three years on with all of the right qualifications, internships and experience I find myself working in advertising. I love the people and the enjoy coming to work every day but I have to admit it’s a far cry from my writing passion and not what I set out to do. When I first started I still had high hopes for a career in journalism but opportunities during the recession where few and far between and although I came close a number of times, I never got that first step on the ladder.
About a year ago I resided with the fact that I simply wasn’t talented enough and that I should, as I was advised by everyone around me, to take on any opportunity I can find. Feeling deflated I happily took the advice and became a ‘yes’ Woman. Thankfully I’m now climbing the ladder and I am appreciative of every opportunity I have been given and grateful that I actually have a job in these testing times but in all honesty, looking back at myself I wish I was that little bit braver again.
After leaving University and entering the real world the first few years are of course going to be a bit of a shock for any generation but I can’t help feeling that the graduates of the recession have been dealt a difficult hand. Even the most confident of Women due to lack of security and fear of stiff competition from more experience candidates, have sacrificed our creative and free-spirited attitude. I know times are hard and the reality is that sometimes you don’t get what you want but I can’t help feeling that loss of control. It can seem like external situations and other people have re-written my career and have at times re-written who I want to be.
Although tempted to sulk, I must point out the positive spin offs to this predicament. The recession has definitely made us all a that bit more financially aware and has undoubtedly contributed to the rise of the 5-9 businesswomen who through their own passions, have created profitable and unique business’s from weddings to websites this up rise in entrepreneurially driven Women is nothing short of inspiring. I guess we have to accept that we have to change with the times and being creative means being current and in some ways there has never been a more inspiring time for young people.
We have the opportunity to start again, re-evaluate our ambitions and find our own, new way in. Regardless of your passion or industry of choice there are so many avenues to ensure your voice is heard. Be it through blogging, volunteering or starting your own business, if you’re out there you will get noticed. Ok, on paper it may not look like your original mission statement but at least you will be the one writing it.