It has been a while since I published a post that was anything like a diary entry, despite having a section specifically called “Diary” on my blog, so, I thought tonight was the perfect time to change that!
Tomorrow I begin a new journey within my writing career (I believe I can finally call it a career now!) as I start my new position as a content writer for a handbag company. Writing AND handbags! Go back 10 years and tell the “uneducated” 17-year-old me that and I would have spat non-soya milkshake in your face and told you that you’ve got the wrong girl. But, here I am, just finishing painting my nails the perfect, inoffensive shade of yawn to compliment my “I am a respectful adult outfit”, as I prepare for my first day working as a real-life content writer for a company. I am so excited and terrified for tomorrow but whatever happens, I know that I will make it through!
My career didn’t always look quite the way I wanted it to. I didn’t do well at school, I dropped out of college and the only real qualification I have is a diploma in beauty therapy (ironic when I have seen seven-year-olds paint their nails better than I can). I first started work when I was twelve, I had a paper round and then a little later, a part-time job in a cafe in the village of Silverdale. Whilst my paper round days were over a long-ass time ago, I remained working within the customer service industry for fourteen years. I have worked in bars, cafe’s, restaurants, then finally, a hotel in Lancaster and may I say, customer service workers do not get the credit, nor the pay that they deserve! They are true heroes (imagine being screamed at daily because there is no air-conditioning in a hotel that was built over 200 years ago in a small city in the North West of England, as if my tiny wage and ridiculous costume, I mean, uniform, would make me empathise).
Whilst working full-time in the hotel, I began writing as a part-time freelancer to build up my portfolio. Anyone who has worked in hospitality will know that the hours can be GRIM. I would often finish work at 11 pm, only to be back in at 7 am the next day, with the time in-between being spent with bloodshot eyes, catching up on content writing for “wine liqueur” or “relationship therapy” websites. I lived off coffee, tobacco and coconut water, I cried A LOT and whilst my customer service skills may have been questionable at times, I know that I have always worked my tiny little pancake off and will continue to do so!
I finally plucked up the courage to quit my job and pursue my dream of becoming a full-time writer at the end of February this year, however, I had not planned for the sh*tstorm that has been 2020. If I had waited an extra week before quitting my job, I would have been entitled to furlough, which would have been a lovely, steady income whilst I was trying to get off my feet. Instead, I was forced into the lockdown with what little savings I had, a borrowed laptop and no clue on how I was going to find work during a time when companies were making as many cutbacks as possible. I had no choice but to join the crowds of budding freelancers on sites such as; People Per Hour, Upwork and Fiverr, who frankly, rip off freelancers at every opportunity and will always, always favour the client (I would advise avoiding these sites like the plague… or covid). There may be some things that I will miss about freelancing (none that I can think of right now) but these kind of websites are certainly not one of them. In fact, I may be happier to see the back of People Per Hour than my old, sexist bosses are to see the back of any female.
I don’t know what tomorrow will bring (do we ever!?) but I am excited, scared sh*tless and over the moon about it. It is difficult to believe that if it wasn’t for this little mess of a blog, I would probably still be working for pervy Paul in his crappy restaurant. Goodbye, pervy Paul and HELLO handbags! I am keeping my fingers crossed that tomorrow will not end with a video call to my best friend, where I am crying and telling her that my first day was like the Devil Wears Prada, however, even if it is, with all of the chaotic experiences I have had, I know that everything will be just fine. I think this might just be the first opportunity of many to come and I am beaming.
I guess that my point here isn’t to be going, “look at me, look at me! I have a new job!” (although, please do that) but more, “look, we can all do whatever we want to do if we put our mind to it”. You don’t have to have A-Levels or be a university graduate, those opportunities simply are not realistic for everyone, they certainly weren’t for me. Do what you love in your spare time and do it as much as you possibly can, you never know, one day you might just make a career out of it.
P.S. If you want to see how customer service sometimes really made my blood boil, read this poem I wrote HERE about working as a waitress!