I’m Sean, 27, from the Rhondda and I don’t know where the hell my life is going.
If that sounds a bit like therapy, I’m glad. I think I need it!
I left school at 18 with the intention of working in construction as a project manager. Off to uni I went, best intentions in one hand, a pint in the other to study Project (construction) Management. Hated it. Wasn’t good at it. My mother says it’s because I liked to party too much. Sorry Mam!
It took me three years, including a repeat year to realise I needed to quit. What a waste of time and money.
How did I come to this conclusion? Lets start from the beginning..
I was into my sports, excelled at rugby and wanted to be part of elite sport either through my own talent or as a paid employee. To reinforce my point my two work experience posts through school were with Rhondda Schools Rugby and the great Chris Jones and to a gym in the Quality Inn Hotel, Tongwynlais. But I decided to go into construction because I ‘knew’ I’d make a decent living!
Based on the earning of some friends in the construction industry I would have been proved right. But to really emphasise why I wasn’t cut out for it would you believe me if I said that I had an E in design and technology? An E! My a-level results weren’t good either.
To be honest I should never have been allowed into Uni!
Quitting Project Management
When I finally realised that project management wasn’t for me I thought long and hard what to do next. I looked for jobs, but I didn’t want a dead-end job, which ultimately meant there were no suitable jobs!
Around the same time I was working as a lifeguard on the paddling pools in Ystrad Rhondda and I recall talking to someone about training and nutrition and thought, yep, that’s what I should have done to start with. So I proceeded to look for a course in nutrition or erm psychology but that’s a different story completely. Nutrition won because that’s what I could get on, on short notice. The actual course was Nutrition, Physical Activity and Community Health but I stammer and nutrition sounds cooler that a 5 minute block.
The course was a breath of fresh air for me. I enjoyed the learning and I excelled at it. I wasn’t as thick as project management made me think I was!
I graduated with a 2:1. Should of had a 1st had I not spent my last year, chasing the Herbalife
I couldn’t get a job for love nor money relating to my degree after graduation, so I worked part-time in a shop, quit to work in the Steel Works as a labourer (good money), quit that, rejoined a shop, quit that for Betfred until eventually I got into Public Health Wales as an Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Screener. A job Closer to where I wanted to be but ultimately light-years away to where I thought I should be.
You see, when you work in an organisation like the NHS, you come to realise that, career progression takes time, people are in jobs who shouldn’t be and master degrees are all the rage if you want to get on. I’ve recently left that job and grateful to my former managers for taking a chance on me. They got me closer to where I want to be!
Now I’m a Stop Smoking Development Worker for Public Health Wales and here lies the problem..
I am even closer to where I want to be (not in pay)- a Health Promotion Practitioner, but light-years away at the same time.
This whole dilemma leads me to question where the hell I’m going. In my mind I’ve got three options:
1, Stay in NHS, maybe do a Master’s Degree in Public Health, stay on shit money for longer, hope a Health Promotion Practitioner Job comes up and pray someone gives me a job.
2, Set up a nutrition coaching company. I love learning about nutrition and training, so get further qualified and start to coach people. Problem is, my reading hasn’t resulted in 6 pack abs. Biggest obstacle is my waist line. This will have to be a business, no jobs in this field!
3, Learn Web Development. See this will look random to you, but somewhere in-between my recent life story I have developed a passion for coding. This will take time to learn but there are plenty of jobs in a growing industry. Although, I’d prefer to freelance from the word go- better lifestyle.
And here’s the catch(s):
1, Naive maybe, but I’ve been sold the internet dream. I want to work from home or a coffee shop or a beach maybe. I strongly believe this is achievable and with a kid on the way, I really want this to happen. Option 1 will never give me this.
2, I’ve just taken a pay cut to do my current job so I’m even more skint than I was before. I need/want extra money immediately. Option 2 potentially gives me that if I work alongside my current job but quite frankly, I’m currently fat!
3, I’ve got a kid on the way, so the next job/business needs to be long-term and safe. Option 1 gives me this but doesn’t give me the ‘internet lifestyle’ or financial independence. Option 3 potential gives me this but is a long learning curve. Potential 2 years self learning, 2 more years shit pay after that. Option 2, is risky.
I’ve learnt my lessons from chasing money through project management, Herbashite and the steel works. I’ve also been caught with my pants down with Betfred, AAA screening and my current job. So I’ve got to really consider what I do next because it’s going to be a long-term choice. God help me.
The turmoil is killing me! I sometimes think, and I’ve done this for the last 2 months, I should accept my lot and live pay to pay resenting other who get on. But that’s not me. Not at all.
They lie to you in education. Life isn’t perfect if you pass your exams. You don’t go straight to the top.
Far from it.