‘Find a job you enjoy doing, and you will never have to work a day in your life.’
From the moment I was asked to choose my GSCE topics in high school, I wished I was someone who knew what they wanted to do. I had friends who knew they wanted to be nurses, doctors, lawyers… The choices were easy for them. All they had to do was pick the options that suited their future careers. Me? I was a little more
unrealistic ambitious and had always thought bigger. I day-dreamed through my art classes, planning my move to LA in order to become the next Lauren Conrad on The Hills. Wishing I could spend seasons in New York working in fashion like Rachel on Friends or to generally just be an it girl like Gossip Girls’ Serena van der Woodson. Obviously high-school Sophie wasn’t overly realistic. You see, I didn’t realise then that it really helps if your parents are well connected multi-millionaires, or failing that, you’re just a character in a made up American tv series.
See at this point you might be thinking, yeah this all makes sense, we all have crazy dreams when we’re younger. The moral of the story is to just be realistic and to settle. Its not.
You see, in high school I wanted to be creative, fun loving fashion intern living in Hollywood L.C. so badly that I took art even though my Art teacher strongly advised me not to. I got a B and created a portfolio of work which got me accepted into a double award Applied Art course at sixth form where I was awarded double A. Unfortunately the whole of this story is still unwritten, but heres where things go a little pear shaped. Somewhere along the education line I lost my confidence and my f*ck you I’ll prove you all wrong attitude which no matter how many teachers want to argue with me over this! were definitely POSITIVE attributes which drove me to do as well as I did. BUT even though I’d done well enough to give myself a very high chance of getting into a creative school and not only doing well but enjoying it too- I didn’t. I was so scared and put off by how competitive the creative industry is (and let me tell you there are next to no creative opportunities less than an hour away from where I live) that I bailed, and chose a degree which I don’t enjoy, just to tick the degree box and to keep more options open. I also spent the next four years in jobs. Yes, jobs. Jobs that I didn’t enjoy, and although they all provided me with work experience and money, I lost all passion and interest and it was just such an unenjoyable effort.
I started blogging less than half a year ago which was a big deal for me and my under-confident self (read Choosing to Win for more on this). I had wanted to blog for a long while but couldn’t find the courage to open myself up to criticism or failure (its another one of those competitive markets). I had no idea just how much I would fall in love with writing and how much I missed being generally creative. It was both a lesson and reminder that if you don’t enjoy what you do, then so much of your waking life is being wasted by just trying to pay the bills. Find a job you love and paying the bills is just a bonus. If you’re not sure what you love yet then just keep trying new things, and don’t be afraid of putting yourself out there! Theres nothing wrong with having a more ordinary back up plan, but just don’t settle.