Blog every day in May: First Job (and beyond…)

8 May

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I’ve had a job from being about 14 years old. When I was this old I used to Hoover the cricket club. I progressed from that to running my own business in the same club, selling soup and hotdogs to the junior footballers and their families. I was onto a winner!

I then started working behind the bar at the club…I was about 15. I used to enjoy this. Especially as I was being paid £3 an hour which was about twice as much as my friend were being paid at a similar time. I retired from being a barmaid at about age 20…the pay never increased!

When I was about 19 I had a great job. I worked for the Press Association in Leeds where they football data for all the leagues was collated on a Saturday afternoon. I, along with about 15 others, was the “Vidiprinter” on Grandstand! How cool is that? As the goals were scored we entered them into the computer system and watched them pop up on the screen on Sky Sports.

In the first summer home from University I did both these jobs and also I drove the delivery van around the local area for a bakers in the town where I live. That was quite good fun, but my arms were bruised from carrying the trays of bread into the shops and I can remember getting hassled in a greasy spoon where I was delivering to by the truck drivers. I could give as good as I got though.

After University and a degree in Chemistry, I knew that I didn’t want to be a scientist in a lab and also that I didn’t want to study any more. I’d been to a very academic school and just gone straight from GCSEs to A-levels to degree and I’d had enough.

So, of course I temped! I had a job working for a bank during the summer, which basically involved putting cheques in boxes. I hated it. It was every evening and boring and no-one was valued for the work they did.

I also had an office job during the day which lasted until the Christmas after I graduated. During this time I started working for Pizza Hut, part time, as a waitress. My brother worked in the kitchen and I knew that I would make tips on top of my wage. I really liked it. It was the most organised place that I had ever worked at and I liked the buzz of being really busy and being good at my job.

After the Christmas, when my temping job finished, I started working full-time there and within 3 months I was doing management training.

It had all happened by accident and I thought that it would be alright for a while until I got a “proper job”! I spent 7 years at Pizza Hut. I worked in 4 restaurants during this time and worked my way up to general manager. Time somehow got away from me.

In my last few months in the job I hated it. I hated my area manager and it was hard work and no fun.

I knew I needed to get out. I had applied to Huddersfield University and got a place on a one-year PGCE course to train to be a secondary school science teacher. I intended leaving my job in August and starting the course in September.

In the end I ended up on sick leave in April and during that time I handed in my notice. I worked the last few shifts and left.

Handily, my brother was now a manager in a Mexican restaurant chain and he gave me a full-time waitressing job to tide me over from May until September. I really enjoyed it again. I really liked the busy shifts and I could make a fortune in tips!

I carried on this job part-time during my teacher training, and also in my first year of teaching.

When I started the teacher training, it was at a time when there was a shortage of science teacher and I was paid a bursary to train and a golden hello after my first year of teaching. Towards the end of the training I knew I should be getting a job organised. It was the time (about 8 years ago) when everyone got employed once they’d trained, not like now when the competition is fierce due to so many people retraining to fill the gap until there are too many newly qualified teachers and not enough jobs.

The trouble was that I didn’t really want a job! I was happy waitressing! I could make a lot of money and there was no stress and I enjoyed it. In the end my course tutor basically told me to get a grip and apply for some jobs.

At my first interview I didn’t get the job, but at my second interview, I did! And I’ve worked there since. For seven years. And this seven years has gone so much faster than the seven years at “The Hut”. I’m not sure if it’s my age or that I’m enjoying myself more, but either way, the time is flying by.

And then of course, to my most recent and important job. I’m a mum. It’s the best job that I’ve ever had and I love it.

I return to my teaching job in September for 3 days a week. I’m loving being on maternity leave, but I know that realistically I have to work too. I’ve worked 4 days a week since having my first child, but having 2 children is so different, and I’m so pleased that I will be able to balance my work and home life by working 3 days this time.

Cheeky chappy, cheeky girl

Being a mum to these monkeys is the best job

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