Over a decade ago, I was a Manager in a betting shop.
I was 20 and had worked my way up in an industry that wasn’t particularly kind to women (or even young women).
I enjoyed the customer service aspect but I longed to work in a women’s organisation. I’d grown up in domestic violence and had stayed in a refuge, and I really just wanted to be like the children’s worker who used to come in twice a week.
I scoured the paper for job opportunities but these types of roles were hard to come by. Then one day I saw one and I requested an application form. It took me two weeks to fill out the application form and I enlisted the support of the shop cleaner to help me complete it. It really was a team effort and I needed that support because I might have talked myself out of it otherwise.
The role was a short-term contract, just 5 months, and a big risk to take when I already had a fulltime, permanent job. Plus, I didn’t have any work experience in the area either so my chances at getting seen were slim. So I sent off my application and forgot about it.
I was offered an interview.
I attended the interview and was honest about my lack of work experience, but demonstrated my passion for giving back and knowledge about domestic violence.
I was on the bus, on my way to do a shift at the betting shop, when I received a phone call from Birmingham & Solihull Women’s Aid: THEY OFFERED ME THE JOB and I accepted.
What began as a 5-month contract in one role led to a total of 3 roles over 3 years, and it was life-changing. The only reason I left was to pursue higher education.
This happened again a couple of years ago when I’d finished my degree and needed to apply for a job (damn bills and responsibilities). I saw a Communications Officer role and read the job spec, sounded PERFECT, literally everything I’d been doing for myself as an author. I applied for the role, attended the interview and was honest that I hadn’t worked in that field formally, but demonstrated my actual hands-on experience over the years. My creative portfolio got me the job and I’m still there now.
My point is, you might think you don’t have what it takes to go for an opportunity, you might think you need to have done it before or that you’re not cut out for the job. But what if everything you’ve done in your life so far has prepared you for this point?
What if you just take a chance?
Let me know where it takes you.