As a child, you would always find me with a book. Every Saturday I would find a quiet corner in my local library or bookshop. My love of reading continued through my school years. I chose to do my fourth-year work experience at a local library. Those were the days when your library card was made of paper. I loved it! Despite my passion for books, I didn’t consider entering a profession which would allow me to work with them in a meaningful way. I’m not sure if this was due to a lack of awareness or confidence. It was probably both.
My first job was as a Support Worker for adults with learning disabilities. I stayed in this role for ten years. It was a fulfilling job where I met many of my friends. However, it never really felt like the perfect fit.
After this, I started working for a local Opticians. It also doesn’t feel like the perfect fit. Although I can bore you for hours on the subject of lenses. (ask my classmates)
Before joining the Opticians, I was seriously looking at whether I was happy with the way my life was mapped out. Oh, I had a roof over my head and could pay the bills. I just wasn’t feeling challenged or on the right path.
I was finally ready to take control of my life.
I thought about what continues to make me happy, what interests me, what I am confident in and generally when I have been the proudest. I found a common denominator.
I decided that I wanted to study English Literature. I hadn’t focused on a particular career but still felt enthused. I couldn’t afford to leave my job so I considered distance learning. Studying and working full-time was difficult but I achieved my English Literature Honours degree. This gave me the confidence that I could achieve anything (or at least try).
Trying is key. Earlier in life, I hadn’t the confidence to recognise or reach for my dreams. As cheesy as that sounds.
I still stumble occasionally.
I felt a momentary panic when I was looking through the module guides for the MSc Publishing course here at Napier. There were assessments which required the student give a presentation. My initial reaction was dread and ‘ah well it was a thought.’ There is an instinctive reaction to avoid what scares you. I have always been a flight rather than fight girl. However, sometimes the reality is nowhere near as dreadful as you suppose. It can provide a learning curve and boost confidence.
I will always remember the induction day. The guest speaker was talking from personal experience of how important it is to embrace what worries you. Tackle it head-on. Those words stuck with me at a time when I was excited but also nervous about certain aspects of the course.
I have learnt so much through the MSc Publishing regarding the publishing industry and attended supportive and educational events. What I am most grateful for though is the confidence it has given me (and continues to) as I continually find myself tackling new challenges.
I’ve reached the grand age of thirty-five years old and finally believe that I have found my perfect fit.