Sorry to all my followers that I have written an entry for such a long time, I have been extremely busy working all the time, but also experimenting with trials and errors of careers and relationships. In this entry I would like to discuss what I have learnt and my own personal development.
How to handle trials and tribulations
I would love to say that I am and always have been an extremely hard working, from an early age, I have struggled at school, due to me not applying myself and being a late developer learning wise. From the age of six, I was struggling heavily at school, coming from a family of over achievers, and a father who is a whizz at maths and now a retired chartered accountant, I in fact always had a love/hate relationship with numbers. I still do now, I get flustered when a figure is out the ordinary or if cashiering at work the figure doesn’t add up, but I am proud that I have managed to get by and what I lack in mathematics, I make up for in other areas. I was struggling heavily at primary school with my school work, no teacher had picked up on my learning disadvantages, I was popular in the playground with other kids, I was well liked because I had the ability to befriend everyone and anyone and still do to this day, but my failed relationship was with teachers; whenever I struggled with something, teachers used to say, ‘Well Helen, you should of been listening’ the fact was I was six years old and was listening, the school in fact thought I was being deliberately naughty and difficult regarding school work, the amount of times, I got kept back and lost out on privileges, like going outside to play and school trips is countless; this was going back to the early to mid nineties as well, so hopefully schools nowadays in my niece’s and nephews generation, have a better understanding. It wasn’t until my mom picked up on me struggling with certain things she demanded a learning assessment for me outside of school, it turned out I had a type of dyslexia, but not with reading or writing but in fact with numbers dyscalcula.
However, I was then told by this diagnosis in my last year at primary school that I would never be able to take GCSEs, however, I always had been very exceptional at English and practical subjects like Drama and PE. I was determined to prove everyone wrong, so I came into secondary starting off in bottom classes for everything and then within half a year, I was listened to by teachers with better understanding who saw passed my struggling ability with numbers, and moved into middle and top range sets. This didn’t come easy to me, I had to study a lot harder than others, I had to have extra tuition in Mathematics and Science in order to keep me afloat and average. So when people looked at me back then thinking I had it all because in secondary school, ‘popular and pretty’ as some people quoted me, behind all of that it never came easy to me to get a head in life. I have always had to academically work ten times harder than others in order to keep afloat, and in certain situations, especially career wise, I experience failure to this day, but it’s if you see it as failure. Eventually all my hard work and appreciation of others helping me, treating teachers, fellow students with respect and going the extra mile, paid off, as I then developed in confidence and passed my GCSEs, to the progress onto a BTEC National in Performing Arts and then onto doing Drama at University.
My way of getting by in life is treating others how you want to be treated, I struggle with things in later life still, even as a teenager, but I don’t give up, I treat people as I treat others. People struggle with certain things and the best thing I have found in supervisory roles from my current job and my previous jobs where I have had to manage and train people is, to be patient and kind and make them feel at ease; that way you get the best out of people.
However, I have completed my degree and for several years been working in the Arts/ Theatre industry. Graduating from University and studying hard didn’t come easy to me at all, when it came to finding a job, things got in the way; for example whilst studying, I got a job at the Student Union Bar, where I got promoted to supervisor, then being in a long distance cheating relationship, which lead me to developing anorexia, when I went from a healthy eight stone seven pounds to a staggering five point nine stone, where I become emotionally and physically ill and had to spend my summer and time recovering. Eventually after the help from colleagues, friends and family members, I recovered gradually and returned to university to continue my part time job and degree and my confidence eventually came back. I felt like I failed at that time, as I turned down many opportunities, I could’ve studied abroad for a semester and gotten better grades, but I look back and I am glad I’ve gone through those experiences. Anorexia and bulimia at the tender age of 18, was the fact that I was in drama groups and due to my size and height I was getting cast in main roles for drama festivals and pantomimes, and at that time, I thought I want to stay looking slim as it gets you far, but I couldn’t control my boyfriend cheating on me at that time, or my family problems, so I tried to control my weight and it was the wrong answer.
I still have body confidence issues now, don’t get me wrong, for health reasons nowadays, I love working out, but learnt with my lifestyle I can actually eat what I want and food is there to be enjoyed. I am now older and how I see things now is I don’t want to look like a skeletal framed child, I am in my twenties, I am still considered relatively slim but I think I don’t look too bad, if I eat chocolate now I’ll have it, if I get too big, I just exercise and eat more sensibly. I am only a tiny 5’1 at the end of the day and think I am never going to be a cat walk model anyway, plus I am not a shallow person, I think if I want to look good it won’t be for a man or to impress anyone, I do it to feel good about me.
I am not in a relationship at the moment and have been dumped previously but I have learnt from situations that things happen for a reason. I think at the end of the day, I want to focus on my career development and travel more and relationships will just happen when the time is right, not by me looking for one.
Work Ethic and Attitude
I have loved working in the theatre industry especially working with people and customers. I found from working at a pub at the tender age of 16 and working in bars and in theatres on Front of House I thoroughly enjoy it, each complaint, learning curve is a new challenge. I’ve had people say to me, ‘you’re going for this promotion, but you’re too young…you’re too unqualified’ years ago I would’ve taken comments like that to heart, I go for jobs, and I encourage competition, I am a firm believer of getting things on merit.
I want to eventually go into customer service management in theatre or bar related industry, as I care about people, I am approachable but jobs I’d be passionate and know from previous experiences that I am good at. I left my front of house job at a lovely theatre I’d been working at for years, where I got management training and did the learning, but due to not progressing much further, I took on a duty managers job in a pub for more management experience. I tried it for 3 months, it had it’s ups and it had it downs, but I wasn’t happy for future plans, so I left. However, I handed my notice in, as it was regular hours, full time work, but money over happiness, I have the management experience on my CV and that can be used to my advantage. I had to then put my free time to good use, took extra shifts on at another theatre I was working at to get me by and then eventually due to me working hard and networking in the right places, I got offered a bar supervisor job in another arts venue. I had been to interviews previously, some I was successful, others I weren’t but I turned negative situations into positive situations.
Advice and Tips On Career and Personal Development.
- Trial and error, never be afraid to try things out your comfort zone, like me, I quit my job after several years and for more managerial experience tried another job not related to the theatre industry, it didn’t end on bad terms and it was a learning curve and new skills for the CV. Never Be Afraid To Take Risks!
- Make friends and never bad mouth previous employers, you never know people know other people, and to have those connections is still useful. Treat others with kindness and respect.
- Be diplomatic in certain situations.
- Be classy, no one likes a sour puss, always congratulate your competitors no matter what your personal situation or feelings towards that person are. Professionalism is the key.
- Don’t let people put you down or stand in your way, it shows weakness and don’t doubt yourself.
- Assess and write pros and cons for every situation. Always speak to non negative and non biased people.
- Don’t let people walk all over you, inner strength and backbone doesn’t always hurt it’s how you use it.
- Networking get to get to know and meet new people, go to as many conferences and events as much as possible. Also for career development and to build contacts try LinkedIn. Even if you don’t get what you want from these events, it’s a way of meeting new people.
- Always go above and beyond and prove you can go that extra mile, people can then see that you’re willing.
- Turn every let down or non successful interview as a positive and work on that feedback, instead if dwelling build it up.
As you can see this is a real account of me and my views on things I have learnt throughout the years, I am currently sitting on a balcony on holiday relaxing and using my energy by being in a different place far from home, and channelling my efforts into writing on my laptop. I hope you readers find some of this relevant, as you can see I am far from perfect but I thought for anyone that is in their mid twenties or at any age really life has it’s up and downs, but it’s how you use those situations to move forward. It’s amazing what a short break and holiday can do for the mind.