I’ve had to develop a thick skin over the years. Like anyone, I’ve had to deal with various issues and challenges that have eventually made me a stronger – if battle scarred – person. Another one of those obstacles has thrown itself in my path. I’m back on the jobs market, and do you know what? I see it as an opportunity. I’m going to rise above and succeed in life…
Over a lifetime
As a gay lad, growing up in a small coastal town like Scarborough, I was never going to have it easy. During my teenage years, as I came to accept my sexuality, I faced many struggles. I’m not exactly the most masculine of guys and it showed, so I was always an easy target. It didn’t help that I was overweight, wore glasses, and a bit of a geek. I was a bit of a sitting duck really, wasn’t I?
Like anyone else, I’ve also struggled in my career at times. Some of my darkest days were after I graduated. It was 2011, the recession was in full swing and people who were fresh out of education were finding that there just weren’t jobs out there. I ended up having a mostly unpaid position at a local lifestyle magazine in Sheffield where I lived at the time, and I really struggled to get on the career ladder.
I don’t mean to sound all maudlin. In fact these tough times have made me the person I am today. I’ve had to learn how to pick myself up, dust myself off and get on with it. This has been so useful to me in my adult life, as it’s given me the ability to survive no matter what happens. This ability to roll with the punches is something that I’m going to have to draw upon again over the coming months.
The latest struggle
Here’s a little context. In 2017 I moved to Manchester to take up a role with a travel company. I loved the job and the people were great, but it was a contract role and not a permanent one. Plus by the end of my time there I felt like I needed a new challenge. So I took one of the biggest risks of my career. I applied for and got a job at a fintech company – despite the fact that I had very limited experience in producing this kind of content – based in the heart of Manchester.
Unfortunately, I wasn’t made permanent after the six month cut off point. I was let go. It’s not great but do you know what, it happens to a lot of people, so I’m not going to get down in the dumps about it. Clearly I just wasn’t the right fit for them. And do you know what, I don’t think that company was the right fit for me. And so here I am again, I’m back on the jobs market.
A positive outlook
My mum (Felicity Davis, the author of Sins of the Family) recently said to me that I thrive under pressure. Do you know what? She’s right. Within a day of leaving my last company I was contacting recruiters, reviewing examples of my professional work and looking at new positions. It helps that I’ve spent the last few years building up considerable savings, so I can afford to take my time and find the role that’s right for me. All those struggles I faced in my early life have provided me with the mental fortitude, confidence and resourcefulness I need to face this situation head on.
And do you know what? My last role was a learning experience. I know more now about the kind of sectors I want to write about, and the kind of audiences I’m skilled in catering to. I also gained experience in marketing disciplines that I hadn’t really had much experience of before, most notable email marketing. At the end of the day, I think all of this will lead me to the kind of role that’s truly right for me as a person, while also providing me with the tools I need to excel in this role.
My key takeaway
So I’m back on the jobs market again. And while yes, that’s a bit scary, I also see it as an opportunity to create the best career possible for myself. If I have any key takeaways from this, it’s that when an obstacle presents itself in your path, you need to think of it as nothing more than a barrier for you to overcome. That way you can live your best life as your best self and ultimately, be a happier person!