This time last year I decided to start something.
That ‘something’ was a month-long campaign whereby women of all ages would share their stories of job success in order to help other women realise their fullest potential and strive to accomplish their personal career goals.
I was so tired of seeing women posting wishy-washy quotes on Instagram about fate and ‘following dreams’ instead of spending their time chasing what could be a reality, whilst men were allowed to be openly competitive, ambitious and were being praised for working hard. I was hearing so little about the practical ways in which women could achieve their goals that I realised it was no wonder we sometimes felt a bit lost when it came to finding our feet in the workplace and so I decided to do something about it.
In truth, I had high hopes of becoming a fashion designer when I was younger but without any real direction or advice being readily available to me, it quickly became a dream that disintegrated into nothingness. I didn’t know one single person who worked in fashion – so how was I to step onto such an alien career ladder without someone offering me the right rung? Little did I know, at fourteen, that had I applied to Central St Martins or LCF and interned at a shit ton of fashion houses instead of sketching in a notebook whilst listing all of the reasons why I wouldn’t make it, this dream could have become a reality. Looking back, I think I just liked pretty clothes and probably wouldn’t have enjoyed working in fashion anyway – but still – you never know what could have happened had I been offered the right sort of advice or stumbled across something like, dare I say it… this.
Although there are plenty of women out there – some of whom you will hear from over the next four weeks – who know exactly what they are doing, where they are going and how they’re going to get there, there are some women, across the UK and the rest of the world, who haven’t been offered advice – or even the option – of pursuing a successful career and really making something of themselves, be it a midwife, journalist or athlete.
And this is where The Job Centre steps in.
Over the next four weeks, as will happen every September from now on, you will read about the successes of various women in a whole host of different roles and industries, ranging from copywriters and hoteliers to bloggers and barristers. Some of them might be doing the exact same thing you do and others might be working a job that you’ve never even heard of. Many of them might have had contacts that helped them get to the top and others might have grafted from the very bottom. Either way, they all have something valuable, interesting and insightful to say about how to get into a particular profession, so listen up, ladies.
If you have recently graduated and are looking to be steered in the right direction or if you are a bit older and are looking to switch jobs before the year is out, then read, comment, ask, engage and even disagree with these women if you really want to. After all, this is a conversation, not a lecture and I want everyone to get as much out of it as I do.
It isn’t difficult to do what you love, you just need to know what it takes to get there.
So, without further ado, welcome to The Job Centre 2016.
Tap the faces below to hear stories of hard work, dedication and success.