From as early as I can remember I always wanted to be a primary school teacher, I was able to do work experience in my junior school, as they had a nursery that they needed help in, and I volunteered every week. After that, every time we did work placements as part of school I would work back at my old junior school, I loved it, I loved the kid's exuberance, their curiousness and the noise.
We got a computer in the house in the early 80’s a Commodore Vic 20 when I was about 10. My dad, before he died, loved them and had started getting involved with them at work, he used to take us to work at the weekends to change the backup tapes on the servers which took up an entire room and were huge. I used to spend hours programming the computer to display colours or words and other basic animations. I used to love working out where the problems were and making it work!
During my A’ Level years (1989 - 1991) things began to change, we learned how to use spreadsheets and word processing in school. Computers were more powerful and I got lured by technology and what it could do. After my A’ levels I had a place at Brighton Polytechnic to study teaching and when I got my results I changed my course through clearing to Business and IT at Leicester Polytechnic. I can’t remember if it was the lure of more money or the excitement of changing the world with technology that changed my mind, maybe it was a mix of both.
I had never wanted anything to do with cooking as a child, my mum was told she wasn't allowed to work by her dad, she was told she had to marry and be a housewife. She had been offered a job as an air hostess, how her life would have been different if she had! Her dad frowned upon me going into further education, he believed I should get married and 'make house' too - this was in the 1990s! His attitude really put me off wanting to work in anything associated with being a ‘housemaker’.
My career in IT has ultimately led me to the life I had now, I’ve spent a year working in Basel, Switzerland travelling around Europe most weekends. I've travelled parts of the globe with my now husband and been a part of some really interesting IT projects. Yet voluntary redundancy allows you to indulge yourself and find another path.
The money for me never really materialised, every time I got close I managed to mess it up by going travelling or getting pregnant, and that’s fine, I wouldn’t be the person I am today if those things hadn’t happened and I don’t regret them for a second!
I do sometimes wonder what kind of teacher would I have made, would I now be a headteacher, would I have re-trained into something else anyway. A sliding doors moment would be amazing!
What path have you taken, where has it led you and do you think your journey is complete? I’m not sure mine is, I just have no idea where it will go next!
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