31 Days Journal: Day 8 My Career
Here’s my Day 8 of the 31 Days Journal Challenge.
In this post, I’ll briefly talk about my career thus far, and how I’d like to see it develop in the future.
Google defines the word ‘career’ as:
an occupation undertaken for a significant period of a person’s life with opportunities for progress.
Well, at the age of 25, most of my life had been studying. Initially, I wanted to be an architect but because of the choices I was given in school, it was difficult to pursue that career path so I ended up stalling any further career plans, until I actually figured out what I wanted to do in my life.
I have always had a pair itchy feet so naturally, I was quite good at Geography. Computing was also my forte (I’ve been coding bits and pieces since I was about 8) but I didn’t see myself as one of those guys who just type codes all day. My parents insisted I study Medicine or Dentistry but I also didn’t fancy working in hospitals… so I leapt at the opportunity to study Physical Geography in university. Admittedly, this decision paid very little regard to my future career prospects. I just wanted to do it. While I was doing my undergrad, I was a volunteer Education Ambassador for the Royal Geographical Society. Although the job was voluntary, there were paid jobs and one of them was a Revision Ambassador for Year 10/11s students about to sit their GCSE’s. I was very fortunate to be paid £33 per hour for several of those jobs.
When I realised in my 2nd year that there was no definite career path for Physical Geographers (it was all very vague), I planned to meld my computing skills with my geographical training and do a Masters in GIS. Modern cartography… maps essentially.
While working in Argos in the weekend (since I was 16) in 2010, a customer was very pleased with my customer service skills that we got to talking and he employed me as a web developer/tester. He was about to get a contract with a naval shipping company and someone with GIS would have been very useful addition to his team. I got paid generously for the brief time I was with them and I would have continued to work for him had I not joined the British Army… 3 days after I finished my Masters Exam.
This was perhaps the most drastic career change that anyone I know has ever done and in many ways, I was quite surprised myself that it worked for me.
Throughout school and university, I was involved with various small music making ventures as a hobby. I played the flute but secretly wanted to play bassoon but I couldn’t afford one so I stuck with it. I was bored one day as a 2nd year student in uni (my hate for glaciers were mounting!) and signed myself up for one of the 1 Week residential Insight Courses that the Corps of Army Music offered. I went and so thoroughly enjoyed it that I signed up to 2 more. I had a massive gut feeling that a career in the British Army as a Musician was the right one for me.
In the space of 6 months, I purchased an oboe, had a few hours lessons and auditioned on it to join the Corps of Army Music.
I’ve not looked back since.
In 2012, it took a year and a half to complete all the necessary training for me to Pass Off as a Military Musician and I was posted to The Band of the Blues and Royals. I completed the Household Cavalry Mounted Dutyman course in 2013 (without any reservations, after sacrificing lots of hours in sweat, bruises, blood, sleepless nights and tears, the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do in my life, without any exaggeration).
I love my job and everything else that go with it. I only anticipated to be in the Army for a few years, but at the moment, I can’t imagine doing anything else.
As for the future…
Promotion is definitely in my sight. I still have two Trade Tests to do on oboe (2 recital based exams) before I can look at promoting. I want to develop fluency with my instrument first so acquiring a stripe is really low in my priority list.
Work has allowed me to travel and gain qualifications so I am working on becoming a rock (climbing) instructor. Later on, I would like to get at least one non-musical tour in the field Army.
Alongside my military career aspirations, I want to finish my Masters, with only a dissertation module left to do. Purely and only for the sake completion and my own personal endeavours. It’s just the nerd in me talking. Regardless of the reason behind it, this will arm me with necessary skills should things drastically change at work and I am forced to seek employment in the civvie street.
Before I joined the Army, I was quite apprehensive about my career but now there is a clear path for me to take, so all I need to do is knuckle down and get working. I may have regretted various decisions I made in school and university, I do not for one bit regret joining.
So there you have it. My career thus far and my aspirations. 🙂 Watch this space, should anything change.