If It Doesn’t Challenge You, It Doesn’t Change You

I prepared myself for pain, hard work and tears. I prepared for the worst just in case it happened. But what I didn’t prepare myself for was the crazy, the amazing and the bizarre new worlds of work I would delve into.

11 weeks after making the long flight across the Indian Ocean from Sydney to London, I have found my grounding anchor. A full time job in an industry that excites me, is going to challenge my skills and will broaden my career and give me so many more avenues for growth. I am so thrilled that this journey has solidified how I feel about my chosen career path. The world of media and journalism in some form will always be my jam, I bloody love it.

It is human nature to worry about what other people will think of you and your choices in life. I would be lying if I didn’t feel the weight of everyone in my world on my back as they watched and wondered, will she sink or swim. I heard the word “brave” more times than I can count, and it scared me. Did they mean brave in a good way or brave as in, you are bonkers. What the hell are you doing?

The last three months have been an absolute whirlwind, and I think having to start again, having to prove myself in a new country is an experience that will forever shape my future decisions and frame of mind forever. I knew it would be hard, I knew I would have to take quite a few steps backwards before attempting a few forward. But what I wasn’t expecting was the world of random that became my life as a freelancer.

I found myself on the set of a major feature film brushing shoulders with some of the biggest names in Hollywood. I spent hours in makeup, and then hours on set with an amazing group of other “extras”. It was a bizarre and fascinating world. I met men and women who had made a career out of extras work, jumping from one film to the next. The thought terrified me, how could they live like that? I mean the food halls are pull enough, laden with amazing salads, meats, fruits and cheeses. The money was great, and the proximity to some of the biggest directors and actors in the world mind boggling. But living so precariously between jobs waiting for your next pay-check, and having whole days or weeks of work cancelled in a flash because of a directorial change? No thanks…

I took on a casual coaching and recruitment role at a major staffing solutions company providing front of house services to some of the biggest events in London.  I spent my days trawling through CV’s and interviewing potential candidates. It was a humbling but often shocking task. I couldn’t believe the nerve of some people, how they would behave in an interview. It really opened my eyes and I heard so many both heart-breaking and inspirational stories. It made me truly appreciate the childhood I was given, and the education I was lucky enough to have. I also did some field shifts for them doing bar work and canape service.  I was blown away by the food wastage that still exists in our hospitality industry. I could feel my blood boiling as I watched 40 duck breasts, mountains of fresh bread and beautifully cooked seafood be dumped in bins. Especially when I would then walk to the tube and see people begging for petty change so they could just have a warm meal to cut through the winter chill.

When I was a child and I was asked what I wanted to be when I grew up,  I used to say “I want to be the voice behind the Disney princess cartoons”. It is pretty ironic I ended up with a radio career, but this childhood dream was all the more realized when I managed to land a voice over contract for a children’s online show over here. It is something I will be able to continue while I delve into my new full time position in PR, which I am thrilled about. It is fun, it is light and it is silly. More importantly, it is making 5 year old me’s dreams come true.

The other thing I have realized since making my move is how much I enjoy writing. I know I studied journalism and I write for a living. But writing for broadcast is different, it’s short and snappy. News based writing is all about cutting out the fat. Its been wonderful to be able to be more expressive and creative. I have a passion for health and fitness. I annoyingly sprout facts and advice at anyone who shows a remote interest in it. So being handed the opportunity to write and be published on this very topic in online magazine Hip & Healthy is another avenue I am super excited to explore.

I am actually glad it took me a while to land a solid job. Because I wouldn’t have set up these sideline projects, met so many incredible souls, and had these bizarre experiences. That being said, I am relieved beyond words that I am back in the world of full time employment and I am so chuffed by my new role. It’s exciting, challenging, and the team is wonderful, supportive and talented.  I can’t wait to get stuck in….tomorrow, 9-am. Wish me luck!

3 thoughts on “If It Doesn’t Challenge You, It Doesn’t Change You

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