When I was at school I couldn’t wait to leave the tiny confines of my home town Plymouth and head into the open world. Plymouth felt like a ghost town, and my dreams and ambitions were far too big for the tiny city.
When I finished university I had no idea what I wanted to do. I was very unwell at this point and wasn’t even sure if I could work somewhere full time. With no money behind me, I had no choice but to come home. As I watched my old school friends and fellow course mates head over into the big smoke and go to what appeared like their dream jobs, living the dream lifestyle of getting cocktails in Covent Garden everyday, it made me feel really sad.
I felt like I’d failed.
How could my dreams of big city living not happened for me? In my mind, London always had to happen for me to be successful in my career and be deemed that ‘I’d made it’.
I guess the reason London feels like the only answer as a graduate is because of the job opportunities and the well known, high flying companies and brands that fall under the capitals umbrella. We all want a bit of that. No ones interested in the girl that grew up in Plymouth and just stayed in Plymouth.
It was 3 months until I eventually got a job, a temp job doing customer relations for a train company.
Whilst my post uni job wasn’t my ‘dream job’, it made me work harder than ever to get to where I wanted to be. It was a dead end job and I knew I had to find a way out by any means.
But I did move on. I gained so much experience, my blog continued to blossom and I eventually got a job in something I wanted to be doing.
3 years later and the job I’d grown into, I’d finally outgrown.
It was time for me to move onto my next chapter and I now knew exactly where I wanted my career to go next.
Social media, marketing and Ecommerce was great, but I didn’t want to spend my whole life doing that. I wanted to be running a business. A dream that I always had and which led me to do my course in International Business Management.
So that’s what I did. You can watch my career journey video below for the full back story. Anyway..
My career journey so far has been in no way linear. It’s probably been completely different had I taken a path in London, but what it has proved to me is that if you work hard it doesn’t matter where you live.
Your location does not define or limit you, you work and attract the opportunities to yourself subconsciously and you can fulfil your dreams whether you stay in your home town or not.
There’s still very much a ‘judgement’ as such that you’ve not moved on in life if you don’t move away, and that is simply not true in the slightest. You define your life and if you’re passionate about something you can push the boundaries and create that opportunity for yourself.
For me, the South West is the land of opportunity, there many not be the ‘big’ jobs and brands that are available in London, but that just means you have to create them.
I might not be in London. But I’ve grown to realise I love London, but I certainly couldn’t live there. I’m waking up and going to my dream job everyday surrounded by the sea one side and beautiful rolling countryside the other, I’m just starting the next biggest step and learning curve in my career and I’m able to do that with the support of my friends and family nearby.
I have the pleasure of being able to jump on a train to London at the drop of a hat and indulge when I am there because I can afford to do so. But I’m certain I wouldn’t be able to have the same standard of living if I was working the rat race in London.
I was able to buy my first home at the age of 24 because the house prices aren’t £173,03903,1010 odd down here. This is the lifestyle that I have chosen and learnt to love. I now wouldn’t supplement it for anything else.
Accepting nothing less than working in London becomes a barrier to your career, not a help. The greatest opportunities are sometimes staring you in the face and if you can find success in your home town why would you leave?
So if I was talking to my 18 year old self now, I’d say the only pressure to be something and be doing something is only created by yourself. Your friends and fellow course mates may now be working in London, but when you find yourself in your own career, you only focus on what you’re doing, not what everyone else is doing, and that feeling really is the best.