Who Gave You Your Big Break?
This time two weeks ago I started to work out my notice at a computer outsourcing firm. They were the last two weeks in a living hell, and why was I leaving? Because I had finally got my big break. I was going to start that intern lifestyle. Okay, so I won’t be getting paid for a while but I think I can cope for a while on my last pay cheque. At this stage in my life I cannot turn down an internship as a content writer when that’s what I want to do forever. It’s terrifying knowing that tomorrow I am taking my first step on a career. This isn’t a job, this is what I went to school for. This is actually career-worthy stuff.
I know I’m not quite living that Carrie Bradshaw American dream but this is quite a big shot at it. And hey, I’m sitting at my desk, leg’s crossed, in just a towel, hair up, laptop at a funny angle. I may as well have some Chinese takeaway as well, just to finish the picture. Or a cosmopolitan? That sounds good actually.
So anyway, all this stuff about starting careers and having a big break made me wonder who have I got to thank for all this? I read a quote from writer of The Miniaturist Jessie Burton:
Yes, you work hard, but what the hell else is there to do, when no one is going to do it for you? And alas, working at something does not mean you will be rewarded in the way you thought you would be. But this does not mean that when you do find reward, you should think it was only because of your hard work. You also got lucky. The world is enormous and brimming with misfortune. We should not be ashamed of luck. We should try and pass it on. I intend to do so in 2015.
Luck? At first I thought “pfft,” no way, I worked hard for this. I deserve it. But then I thought, look at all the people I know who work hard and don’t necessarily get what they want. In fact, I was told that those graduating with 1st class degrees are less likely to succeed than those with a lower qualification. Maybe they lack the creativity to progress past the initial school-like environment.
But, still I certainly never considered myself a lucky person, in fact I normally say I’m quite the opposite. But now, I’m thinking that like Jessie, I should be grateful, I should keep up the hard work and be ready to pass on my good luck to others.
Let’s take a few steps back and see where my good luck has come from. It was September 2013 and I was entering my final year of university. Work was at an all-time high and I was going through a pretty traumatic breakup. It was safe to say I was heading for a breakdown. So, out of nowhere I’m approached by some pals who knew me through my love for American Football and they casually mention how running their Uni team was a bit too much work and would I be interested in helping. There were 2 or 3 of them behind this decision and I actually didn’t know them as well as I thought I did at the time, but of course I said yes. It was definitely an escapist thing. Somewhere else to focus whilst my personal life crumbled and my degree was getting too much. Because of these 3 fellas I became quite a big name around the football scene. I met all the coaches and by the end of the season, the HC of the County Premiership team found me and got me shadowing his wife to be the GM of their team. Now those 3 original guys who really gave me my big break into that world aren’t prevalent parts of my life. Not through anyone’s fault, just time and drifting lifestyles. I still see them, but it wasn’t until now I realised I had them to thank for all my success in the world of American Football. Obviously, at every step along the way there have been people to thank. The woman who took me the extra way and her husband who introduced us have been massively influential and will continue to help me in my first seasons.
But it’s not just American Football related success that all this has brought me. It meant that 9 months ago I met a guy who’s become very important to me. Because of him, I’ve stayed in Cambridge. Because of that I’ve started a Masters. I have a gorgeous place to live. I’ve met some amazing people whilst trying to fund my way through a postgraduate degree. And my general managerial skills have impressed in all my interviews. Who knows, it may have been the American Football stuff that got me the internship!? That combined with my crazy writing skills, of course.
It might just have been these 3 random guys who really didn’t know me and I didn’t know them, that got me where I am. It might be nothing to do with it.
The point of this blog is to make you think who have you go to thank for where you are now. Like all the people winning Oscars… Who’s been holding your hand literally, or from afar? Who’s never lost faith in you? Okay, so the Oscars has got me way too emotional and grateful, I think! So for my metaphorical Oscar, I want to thank the American Footballers, my best friend for being the Dion to my Cher, the fruit to my nut and Hugh to my Grant. I also want to thank my mumma bear for being so confident in me. And finally, for all the teachers/lecturers who have told me since Year 3 onwards, “You’re gonna be big, kid.”