As a child, what was your dream job?
I didn’t have a dream job until I was about 12. I was really enjoying school and looked at my teachers and thought ‘I want to do that!’ I never changed my mind and I am so glad it is what I picked!
What was your first job?
My very first job was as a Saturday girl in a Spar shop – stacking shelves and being a general gopher – for the princely sum of ten bob a day (that’s 50p in today’s money!).
How has your career progressed/diversified/developed into what you do now?
In the early 80’s, I moved to Devon and took a job teaching sixteen year olds on the original Youth Training scheme. It was based in a textile factory (Heathcoats who have just been in the news for making the parachute fabric for the Mars Rover)! This got me into exploring the difference between teaching and training and led me off into teaching other trainers. I began researching how adults learn, then worked in personnel and training before ending up as a course leader on university programmes in HR and Business. Retirement then led me in to a consultancy and coaching venture.
What was the worst job you had, and why?
My worst job ever had to be breakfast waitressing in a hotel while at Uni – the manager was foul to his staff and one day I just took off my apron and went home!
What was your favourite job (not including your current one!) and why?
Favourite job… I have loved all of them for different reasons and in different ways – all working with people which is my thing – but, I was very happy working my way through Uni as a barmaid!
What piece of advice would you give to your younger self in terms of careers?
Grab every opportunity.
A career progression isn’t always a straight line, it’s a mad roller coaster. I have worked in the public sector, in education, in social care, in private companies, in the voluntary sector, in colleges and universities and run my own business – and learnt different things through all of them. And, you learn most when you are most scared and the furthest out of your comfort zone.
What would you say to someone looking to re-train and take their career in a different direction?
If you treat them all as learning experiences, watch, listen and learn then they all help you to grow your skill set.
My job choices have often been made around issues other than the actual career – for example, I took my first HR job because it was in Cornwall and I wanted to move back here. I blagged my way into it! I set up my own business so I could have more time and flexibility for childcare. After retiring, I was bored of not working, so I moved into a completely different sector.
AUTHOR: Hilary Bryant
– Remote HR Consultant and Coach