So, recently I started working at Claire’s Accessories, which is bundles of fun because I get to wear face-paint, glitter and talk to lots of people (plus they have a whole Pusheen section which is hella cute). It was very easy to transition into working in part-time retail, and it made me wish that I’d made different choices in the past and gotten a job earlier…
When I was 14, I started volunteering every Saturday at a riding stables – long hard hours of cleaning, grooming, riding, running (which I’ve always been bad at but it *is* easier with a horse dragging you), picking up poop, being bitten and kicked, and consoling screaming children. Got there for 8 o’clock in the morning, left at 6 o’clock in the evening. A tiny lunch break. It made me used to working long hours and being treated like shit. I was there for about three years.
All of us were giving up our time for the horses, but it got to a point where I left (and my mum sent an angry letter to the owners because we are British and that’s what we do) since the horses weren’t being treated properly (like, don’t get me started on it unless you want an angry rant). But basically, it felt like work and it sucked. It was a toxic environment and I think it led to me having a kind of fear of jobs. I mean, if volunteering was that bad, then working for money had to be harder and worse, right? If only I’d known then that I could get paid for making friends with people and finding them the right earrings while being dressed up as a cat!
After that, I had my A-levels and just enjoyed my last two years of school drama (between students, not the subject – I’m an awful actor because I’m crap at lying). Then I scuttled off to university because I figured it would help me work out what I wanted to do as a career (spoiler, it made me realise what I didn’t want to do as a career).
My course at uni has been bloody crazy from the start. As a biochemistry and biological chemistry student, we had to do all the core modules of the chemists and the biochemists, and hence had 9am-5pm days of lectures/labs/studying for the first three years of the course. In other words – zero time for a job unless you are superwoman/man. Especially if you like to sleep. Which I do. A lot.
But even though I’ve decided to get a job in my final year (yayyy for slightly more time off because I am doing a literature project) and I now have no free time between studying and working at Claire’s Accessories, I seriously feel like I’m getting shit done. And slightly more fulfilled and productive.
Thanks to minimum wage, I am earning at least a whopping £26 a week minus train fare , but the experience and confidence that I’ve gained has been invaluable. I am well aware that not everyone enjoys their job, and I’m sure that in the future I’ll have that as well, although ya know, would be great if I just keep doing jobs I love…
I know now that when I have kids, I’m going to gently push them into getting a job earlier than I did. No pressure on them, but I’ll share how much I enjoyed my first job and how I wish I’d done it sooner. And I’ll be hoping that I still have contacts for them at Claire’s! I want glitter babies.