My time at Bradfield fills me with great memories and even greater friends. I was hardworking but carefree, and now, looking back, I can objectively see how these early years provided me with the foundations for my current career. Perhaps it was the crazy all weather cross-country running that spurred me on to run high altitude ultra-marathons. Perhaps it was the international mix of pupils that inspired me to become a traveller and not blink at the idea of living abroad! Perhaps it was my peers that made me believe anything was possible.
At the age of 17, I could not decide what to study at university, let alone what career path I wanted to pursue. I took a gamble; I went to Leeds, studied Psychology, contemplated various career paths, and, after graduating, tried a few.
I had so far succeeded in this institutional and exam based step-by-step approach to life through GCSEs, A Levels and then university but then there I was, utterly baffled and almost paralysed by the infinite amount of choice. Even worse, the choice of career seems to define everything: your identity, your mortgage, your immediate network of friends.
Steve Jobs’ 2005 speech, directed at graduates, resonated with me and was enlightening. He said, “You’ve got to find what you love…The only way to do great work is to love what you do.”
At the time, I found the concept confusing as I had been taught to choose a more obvious career path; teacher, psychologist, surveyor, and maybe advertising if you are a bit daring. However, each of these felt like it was a square peg in a round hole. The secret is creating your own path. After a brief affair with a graduate scheme in Surveying and a stint as a teaching assistant I found myself bewildered by my inability to find purpose. I trained part-time as a personal trainer during this time, just before the wellness industry boomed and personal training was not considered a ‘real job’. I had no idea what I was going to do with it or how I was going to make money.
I trained friends in Battersea Park after work to get basic experience before deciding to head to the Alps to pursue my passion for outdoor life. At this point, aged 30, I had eight years of work experience in various industries but I had no idea that this was exactly the experience I needed.
Nowadays it is not only possible, but also easy to set up your own business. You really are able to write your own story and create something of which you are proud. More than ever technology is enabling you to do everything yourself and the iPhone has been at the centre of that for me. One of my goals was to work remotely. I love to travel and always thought how amazing it would be to lie on a beach and check my emails, or go snowboarding and take shelter in a cabin to create some social posts.