Wednesday, 11 November 2015

#BlogaJob Challenge

I heard about this great blogging challenge via Occupation Mother, who got it at source from Nipper and Tyke. Basically you write up your CV, just with all the observations on those jobs you have to leave off the real one...


#BlogaJob CV Challenge

When it comes to work, and the reasons for it, the [Spunge] song 'Jump on Demand' usually comes to mind for me:

"I'm not the kind of guy who likes to go to work,
It's just I need the money.
I don't know why you find that so funny!"

Because there are lots of positives to work, don't get me wrong. There's the camaraderie, the opportunity to learn new things, the routine, and the life experience. (And the money, don't forget the money.) It's just that I'd sooner be a lady of leisure. :)

2004: I got my very first job when I was 16, when I started as a kitchen help at St. Joseph's private hospital. Friday evenings after school, and Saturdays 9am - 2pm. In 2005 I took on an extra shift on Sunday mornings, cleaning on the wards, and then later that year I decided to remove myself from the UCAS process because I was full of existential teenage angst. Not having thought the move through I ended up working at the hospital pretty much full time after leaving sixth form as a member of bank staff, rotating through the roles of kitchen help, ward cleaner, ward hostess (the people who take the food trolley round), hospice cleaner, and canteen girl (operating the till, oh yeah).

Even though it was pretty much just never ending washing up or toilet scrubbing, depending on the rota, I got on well with everyone and I have really fond memories of my time there. I learned lots about food hygiene and the whole thing was a huge help in overcoming my crippling shyness. Plus I was on pretty good money for my age, which is always a bonus.

Dressed as an elf for Christmas dinner service
Taking a break from Christmas dinner service - I was full of festive cheer.

2007: So, I liked the hospital but I really didn't want to be scrubbing suspicious stains off someone else's toilets forever. I reapplied for university and went off to read history at the University of Cambridge, an institution stuck in another time if not another universe. Students may not be in paid employment for more than ten hours a week because, well, you should be rich enough not to need to, I guess. I worked back at the hospital during the holidays and volunteered with the Eating Disorder Mentor project and Linkline, the student nightline, during term time. That mostly involved freezing to death in a grotty office, listening to the regulars ramble. I learned that one day, if I wanted it bad enough, my hand would turn aquamarine blue through the power of thought. That day has yet to come to pass...

2010: When I left university I wasn't at all sure what I wanted to do. Youth work seemed as good an idea as any. I started volunteering with a youth charity; that turned into a work placement, which turned into a full time job - just as I was about to start a temp position with Primark. (I still got paid for their induction training though, so it was a win-win.) The kids were great, and it was really rewarding, but the rest became a bit of a nightmare and I wanted out. I was volunteering every Tuesday evening with the CCYP, my local youth centre, and Vintage Vision, a really cool little business, on the weekends so I figured that was covering my work experience. I was going back to college!

Community Champion piece for volunteer work
I even got into the local newspaper for my volunteer work back in 2011.

2011: Initially I was going to do a MA in regional history, and that turned into starting a PhD on the Georgian gentry. For money I did a bit of undergraduate lecturing which was awesome and terrifying, and also became a dinner lady at Woodlands Primary School. I learned there that you should never suggest little kids try something they don't like (carrots, in this particular case). They have a bewildering habit of bursting into tears.

2012: After a short stint at the school, I bagged a great job at Journeys, a depression support charity based in Cardiff. I loved it there and wouldn't have left if it weren't for the timing - I had put my name down as a Labour Party candidate in the then upcoming local government elections, thinking it would look good on my CV. Much to my surprise I topped the ballot in my ward and was duly elected. At first I intended to keep my job on but it soon became apparent that I'd bitten off more than I could chew. What with one job, and the other, volunteer positions (I'd joined the board of Maendy Praimary School earlier that year, for instance), and the commuting between everything, I had no time to study, let alone get my head together.

Me posing with a street sign
With Cllr Bob Wellington, the leader of Torfaen Council, for pics to go with an article on street name equality. I was asked if I'd put a motion to council by a member of the public, and ended up getting my name in everything from the local rag to The Times!

2014: I finished at Journeys after a few months but, looking back, the damage had already been done. I had a bit of a breakdown and it's only on the other side I can see that I just wasn't coping with anything. I eventually dropped out of my postgrad course which was just about the hardest thing I've ever had to do - I felt like it meant I was a quitter, a failure - and really scaled back my volunteer work.

But the reduced stress had an almost immediate effect. I fell pregnant with Marianna.

2015: Marianna was born on New Year's Day 2015, and I went back to work at the beginning of March. It had been a tough pregnancy so it was nice to be able to function normally again, without having to keep nipping out of meetings to go and be sick somewhere! It was more than enough to be a backbench councillor but I did start to branch out a little into new areas; for example I joined the Gwent Police and Crime Panel, the body which scrutinises the Police and Crime Commissioner, and I set up my very own parenting and lifestyle blog. (You're reading it right now!)

Grassroots feature in South Wales Argus

2016: The downside of working as an elected official is that to keep your job, you need to get re-elected! The next Welsh council elections are in 2017, so it is quite a worrying time right now because, obviously, if the public don't want me back I'm going to need to find another job very quickly. This is the main reason I have been working so hard on the blog in my spare time, in the hope it will be able to tide us over if the worst comes to worst.

On the positive side, I was appointed Deputy Mayor this year which has been a real privilege, and if I do get re-elected, next year I will be the Mayor of Torfaen. It would be such an amazing experience, and something I really hope Marianna would be proud of me for. Fingers crossed, I guess!






For more like this, check out:
The Story Behind My Blog NameMy Mobile Phone History






26 comments:

  1. Sounds like you have had a few interesting jobs, well done on all your volunteering too.

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    1. They've all been interesting, that's for sure! :)

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  2. Thats a lot of interesting jobs, my CV is full of boring sales and retail work :(

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    1. Thank you! :) I did the training for Primark, then ended up getting a more permanent job before my start date, so never actually got on the tills!

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  3. This is a really interesting CV and all of these experiences got you where you are today :)

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    1. Definitely! Even the bad times get you ready for the good times. :)

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  4. Wow. What a varied job history you have. It all adds up to great life experience.
    I would have loved to finish my history degree but teenage angst also caused me to drop out. You should be so proud to have achieved what you have. Being a councillor must be challenging and rewarding at the same time
    *off to browse your history posts*

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    1. Aw, thank you! :) Hehe, yeah, being a councillor definitely has its moments!

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  5. Interesting CV! Just think of all the life experience you've gained along the way :) #PoCoLo

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  6. This is such a great idea and really interesting read. You have done such worthwhile things - well done. Thank you for linking to #PoCoLo x

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    1. Aw, thank you! It was a really fun challenge to do. :)

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  7. Great CV! Love this idea! Might have to do one myself. I wonder if you'll be feeling more festive this year?! #kcalcols

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    1. It was good fun to do - I saw someone do it on last week's kcacols and had to give it a go! :) Lol, I really hope so! I was so sick of looking at roast dinners that year.

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  8. A great line of interesting jobs. Sometimes you just have to know when you have taken on too much sounds like a crazy busy time and something had to go, glad you feel more in control of life again now. #KCACOLS

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    1. So true - it as horrid at the time, but I feel like I came out of it a better person. :)

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  9. Such a wide variety of interesting jobs you've had.Thanks for such an interesting read.xx #KCACOLS

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  10. Sometimes it takes alot of different jobs to find the one we want that fits us as much as we fit it. Thank you ever so much for linking up to Share With Me. I hope to see you again tomorrow for another great round! #sharewithme

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    1. Definitely - it's a lot of trial and error!

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  11. Wow how many and diverse jobs you have done!! I love that you have been always doing a volunteer job. I also love that you were working at the hospital doing all the hard work for a fair amount of time. Every single job including the volunteer ones shows us who you really are. After reading this I think you are a fantastic person who has so much love to give!! I really like this post!Thanks so much for sharing this at #KCACOLS. You have been amazing in this like, spreading always so much love!! :-) x

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    1. Thank you so much! I was having a bit of a low day yesterday and your comment really lifted my spirits. :)

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  12. This was such a fantastic read! So interesting. You should never ever feel like a failure, you had achieved by 18, more than some people do in a lifetime. From then on you have had hard jobs that you must have had to give your all too. Well done and keep enjoying it, you deserve it! Thank you for linking to #findtribe

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    1. Aw, thank you! :) I feel guilty that I'm not doing more now, but it's better that I'm doing a few things well rather than a lot of things badly.

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  13. Great read sounds like you have gained a lot of experience in your previous roles not sure I would of been able to take on as much as you have done! #KCACOLS

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    1. Thank you - Some of it has definitely been an 'experience'! ;)

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