I left school with no desire to go to university.
I knew I wanted to travel, but I was a very young minded teenager (a theme that stays with me!) who also wanted to become a make-up artist for the theatres. I wanted it all, but I was scared of the big world outside of our rock.
My parents supported me by getting me brochures to some glam theatre and movie makeup schools, and encouraged me to go to college to get a beauty therapy diploma to get the ball rolling. I had a place on the course, but on the open day, I saw someone filing hard foot skin into a parmesan like pile (gip).
That was game over for me. I had no idea that is what I had to do to get to the makeup part!
At the time, I didn’t like the idea of living away at a makeup school (like I said, I was a little younger in my mind), and felt like my dreams of being a creative makeup artist were a little left field, so I did what I thought was right and got a job in a bank.
Thus begun the most unfulfilling 4 years of my life. My job was repetitive and monotonous. I had met a boy, bought a house and started on that ‘adult tick list’ that we Manxies seem to have. Yawnnnnn.
I had a wake-up call when I caught this horrible boy cheating. Whoa, it seems I was free! I had squirrelled away £5k and with a surge of newfound confidence, I bought a one-way ticket to Thailand.
And so began my 4-year world travelling adventure. Sayonara sucker!
From 2006 to 2010, with a short break back at home in 2008, I travelled around the world, working as I went. Turns out, this travelling lark is a little addictive (at least it wasn’t hezzo, Mum and Dad!)
I stand by the fact that travelling on my own in my 20s was one of the most valuable career moves I have made. I had to find some self-discipline, independence as well as integrity and personal strength. I spent time with people from all walks of life and cultures, and had to find means to live in brand new towns and cities. Survival skills for the petrified girl.
On my travels, I worked in various ‘normal’ jobs like HR, admin and hospitality. I also went to various remote locations working on farms, doing random farmy tasks. I was a tuck shop lady at an all-boys school in Sydney. I worked in the University of Music in Auckland, New Zealand. I was a dinner lady at the Viagra factory in Brisbane. You name it, I did it.
After NZ, I fancied Canada, but I knew I needed more dosh so I headed home to the IOM and looked for temping work. So I applied for the temp receptionist role at a well known gaming company (I didn’t know them at the time, I was a Manx foreigner!)
I had in my head I would do 6 months then head off on my next adventure.
Then my sister found out her and her husband were preggers, with twins! I knew then, I was going nowhere. (Awww, their little matching faces).
In this fantastic company, I was offered a full time job on Reception. And with a huge amount of support, training and my passion for success, I have been able to work my way up from receptionist to the global Events Manager in the last 8 years.
As a Brucey bonus, my job now includes an absolute ton of travel – so that monotonous life I briefly experienced is nothing but an anecdote now.
Travelling played such a HUGE part in my career – the things you learn when living out of a bag is something I don’t think you can learn anywhere else. I also manage to do creative makeup in my spare time. I’m a happy girl.
I do regret not going to the theatre makeup school, only out of curiosity of the direction my life may have taken. Saying that, I do feel super proud of what I have achieved and I wouldn’t change it for the world (well, perhaps for the Galapagos).
More importantly, I don’t regret not going to Uni, personally, hasn’t hindered me in anything I have tried to do (but I didn’t want to be a doctor or anything that really needed the quallies).
Perseverance, personality and willingness to succeed have carried me to where I am today.