First post of 2017 and what a post it is! Proud to have my friend, Esmé, being my latest guest blogger. This woman is the ultimate head-strong, smart and beautiful girl boss so who better to tell you about hustling for your dream career. Her passion is truly inspiring and I’m so happy to share this post with you all. Here goes…
So, the whirlwind of being young, in love and making some pretty serious life choices at the age of just 16… pretty tough going. Since being a toddler the dream of being a successful hairdresser was always my top priority in life, but try telling a grammar school headmaster that! Sixth form and the concept of university was always a massive no-go to me, why go through all that aggro if it’s not needed for my career? So I’ll be talking about how I got to where I am now, the choices I had to make and the consequences that came with it.
At the age of 14 I was desperate for a job in a hairdressers, just as a little Saturday girl that swept up the hair and made tea and coffee. My school stopped doing work experience which I remember being so gutted about because that was always in my plan, to go and do some work experience and get the ball rolling to my dream career. I decided to go against my school’s stupid idea of “you don’t need to do work experience” and went and did four days unpaid work in a hairdressers. I absolutely loved it! It just confirmed for me that that’s what I wanted; it was everything that I imagined it would be. I remember standing in awe of the stylists there: watching their every move with their scissors, asking a million questions about what they were doing. A few days after my 15th birthday, literally 2 weeks after doing those four days there, they offered me a Saturday job! I don’t think it’s possible to tell you how happy I was. This job was a massive step in the right direction and it felt amazing.
I carried on as a Saturday girl for less than a year when they offered me an apprenticeship placement after my GCSE’s. It was exactly what I had hoped for when I took the job, but when you fantasise about something and then its actually put on a plate in front of you, it kind of shocks you and opens your eyes about it all. Realisation started to kick in for me when all my friends were choosing their A-Level options, talking about what uni they wanted to go to, and it suddenly became apparent that life was going to change massively and I was going to mature much quicker than my friends were at Sixth Form. I think the most comical part of it all was telling my headmaster and head of year about my plan!
Eventually the time came for the inevitable question of “Esmé, why haven’t you put yourself down for Sixth Form here?” with the simple response of “I’ve been given a hairdressing apprenticeship” Their jaws dropped so far I thought I was going to have to help them close their mouths again. After it had sunk in for a couple of seconds, I received a simple “OK, thank you for coming to see us” and was excused out of the meeting. I think a lot of people would have felt belittled by that, but it actually made me lift my head up more. There are no rules to what career you chose and no-one gets to put down your choice.
Of course it crossed my mind a few times that if I didn’t do my A-Levels, I would have nothing to fall back on if hairdressing didn’t work out for me, but I went with my heart and followed my dream and looking back now, that is the best thing I could have done. It was very peculiar for the first few months, I was working full time, I didn’t have the school holidays anymore, I didn’t have any of my friends around me, and I didn’t see my boyfriend, Joe, every morning and afternoon before and after school. Even so, I have to admit, I never once looked back. It was like a massive weight off my shoulders to have left school and finally got to the part in my life that I had waited so long for.
I matured and grew up very quickly, being around adults all day everyday naturally makes you act older than you are. I think the only thing that upset me about this massive change, was losing so many friends, and losing touch with all those people I had spent a 5 year chunk of my life with. I hit a bad patch when I was due to qualify (18 years old at this point) because I didn’t like the way I was being treated at this salon. I started to become very ill; I got thin; I didn’t want to go to work and felt like packing it all in, despite all the work I had put in. But, with the massive push from my parents and Joe, I qualified! The best feeling in the world!
I started to look for another job and landed myself a senior stylist job at Envvy in Sleaford. Things were starting to really fall into place: I was fully qualified in a career before my friends had even left Sixth Form, I started to absolutely thrive at Envvy, and my confidence grew tremendously.
Then last year, a massive event happened, Joe and I got engaged! It really is such an amazing thing to happen to you, the person you love asking to spend the rest of their life with you, it doesn’t get much better than that. I’m going to try and not get too mushy and soppy with this paragraph, but just go with it. Joe and I went to primary school together, became best friends at 12 and then got into a relationship at 14. We have grown up together, helped each other through the difficult teenage years and all the decisions you have to make so young nowadays. He really helped to push me through all the decisions of leaving school, and was literally there to prop me up all the way through my training. When we got engaged I wondered what reactions we’d get, especially from friends. The main response I thought we’d get was “you’re a bit young to be getting engaged, aren’t you?”, but we didn’t actually get any of it! All of our friends were, and still are, so excited for us, which meant the absolute world to both of us.
Life is looking pretty great with my wedding to look forward to in April 2018, being assistant manager at Envvy, and I’m so thankful for it all.
Some decisions in life can be so tricky, especially in todays world where we are expected to make choices so young, but I think the best way to make those decisions is to go with your heart, and not care what people will think or say. That’s what I did, and it worked out perfectly for me.
Thanks again to Esmé for this incredible post, I just love how driven she is. I hope that you all feel inspired and motivated to go out there and get exactly what you want out of life. I also hope that you see that university is not the be-all and end-all for achieving your dreams. Until next time.