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My Career Journey So Far – From Barista To Businesswoman & Blogger

career journey

When I first thought about writing this post, I was worried that I wouldn’t have an awful lot to say; I’m not even 21 yet, how could I possibly have had enough jobs to warrant a post about my career journey?

As it turns out, I’ve had way more jobs than I thought I’d had (which is not a bad thing!). I’ve also realised that I’ve had a job since I was 13 years old when I lived in New Zealand!

My parents have played a huge part in my quest for success when it comes to working hard to achieve my goals and I’m ever so grateful that they taught me the importance of hard work from a young age.

With my move into full time self-employment and freelancing recently, I thought it might be nice to share my career journey so far with you guys so that you can see how I’ve progressed and developed as a person to get to where I am now!

My career journey so far

career journey

Kitchen assistant/pot wash (2011-2012)

Back in 2011 when I was a fresh-faced 13 year old, I moved to New Zealand with my family. We lived in a beautiful town called KatiKati (where Matt and I are starting our trip around the world in April) where there was so much outdoor space, fields to frolic in, as well as our own swimming pool.

However, being the angsty teenager that I was, I missed my family and friends back home in England an awful lot. So much so, that I was determined to make money to save for a flight back home so that I could go and visit everyone.

While this may have been a slightly ambitious goal for a 13 year old, this was the start of my passion for making money in order to make my dreams come true.

I secured a job in a local hotel where I worked as a kitchen assistant/pot wash most evenings at the weekend.

It certainly wasn’t the most glamorous job – pot washing can get very tedious indeed – but it did teach me the ethics of hard work in order to accomplish what I wanted to do.

Legal secretary (2013)

A year or so after we’d moved back to the UK, it was time to take part in work experience with my school and at the time, I thought I was destined to be a lawyer.

I’d always fantasised about working in a huge corporate office where I was the boss of a team of people in a suave New York office, wearing designer business suits and strutting about in Christian Louboutin heels

When the time came to put my application in for my work experience, I thought that two weeks working in a legal office would show me the world that I could become apart of once I was older.

Once my two weeks’ experience had finished, I was offered a part time job there in the summer holidays where I would work as a secretary; answering phones, greeting clients, writing emails and constructing spreadsheets.

It’s safe to say that the glamour that I thought came with being a lawyer was definitely something that existed inside my head. It was shortly after this that I decided a career in law wasn’t perhaps something for me…

Office junior (2014-2016)

While at sixth form carrying out my A Levels, I got a part time job working at my dad’s office. Whenever I had the afternoon off from sixth form, or if it was the school holidays, I would go and work in the office. I’d complete admin tasks such as phone calls, responding to emails, arranging course bookings and putting together boxes of equipment to send out to clients.

I’m incredibly grateful to my dad for giving me this opportunity to work for him for a short while as it allowed me to make some ‘pocket money’ alongside attending sixth form and studying for my A Levels.

Starbucks Barista (2016-2017)

This period of my life is probably a whole other post in itself but once I received my A Level results and they weren’t quite what I wanted them to be, I made the terrifying decision to not attend university.

University was a goal I’d been working towards since I was about eight years old; it was always going to be school > A Levels > university degree > then a successful job as a lawyer.

However, the day I got my results and didn’t get into the university I wanted, to study the subject I wanted to do, was the day that I decided I needed to create a new dream.

I did in fact attend the University of York for three days, before I sat down and had a long and very difficult discussion with my parents about my decision not to attend university.

At that time, it was one of the hardest decisions I’d ever had to make and I was petrified that I would become a failure as I was sure to disappoint everyone’s expectations of me.

During this time however, I was working part time at Starbucks as a barista. So in the midst of all my overwhelm and confusion about what to do with my life, I decided to take a few months ‘out’ to try and figure out what I wanted to do with my life. It was also at this time that I officially started the I’m Just A Girl blog as writing had been my ultimate passion ever since I first learned to talk and write my own name. My career journey was about to take on a very new and exciting ‘project’.

Digital marketing apprentice/assistant (2017-2018)

After about six months of working at Starbucks, I realised that I wanted to do something else; something that I was actually passionate about.

I’d always been good at business and marketing at school and at sixth form, so I spent a few days researching jobs in York that would be suited to those skills and interests.

I came across an opening for a digital marketing position in an office just on the outskirts of York, and I instantly applied, sure that I wasn’t fit for the job or nearly qualified enough to be successful.

However, it turns out that my interview went swimmingly and they seemed to be impressed by the passion and dedication I showed for obtaining a career in the digital and marketing industry and I was very kindly offered the job.

The apprenticeship was to be completed alongside working full time in the office where I completed admin tasks, as well as taking part in meetings, and learning how to use the likes of WordPress, Mail Chimp and Google AdWords.

I finished my digital marketing qualification a couple of months before I was actually scheduled to finish and my employers offered me a full time job where I worked for the best part of a year.

Digital marketing executive (2018)

My job as a DM assistant was a great way for me to learn the ropes of the industry and to develop my skills even further but it just felt like there was something missing; I felt like I needed more responsibility and more room to grow.

Which is where my next job in marketing came into play. Early in 2018, I interviewed for a position at a company in the city centre of York. I was delighted to find out that I was successful in my application and I was due to start almost immediately.

I worked at the company from April 2018 until December 2018 as a sort of ‘marketing expert’ assistant.

My role was more technical than I’d originally anticipated but it taught me invaluable skills of the industry and also allowed me to work with (and become friends with) some of the most incredible people I know.

Towards the end of November, I started to feel a little overwhelmed with my situation as I was also undertaking a lot of freelance and blog work outside of my 9-5 day job and it was all becoming a little too much.

I made the very difficult decision to resign from my position of full time employment to pursue my freelancing and blogging business full time. I can now safely say that it was a difficult decision well worth making.

Freelance writer & blogger (2016-present)

Since I first started my blog in 2016, I’d been slowly working towards my new goal of eventually becoming self-employed; as much as I adored the people I worked with, I felt as though I truly thrived whenever I was working on my own projects.

The last two and a half years have been spent fostering relationships both with freelance clients and blog contacts. I’ve been lucky enough to work with several ongoing clients over the last couple of years, as well as obtaining relationships with new ones as well.

My aim for a self-employment lifestyle was largely due to the fact that I wanted to achieve a way of making money for myself so that I could live a digital nomadic lifestyle for when we go travelling in April. As well as exploring the world and travelling to as many places as we possibly can, I also want to be able to make enough money so that goal can be achieved for as long as possible; basically, I never really want to stop travelling.

Today

And so that’s where I am today; running my own freelance writing business and working on my travel blog in order to achieve a digital nomad lifestyle. It’s not been an easy feat to get to this stage and it’s involved an unbelievable amount of hard work but it’s 100% been worth every single second and I’ve truly never been happier.

I sincerely hope that I can continue working on my own business ventures for a long time to come, so that I can explore as much of the world as humanly possible!

Thank you all SO much for your support in helping me to make my goals a reality. Whether you’ve been an avid reader of my blog since the beginning, or this is the first post you’ve ever read on I’m Just A Girl, I truly can’t express my gratitude enough.

I’d love to know more about your career journey too! Let me know in the comments or on Twitter @imjustagirl_16 all about your career journey so far!

11 Comments

  1. Karen
    22nd January 2019 / 8:26 pm

    Wonderful Chloe. You have come so far from that shy little girl who was bridesmaid for my daughter and who used to hide behind mummys legs when we spoke with you. So so proud of your on going success x xxx

    • 22nd January 2019 / 8:41 pm

      Thank you ever so much Karen! That means so much! Xxx

  2. 23rd January 2019 / 10:42 am

    Ahh so proud of you lovely. Your work ethic and dedication really shines through in all your writing, and it’s amazing how you’ve grown throughout your career to land in the exact spot you want to be!
    Hels xxx

  3. 24th January 2019 / 5:47 pm

    This was so interesting to read Chloe! I’d love to turn my blog into my career and freelance writing has always appealed to me too. A digital nomadic lifestyle sounds amazing, especially as you can earn whilst you explore and travel the world. It sounds like the dream! I hope your business is a huge success and I can’t wait to keep following your journey. Thanks for sharing, really inspirational post <3 xx

    Bexa | http://www.hellobexa.com

    • 24th January 2019 / 8:32 pm

      Thank you ever so much Bexa! Your comments always mean the world to me!! ❤️❤️ xx

  4. 24th January 2019 / 7:35 pm

    That’s a very impressive list of things to have on your resume.
    Wishing you all the best in this year, and safe travels

    Raven 🙂

  5. 25th January 2019 / 9:31 am

    I absolutely LOVED this post! I love seeing people’s progression in their career or just where they’ve ended up. I did not know you lived in New Zealand?! have you wrote any posts about this?

    But I think you’ve done amazingly and although things might not have turned out exactly as planned at some points, you should be really proud!

    Jenny
    http://www.jennyinneverland.com

    • 25th January 2019 / 4:28 pm

      Thank you so much Jenny! And yeah I have! I’ve got a few posts up on my blog about living there! Xx

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