Sunday, 27 March 2011

My career story

when i was at school i loved science, i love learning and i wanted to be a doctor. i had this romantic vision in my head that i would help people, save them. what i didn't vision was that training to be a doctor is long, expensive and there are so many other ways to help people. i left school without completing my a-levels, i got this idea that money and a career was much more appealing. and i guess it was at the time.

i had an amazing few years making money in office jobs, travelling, having good times with my friends and thought this was the best life for me. only a handful of my friends went to university (one did go to medical school) and there was a tiny part of me that did regret giving up on my education so soon.

i met mark at my old job as a financial administrator and some of my closet friends, i did wonder deep down if there was more to life, if there was a role or a calling that i had but life quickly takes over. mark and i moved in together, we saved for our house, we went on holiday, we got engaged, we had fun planning our life. then in 2007 a decision was made for me.

our company was outsourcing the work that we undertook so mark and i were offered roles at a new building or redundancy. we both wrestled with this decision but in the end we decided that redundancy and the financial compensation was the right fit for us. at this time many of our friends had discussed 'the future' and what their plans were, some chose to travel around the world, some chose to relocate. i knew it was my chance to move on but to what? i had read a book on a recommendation from a friend 'the pilgrimage' by paulo coelho. The book talks about dreams, and how we dream as a child, but as adults we let fear and logic overshadow our dreams.  it really made me think about: what was/is my dream?

i returned to my dream of completing my degree, knowing that i had not completed my a-levels i very quickly signed up to do an access course. access course's are designed for anyone who wishes to go to university but does not have a-levels. the course was part time and afforded me the flexibility to apply for pretty much any degree i just needed to choose one. easier said than done when you are a very indecisive libran like myself. after starting the access course it quickly rolled around to university applications but i was still unclear.

a few of my friends are teachers. they love the work and encouraged me to think about that as a career path.  i figured i would try it out so i asked my father in law to arrange some volunteer work for me at a local primary school. i chose primary rather than secondary as the idea of working with children really appealed to me {at the time} what can i say after 2 sessions i realised it was not for me at all.  it's hard to explain but it just didn't feel right so it was back to the drawing board.

i returned to my earlier idea of helping people. i really liked the idea of something clinical so this lead me to research my options further.  in the uk the care of all pregnant women is undertaken by a midwife. not having had a baby i had no idea of the role of a midwife so i did some digging around.  my close friend was pregnant at the time and i talked to her about my initial idea about considering midwifery.  she thought it was perfect! i had always had a curiosity about pregnancy and the more i discovered exactly what the role involved the more it was seeming like the perfect fit.  i popped my application in the post and felt really excited about my new choice.

little did i know that places at university are very very popular and very hard to get into... i had only applied to one university and the more i read online the more i was terrified i wouldn't get a place on the course. the university i had applied to had approximately 1000 applications for just 60 places... i felt so much pressure and panic.  i am really glad i had no idea about the competitive nature of the course because i really think it would have affected my decision to apply.

the first part of the admission was an interview with the faculty but sadly not everyone was guaranteed an interview.  i felt sure in my heart if i could meet them they would give me a place, but i had no idea how appealing my application seemed to them.  i had no clinical experience just bucket loads of enthusiasm.  it was the longest 3 months wait ever!

thankfully i was invited for an interview and i will never forget the day i received confirmation!  i danced around the living room with my bunny thumper it was amazing! i can still remember the day of my interview to this day.  i was so nervous and i cringe when i think about my answers but they must have liked what they saw because they offered me a place!  i was literally on top of the world.  i knew it would be hard work but i can remember thinking i can do anything when i put my mind to it!

it has been the hardest thing i have ever done.  learning is hard, the job is emotional.  but i can honestly say without a shadow of a doubt i was born to do this.  when i have doubts or hard times i think about the magic of what i do.  midwife means 'with woman' and that really is the essence of my work.  i hate to call it a job because it is more of a vocation or a calling.  cheesy i know but it really is.  i care for women during one of the most magical times of their lives.  sometimes it is tinged with sadness but my role is always to be with women no matter what they go through.

if ever anyone asks me how i got to this point in my life i always say follow your heart.  it may take longer than you want but when you know you just feel it.  i can remember saying to a colleague for me i didn't know what i wanted to be until i knew, what i wanted to be! and when you know you cannot ignore it! it is intrinsic to the core of your being and people in your life will feel that as well.

the other day i was complaining about the workload at uni and i said 'i don't want to do this anymore' a member of my cohort just looked at me and said 'i cannot imagine you being anything other than a midwife' and she meant that as well.  so despite the tough times you have to cling to your dreams it is worth it in the end..

so here are some fun facts:

i have caught over 50 babies, some in the water, some at home, some on the ward
i have seen more caesarean sections than i can count
i have worked hundreds of hours on the wards and in the community
i have worked nights and days and no two moments are the same!
i have met literally hundreds of women and their families and they are all amazing!
no pregnancy is ever the same
i do not get paid as a student
i have travelled thousands of miles to work
i am not the same person i was when i started: you cannot work with people and not change
my hair has changed colour nearly as much as my outfits!
the doctors at work are really not cute like on the tv lol

if you have made it this far, thank you and with that i am signing off

1 comment :

  1. What an interesting post, its nice to hear about your journey :)