Wednesday, July 18

Work Hard, play hard

Some people can rely on good looks to get by, others their IQ. I knew from a young age (I mean really young, Barbie's and jelly shoes, young), that I didn't have much of both. A kind person might say that I know what suits me, so I can apply to the former, and that I've made a concious effort to read books, watch documentaries and discuss politics-slash-third-world-dilemmas in an effort to trick others I'm the later (which has taken years to achieve!)

But there was something I always had, a overwhelming urge to work really hard. Not at academia or sports, but good old fashioned, honest work.

Lets backtrack to 1996, the year I began my own Saturday stall. I'd get up at the crack of dawn, gather my stock. Price it, stick on my name badge and get myself looking presentable. I would wait eagerly for my first customers, thinking of what I would spend my profit on.

Of course, I was only 6 and my name badge read 'Sarah, happy to help' (something my mother still finds hilarious and tells everyone, ALL THE TIME). And my stock was sort of stolen from my parents, which they then had to buy back. That's love.

It was something I did every Saturday and I took it seriously. I remember having friends over and getting up whilst they were in bed and STILL doing it. Tell me that’s not normal...

And then I got my real job at 13. I cannot tell you the feeling I had every Saturday taking those wages home. It felt good that my parents were proud but It felt amazing, sending myself to Italy at 14, on a school trip. For the record, none of my friends had jobs till much later, which was what they had to do. They had grades to improve, whereas I, always felt it wasn't priority. I felt no pressure, I wasn't an A or a B student. I was lucky to get C's!

I knew I wouldn't go to university to study anything (except a brief quest into the London college of fashion), because it wouldn't have been me. I believe your either a worker or a learner. I have always had that strong work ethic. I'm early into work and late home everyday and I don't want or need thanks for it. That’s the job, that’s why I have it and not someone lazier. It confuses me when I hear my peers thinking if you lack a degree that you won't succeed. Sadly, in the current climate, a degree can also mean you cannot get a job. Its certainly would for me as my grades would have been shameful. Furthermore, I am baffled when people think they are just going to get offered a job by just handing in their CV. There is no charm, no razzle-dazzle-I'm-the-best-employee-you'll-ever-have anymore. Perhaps everyone has lost their moral. Perhaps they never had it.

A friend was horrified the other day when I said that I worked from such a young age. They were shocked my parents allowed it. Let me tell you, they made me! And thank god, without their encouragement for a strong work ethic, I wouldn't be where I am or who I am today.

In my working life the pattern I see immerging is that hard work pays off. I missed parties and didn't get to go on shopping trips on a Saturday with my friends, because I worked. Even after school, my life was a juggling act of two jobs (both evenings and weekends) and a full time college course. I wasn't tired, and I always took on extra shifts because It felt good. I had a lot of money for my age and my bosses liked that
I was so flexible. I also see people older, younger and my age, having not worked as long or as hard and they don't quite get it yet. It takes a few years, and a bit of patience. And god, you have to want to do it. But as a result I feel I will succeed more than I would have not had a job. It also made me more mature, gave me SO much life experience and of course the free things. All in all, I believe work made me.

And this, is only the beginning....

1 comment:

  1. Hi Sarah, thanks for leaving a comment and I do hope I see your Shirley moment on here soon!

    I loved this post, I too worked from an early age and my friends too are shocked. I think my mum thought I was all talk about getting a job and relented to my numerous requests saying 'if you can find somewhere who wants to take a 13 year old then you go ahead'. Much to her surprise I did! I may have rang every sandwich shop, newsagents and hairdresser in the county but I did it. I've been a worker ever since..... I do look back and think if only I'd got an A there or if only I'd gone to university but seeing as I didn't I'm quite happy with my life up to date. Anyway..... it was nice to read a like minded post! x


House of Swoon A self confessed, fashion obsessed, twenty-something frmo Bath, England