‘I felt so powerful and in charge of my life’

In another of our series of guest blogs, Hayley Lancaster, All Together Guidance Professional for Essex and Suffolk, tells her own story of seasonal work.

A Careers Adviser’s personal experience of seasonal work…

I challenge anyone to find a Careers Adviser who, in their school days, set out to work in the careers sector. Many careers professionals will tell you about a previous job they had that led them to work in one of the most rewarding vocations on the planet (yes, I love my job!).

For me, it all started with ad-hoc and seasonal work at the age of 19. It was the best thing I ever did. Why? Because I got to know the real me – the ‘me’ I’d always been looking for. For the first time in years I was free from education. I wasn’t in a career and that was okay. I wasn’t at home with familiar people and that was okay too. Those small snippets of employment in the early days positively pushed me to go above and beyond my bubble that I felt so safe in. I learnt to create a new
bubble. I controlled that – no-one else – I felt so powerful and in charge of my life more than ever before.

There are people who might say ‘all you did was work a season abroad selling
holiday merchandise’ but no, to me it was and is still so much more than that. I owe that time of my life a huge load of gratitude. I owe that person back then a
massive, virtual high-five for taking a leap of faith and not settling for a mundane job through societal pressure because ‘it’s time to get a real job now, Hayley!’.

After three months of my first stint of seasonal work I came home buzzing with a suitcase full of new skills…

· My confidence oozed – I literally felt I could do anything.
· My CV looked brilliant and I felt proud to add employment that stood out from others the same age as me.
· I was more resilient and open to learning from mistakes instead of
avoiding failure.
· I knew who I was which meant I knew what sort of career I wanted.
· I spoke in a more mature way (probably something to do with all the customer service I had to provide to holidaymakers!)
· I was more focused and driven to make something of myself – because although I loved it, seasonal work isn’t forever.
· I became a networking queen – I use that skill every day in my job now.

I recommend seasonal work and working abroad to anyone who is unsure of their future career path or to anyone seeking clarity of their current situation. You’ll have the time of your life, make new friends, discover your likes and dislikes and give yourself thinking time without the stresses of education at the forefront.

My final bit of advice is to always be one step ahead of where you are now; if you are thinking of taking that job at the ski resort for six months, also think about how you could use what you’ve learnt later on? Be mindful of where you are right now but also what position you want to be in when you get home.

Ask yourself ‘who am I?’… Write your answers down and do it regularly. Asking this helps us to affirm who we are at that current time so we can choose the most
appropriate pathway (career related or not!). So long as you continue to learn you will continue to grow and, who knows, it could all begin with a new venture
working abroad just like me…

Bon voyage!

If Hayley has inspired you to take up a seasonal role, please see all our
current vacancies here – it’s your turn to feel powerful!

Hayley works for All Together Ltd delivering career guidance across schools in
Essex and Suffolk. All Together is a modern careers service offering gold-standard CEIAG through their programme of #ABetterJourneyToWork

Twitter: @HLalltogether
Email: hayley@thealltogether.co.uk
Web: www.thealltogether.co.uk

Seasonal work, Travel