How I turned around a dead end career to become a successful professional

I am not proud of my grades at GCSE and now wish I had worked harder at school. If only I found the subjects stimulating. I got a job as a checkout operator at one of the national hyper stores and was happy that I was earning. My two best friends carried on studying as they both wanted to work in offices. At that time, I felt that I was doing a lot better than them as I can buy nice clothes and I had money to spend which I did.

Over the two years at the store, I was given more responsibilities and a pay rise albeit small. My friends were both settled in jobs in offices with one of them working in the office at my work place. Her pay was more than mine. I had to take stock and consider my life and future. I realised that I just drifted into whatever job was available with no career planning beforehand. I decided that I also would like to work in an office so I approached recruitment agencies, who promptly informed me that I did not have the experience required. I thought, ‘How can I possibly gain experience without being offered a job?’
Author photostock and image courtesy of

Eventually I secured a job as an office junior in a small company. I was overjoyed as I had  broken through that barrier of ‘no experience.’ I found some aspects of the job quite daunting as you were required to deal with many ad hoc duties. I never completed my probation period as my employer said that although I was willing to learn and he liked my enthusiasm and personality, the staff were finding it a strain to always be on hand to assist me. He suggested that I really need a course in office training. After which he will consider employing me should he have a vacancy. I was shattered.

My friends rallied around and found me an intensive course in Administration. I enjoyed the course enjoyable and expanded on it by signing up for all the Microsoft training modules. I also realised the many shortcomings that I had for any office role. My dedication to this course paid off, as I achieved a distinction. This was the first time I had really studied or worked towards anything.

                                           Author Michal Marcol and image courtesy of

Armed with this certificate and my new found confidence, I soon secured a job in an office and had no problem in performing the tasks. With my clear understanding of the function of the office and over a period of time, I suggested changes in the system to have the department running effectively; these were taken up with success.

Over a five year period, I was promoted within the department to Administrator. My boss mentioned that he would eventually like me to be the Office Manager, so I immediately prepared myself for this. I enrolled for an Office Manager courseat the same training centre and topped up training with Microsoft modules at Advanced level. Today, I am the Office Manager and have been for the last three months. Who knows what role I will have in the next five years but, whatever role it will be, I will be fully prepared for it.

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