What are you doing here?
The other day I (Beth) was serving a customer who had a credit note and was buying an item worth more than the note and so needed to pay the difference. After a few seconds of staring at the numbers blankly I said "I know I should do this mentally but I'm going to cheat" and I reached for the calculator (mental maths was never my strong suit). The customer jokingly said that I should be able to do that maths in my head (she was right, it wasn't a tricky sum). I jokingly replied that I have a law degree and we didn't do much maths on my course! The customer then said (nicely) "You have a law degree! What are you doing working here?".
This anecdote and comment have inspired this weeks blog "What are you doing here?".
According to my CV (which I promise is accurate) I got 3 As at A level, I studied law at the University of Exeter. I have worked in Bristol as a Bid Manager at an IT company, and later as Marketing Manager at a law firm. But as of July 2021 I work in the 1,408 people strong population of Dulverton in a high street shop.
Covid is unsurprisingly a huge factor in why I have ended up here. When Covid was all over the news for the first time, and an impending lockdown was obvious, I lived in a two bedroom flat with no outside space. I knew that there was no way I was getting locked in there, so I grabbed my IT equipment out of the office, shoved it into the car with (what I would later discover to be far too few) clothes. Over lockdown I was occasionally back and forth between Bristol and Dulverton but mostly I was rooted in the countryside, sitting at the kitchen counter working from home. As we started to move out of lockdown I was faced with the choice that I would need to move back to Bristol full time or I would need to give up my job. My manager seemed to know this and decided to make life easy for me by acting like a bit of a moron! Thanks to that I decided it was definitely time to leave, so I handed in my notice, moved out of my house in Bristol and moved back in with my parents.
Joining the family business was always something I had considered. I always enjoyed working in the shop and it had always been in the back of my mind to join the business, every time I was looking for a new job I wondered if it was time to move back and join. I decided it was now or never, I couldn't wonder forever if I should join the business and if I could grow it as I wanted, it was time to put it to the test.
So, I took a pay cut, gave up living on my own and took a leap into self employed life, and I love it. I love working for myself, that every job has a purpose and I know what that purpose is. I love the excitement that comes from having your fate in your own hands, that you can make decisions which will make a tangible positive change to the business.
So, that's why I'm here, and I have absolutely no regrets. Today a high street shop in Dulverton, tomorrow a retail empire.... watch this space