I studied law at university and up until a year ago, I wanted to pursue a career in law. After I completed my LPC in June 2014, I went on to secure a paralegal position at a law firm in London. That September I signed up to my first half marathon with a few friends; I caught the running bug whilst training for the race and, in short, it’s changed what I want from my career and from life.
Up until the age of 18, I’d been pretty active, I rowed at my local rowing club in Gibraltar. At uni, sport wasn’t really at the top of my priorities … So when my first friend Kezia mentioned signing up to a half marathon in September 2014, I was all for it! I really wanted to improve my fitness and this challenge was the perfect opportunity.
I found that most people around me in the legal sector weren’t very active, worked long hours, ate terribly and drank a silly amount of alcohol on a daily basis. I, myself, was trying to create a healthier lifestyle for myself but found it hard as I was often working long hours, which impacted on my training and healthy eating. I also found that my colleagues made snide remarks about my ‘obsession’ with running and eating well.
I started blogging as I found that I talked about running a lot and I wanted to share my journey with others. Through my blog, I met lots of like-minded people and it made me want to pursue a career in something that I was passionate about. At this point, I really didn’t know what exactly, but considered PR and Marketing in the sports sector.
When I first mentioned walking away from law, my parents weren’t very supportive. They thought I was wasting all the time spent studying law and working in the legal sector. They also thought I was being unrealistic … I wonder how much of it was worry that I’d fail.When I took the leap and moved to my first job in the health and fitness industry – a junior account executive role at health and fitness PR agency – my parents came round to the idea that maybe, just maybe, I could do this.
I spent four months at the PR agency learnt a lot. It definitely confirmed my dream of working in the health and fitness sector. Although I enjoyed PR, I wanted to explore marketing, so at the beginning of June I started an internship at an endurance sports marketing agency. I’m very new to it, so I can’t say much yet, but so far I’ve really enjoyed it. I like that it’s more creative than PR and our team is great.
It’s not been easy. It took me a whole year to take the plunge and walk away from law. The stint at the PR agency was interesting, but I don’t think PR is for me. I enjoy marketing and think that I might want to make a career out of it, but I’ve only been there a month, so I can’t be 100% sure. I’m currently expenses only, so it’s tough financially. I’ve got savings and am on job seekers allowance and considering getting housing benefit too.
I hope that as endurance sports marketing agency grows, they can take me on as an employee, but I might have to make some tough choices if that doesn’t happen. That said, I don’t want to settle for any job because it pays well. I’ll be working for the next 40 years if not more, so I want to find that job that I love and am passionate about.
Those of you who don’t know what you want to do with your careers, you aren’t the only ones out there trying to figure it out. I think that it’s brave to go out on a limb and try something different and you should definitely go for it!