If at first you don't succeed, remember it's not your last chance!

When you begin the journey of work, you figure out there are many things you didn’t realise were such important aspects of your future career. That’s if you know what career you wanted in the first place.

When I was in school, my mind wandered through many possibilities. Police officer, lawyer, journalist. By the time I realised media and marketing was my cup of tea, I had jumped in the deep end by joining a specialised academy owned by one of the biggest media companies in the country. During that time I felt complete in all honesty. I’ve always been a person that loves having the plans I continuously make in my mind come together and even throughout a life changing event like Covid-19, I never felt more in the zone. There I was taught the things no other school could possibly teach you…

Employability skills. You know, the ones that make up the foundations of the workplace and determine the way you operate as a whole and how you fit into the puzzle of working life. These are things like communication skills, resilience, and problem solving in workplace environments. I genuinely thought that I had my whole career figured out at this point without even having to experience it full time for a while. I knew hard and soft skills people only learned years into their career while I was studying all the key subjects I needed while working with different companies and professional studios and environments.

I genuinely thought I experienced work everyday when I was in that school but the thing I forgot was, to succeed in this life the one thing you always need to carry on doing is learning. That was when I went through all the possibilities for the next and most important years of my life and I decided university, like most successful people I grew up idolising, was the next step.

At that time, my family and especially my mother were the people that solidified that choice as really the only real path to go down to see the best results. As I would be one of the first to go through the “proper” process of becoming a true professional in my field in their minds, I had already succeeded. but as I kept on this path and continued to plan every aspect of what I thought it took to truly feel part of the industry, I realised there was so much more than what I was exposed to in the protected environment of education.

I realised the long days ahead, the dreaded staff room, the dedication of being in a place and adapting my student perspective to a workers ethics. Finding all the parts i needed to plan like how I had always done since I was a child. Since day one I planned everything and the years I spend in university it completely tipped my mindset and goals on its head.

I started thinking of the what ifs. What if I could’ve actively perfected my craft this whole time while I studied to build my knowledge, what if I could’ve built that oh so important confidence to be in an environment I had never truly had the opportunities to experience properly before, what if I could’ve prepared myself more? But how.

That how was when I realised I was leaving mid way through the year abroad I had planned for my whole academic career and i was coming back home to nothing. No university for a while, no routine, no courses. In my head this all meant no practise, no improvements which meant failure which sitting at home was only going to make it harder to do.

That's when I decided to go back and think about what I needed to improve the already 6 years experience I had acquired through the semi-traditional and unconventional path I had gone down and then I found it. Click Start London! The perfect opportunity to experience the real deal while learning how to properly adapt to it while being guided by the best in the business. I recapped the basics, developed new skills and mindsets and actually applied that while doing real life work. I mean did proper marketing work which in my head made me feel like part of a team, a marketing team for the first time in my life.

From the people, resources and just overall experience I gained from the weeks of dedication I put into that small unplanned part of my journey, I was able to confidently get my first proper job in my life, partake in real freelance work experiences that I only could’ve dreamed of, and really immerse myself in the what the next decade or more my life would look like. It gave me that original spark back that I hadn’t felt for marketing since I started all those years ago.

What I’d say to people who are going through the early stages of their journey and coming out of a childhood they felt would last forever, I’d say plan the unplanned, expect the unexpected and remember. With a mindset of learning, you’ll always learn how to adapt to life, because at the end of the day, work is only one part of life, but trust me it can be a very enjoyable part when you are ready.

Cheyenne Sloane

Homestay Coordinator at EF Education First

You can find out more and connect with Cheyenne on LinkedIn.