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Turning your passion into your dream job

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Published: June 3, 2020

Careers gurus always say that your ideal job is where your skills and interests meet. How do you get to that point though?

sunny shot of the gateway

As a child and teenager I always loved magazines and telly and films and my radio was always playing BBC Radio 1.
Getting a job related to anything connected to those things didn’t seem realistic, in fact it never entered my head. My dad was a plasterer and my mam worked part time in a shop, so jobs connected to media weren’t on my horizon. However, I went to St Anthony’s School at Thornhill Terrace, Sunderland and there the teachers encouraged me to consider university.

I got a job instead and worked at an insurance company. It was interesting work in the claims department and I ended up training people. Then one day the boss asked if I would write the newsletter because he was going on holiday. He said it was a chore, but that I’d only have to do it a couple of weeks. I loved doing it though and I ended up writing it every week for a year. I realised I loved writing. I started to think about how I could write and get paid for doing it.

I applied to University of Sunderland and to my shock got offered a place to study for a degree. I was studying all about media and film and journalism. These were all the things I loved and I lapped it up. I watched the lecturers and I thought I’d love to do their job. I started doing a course about teaching and did some teaching for free to gain skills and experience. My dissertation supervisor asked if I’d considered doing a Masters degree. I hadn’t, but it fitted if I wanted to be a lecturer, so I did. Just as I was about to complete my Masters degree a colleague pointed out a PhD scholarship at Lincoln University. I applied and got the place. While I was there, I got to work with a fabulous team of women who gave me wonderful opportunities to learn new skills of researching media and gain more experience teaching. I got my doctorate and pretty soon afterwards a lecturing job.

students having a lecture

One day the boss asked me, “How come you spring up the stairs grinning as you come into work every morning?” I was completely stunned. I had no idea that I ran into work and jumped up the stairs, grinning. How did I get to the point I had my dream job? All I had done was followed what I enjoyed and worked hard to gather skills along the way.

So, the careers gurus are quite right about matching skills and interests to find your dream job, but I reckon they over complicate it. Here’s what I know for sure; It doesn’t matter where you start, just follow what you love, work hard and gain skills. What you waiting for?


Barbara blog image

Barbara Sadler

Lecturer in Media and Cultural Studies

Topic: Course, Student lifestyle