I come from a very creative family, so there was no surprise that I decided to choose a career in Marketing. However, deciding what area of marketing I wanted to pursue took me onto a whole new path and I am so fortunate to have experienced a life including the glitz and glam of showbiz too!
How it all started...
The first hand of marketing and making my own money was when myself and my sister were younger and decided to set up a secret shop on our estate every day after school in summer. We would run to our local sweet shop, grab a large pack of pick n mix sweets, ice-lollies, soft drinks and other bits and then set it all out onto a blanket in our communal garden for our friends to come and buy from us. We had the best time until my mum caught us one day and told us off!
After few weeks had passed, me and my sister realised we wanted to continue making our own money, so we decided to go to our mums restaurant and wait until the customers finished eating their meals, so we could quickly clean the table and get a tip before her staff did. Luckily most of the customers tipped us and found it cute, but the employees didn’t, so they told our mum and got us sent home.
Money. Money. Money.
Money was always on our mind but we were still too young to get a full-time job. It was only when we hit our teens that we managed to secure a part-time job at our local Tesco. It was the best! Me and my sister was like the double-act and we always made the most of the experience, even on the days that were bad. As a first job, Tesco taught us patience, communication skills, customer service and how to deal with certain situations that were out of your control. Looking back now, I wish I had taken advantage of the other options Tesco had offered us at the time, such as working within their Head Office.
By the time I hit college, I left Tesco and started to work at a call centre. Working here gave me the phone experience I didn’t gain anywhere else. It also introduced me to Targets and Commission. As soon as I knew how to hit targets, the management knew they were in trouble! Haha. I worked so hard and put in so many hours, that I eventually became one of the first starters to be promoted as a team leader, I was put onto a salary and I also convinced them to keep the commission structure in place if they wanted more sales from me. It was a win-win situation.
One More Won’t Hurt…
Lastly came University, where I decided to take on an additional job because one just wasn’t enough for me! I signed up to work with a marketing agency that provided me with work in events, meaning I got to be on movie sets, met a few celebrities, do promotional work and learn the ins and outs of PR. I loved this job so much as it was so flexible around my degree and the pay was a lot for a few hours of work a week.
After completing University and having many years of work experience in different fields under my belt, I secured a full-time Event Management role in the city. I was so excited starting this role as it was for a respectable company, a full-time employment and the salary was great meaning I didn’t have to do any other work.
The Top Dogs.
Working for the company gave me a taste of the real world. I gained so much experience in such little time and it allowed me to grow within the company and make a real impact. I was networking with some of the most influential business and IT leaders. Over time, the connections grew, relationships got stronger and the recognition I was gaining by them gave me such a confidence boost, I was ready for my next adventure. So I quit!
The World Is Your Oyster!
Quitting the job came as a shock and surprise to many, but for me it was the best decision I made after 5 years of being at the company. I was able to go on a lot of holidays, shopping sprees, spa days and just treat myself and my loved ones. After few months off relaxing, I secured another role in a company and stayed there for two years before leaving as I was offered the chance to apply for the BBC One Show The Apprentice, and didn’t want to loose that opportunity.
I always knew I’d be good on that show, but trying to get onto it was a whole new experience! I completed the application form, beat over 80,000 other applicants and then got called to the London auditions where I surprisingly managed to get through a few more stages before getting a disappointing No. It was so upsetting because I honestly put a lot into it, but I guess God had other plans for me and it is still such an achievement to have got through all of those applicants and interview stages even if I didn’t become Sir Lord Sugars Apprentice.
The experience of the application process and knowing I was capable of doing my own thing, I briefly became a Marketing Consultant with the guidance from a lot of my connections. It was a struggle at first but once I got into the swing of it, I enjoyed it a lot and got to work on a few exciting projects. However, I didn’t enjoy the self-employed aspect and was missing the office vibe working with other people, so I stopped being a consultant and went back to full-time employment.
I am now unemployed again, running Zi Beauty and looking for an exciting adventure to work abroad as soon as this pandemic/lockdown is over,
So, there you have it! From selling sweets, working in a restaurant, rubbing shoulders with celebrities and nearly being on The Apprentice, I feel I’ve done it all! My only regret is to have used social media more and documented my journey as I know that would have got me to a better place, Nevertheless, I am grateful for the experience and for everyone who I met along the way.
I always remind myself and others that we’re so lucky to be living in a world where information can be gained at the touch of a button - the internet. I can’t recommend self-education enough, especially when it comes to gaining work experience and learning about a field that interest you. I wish I had all this technology and knowledge I have now back when I was growing up. I would have made some better choices in life and definitely would have been more sensible with my money.
I hope this inspires you to try new things and to live your life the way you want to! Don’t be stuck in a job that is making you unhappy. The world is yours and you have the power to live it how you want!
‘Choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life.’ - Confucius