|Book cover courtesy of Amazon.co.uk|
I remember reading up on the career of one of my favourite authors whilst I was still in my twenties. It went something like this: student, café worker, gymnast, market gardener, therapist, athletics coach... long before I got to the end I wondered what this lady had ever done to make her a writer!
Yes, I was very naïve and no, I hadn't heard of the University of Life. But those days came to mind this week when someone from my past work history appeared out of nowhere.
'I recognise that lady,' said one of my daughter's facebook friends after seeing my author photo online. 'She got me a job almost twenty-years ago, and I'm still here.'
This was someone I'd found a position for in my days as a recruitment consultant in the late nineteen nineties - one of the best jobs I ever had!
Better still, the one-time customer services advisor had now risen through ranks of the successful distribution company to become customer services and transport manager.
In my early days of recruitment I interviewed many graduates looking for their first job after years of studying. I usually recommended temporary positions in industry to instil in them the work ethic. One girl, I remember, told me she had ambitions to work for the Secret Service, but was quite happy to do any temporary work that came her way. She was one of my best temps and eventually accepted a lucrative position with an international organisation.
Five years later I received a confidential letter from MI5 asking if I could verify the candidate's work records. I was happy to do so and, though I never got to hear the outcome, I'd always known this was someone determined to succeed.
Success is not so much about what you do as how you do it. And that stint working behind the beauty counter in Boots might just come in handy when you're ready build your own cosmetics empire.
So if your children or grandchildren are keen to learn how to work, try suggesting they work to learn. And for anyone hoping to become A Woman of Substance just remember that Barbara Taylor Bradford once worked in the typing pool at the Yorkshire Evening Post.