This week George, our Junior Front-End Developer, gives us his run down of his first five jobs for our Where Next series. From carpets to camps to coding, he’s learned a few useful life lessons on the way to becoming one of our dev stars.
1. Crown Carpets
Around the age of 16 I swapped Saturday morning lie-ins for measuring and cutting carpets. It wasn’t the most glamorous start to working life but it was a humble one.
LESSON: Life lesson 101; do not attempt to lift by bending forward. Bend your hips and knees to squat down to your load, keep it close to your body then straighten your legs to lift.
2. YMCA Camp Flaming Arrow
During the summer of 2012, between my first and second year of university, I ventured across the pond to the The Lone Star State aka Texas, USA. Here I worked as a camp councillor for eight weeks at a traditional American summer camp.
LESSON: Safety doesn’t matter to kids, or at least it doesn’t seem to when you’re busy helping kids tackle a climbing wall while the other kids run rings (literally the climbing rope) around you. All while you’re carefully monitoring young Jimmy some 15ft above you. Fun!
3. Splendid Events staffing
It was my final year of university. My student loan was dwindling and ready meals just weren’t cutting it anymore. I had to step up and get a taste of working life in the Big Smoke. Before too long I managed to acquire a rather lofty position in hospitality. The job took me all over London; from serving season ticket holders in Bobby Charlton’s restaurant at Wembley Stadium, hosting a fine dining evening with the board of the TFL and working at Prince Charles’ Buckingham Palace fundraisers. Splendid!
LESSON: One man’s trash is another man’s treasure… When you’re coming off the back of a full day at university and a tiresome shift in hospitality and you see a half-eaten steak heading for the bin, you pounce on it.
4. The Hemp Shop online retailer
A couple of weeks after graduating I returned to my home town where I was offered an intriguing opportunity to manage the content and marketing output of an online retail company called The Hemp Shop. Here I flexed my skills in a range of tasks including email marketing campaigns, SEO marketing and product curation.
LESSON: Stay open-minded in the workplace: it may not always feel like what you’ve been asked do is benefitting you at the time but in learning something new you may gain information that will allow for a fresh perspective on a familiar task.
5. Freelance Web Developer
After I left The Hemp Shop I decided to move to Bristol where I got my first taste of working for myself. From my, oh-so-official hotdesk in Stokes Croft I designed and developed websites on a freelance basis for various small companies.
LESSON: Going freelance can afford you with a lot of freedom but you need to be selective about the type of clients you work with and be careful about saying yes to everything. Also try to collaborate with others where possible, just having someone there to share ideas with can be super useful.
Like this? Have a nose at more of our team’s first five jobs here.