Do our life experiences influence our choice of careers?

What do you think?

 

I''m really interested to hear how people ended up in their careers.

 

I remember when I first started working in the child sexual abuse field and a colleague said to me that everyone comes to this arena because of their own experiences.

 

This pissed me off to be quite frank.

 

I thought what a load of rubbish.  I co-created the service because that's just where I ended up.  Where life took me.  Not because of my history.

 

I wasn't going to fit a stereotype thank you very much.

 

I started my first full-time job working in the criminal defence legal world as a secretary.

 

My mum told me to do a touch typing course at college because, "You can work anywhere if you can type Tamsin."

 

That seemed a logical bit of advice and I didn't know what I wanted to do so thought hey ho let's give it a go.

 

Soon afterwards, I landed the job as a legal secretary.  I loved it.

 

I was a cocky 18 year old and very quickly decided I could do more than a secretarial role and pestered my boss until he let me see clients, take their instructions, go to court etc.

 

This led me on to starting my law degree - another logical step.

 

I carried on at a couple of different law firms while doing my law degree part-time and then life brought me up to Nottingham (well my ex-husband did actually).

 

I fancied a change.  Started a little jewellery business (I called it "Love from Me x" - why didn't someone point out what this sounded like???)

 

Then I saw a job advertised at Nottinghamshire Police Child Abuse Investigation Unit.  It was round the corner from my house and I thought it sounded interesting.  Nothing more, nothing less.

 

I worked there for a few years and enjoyed it.  It was there that a group of us had the idea to provide support to the child victims of sexual abuse and their families.

 

This is how we launched the sexual abuse service.  I have worked in the sexual abuse / childhood trauma field ever since.

 

So did my childhood experiences influence my path?

 

The bolshie part of me says no it bloody didn't.  Opportunities presented themselves and so I took them because they interested me.

 

The reflective part of me says....could this really just be coincidence?

 

Was it just an area I found interesting?

 

Did I just stick at it because I found I was quite good at it?

 

Was it the universe aligning me up with a topic with which I could relate?

 

I have no answers but it's something that the "less bolshie" side of me is interested to ponder.

 

One thing I do know for sure is that our experiences can be a very positive influence on our careers.

 

I have heard it said that survivors shouldn't work in the CSA field.  What absolute tosh.

 

As long as you are resourced enough to look after yourself then it will be a huge benefit to the people you are working with.

 

If you aren't fully resourced, without doubt you will still have the passion to effect change, but you are also opening yourself up to burn out - I talk from experience.

 

You will operate purely from a "rescuer" role.  This is incredibly well meaning but exhausting and not wholly helpful to your clients.

 

Make sure you help yourself before helping others and your experiences will be invaluable in your chosen field.

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