Monday, December 18, 2006

Unnecessary Introspection Part 1: Careers Advice

I wonder how different my life would have been if I actually took that journalism degree?

Sixteen years ago, the Careers Advisor came to our school and passed out xeroxed pages of job suggestions listing everything from Accountant to Zoologist. (Pornstar, Juggler, and Hitman were all omitted, although they're just as valid, dammit.)

I scanned the document. The previous thirteen years of schooling were now largely irrelevant. Everything in my life was going to hinge on these next ten minutes.
What should I do for the rest of my life then?

'Ah! Media!' I thought, ‘Films and telly. Brilliant’.

So that was my future sorted out. When's breaktime?

I had a vague image in my head back then ~ Me, older and fitter, with a square jaw and a camera on my shoulder. I would be in a cream-coloured safari suit for some reason, looking handsome as I filmed intrepidly whilst being shot at. Primarily, I would get thin as I would not be working behind a desk. (I was a fat schoolboy back then, and gained a lot of weight following that profile picture. Perhaps the photo triggered the binge eating?)

I did, however, also have a vague notion that perhaps I should maybe consider the possibility of the idea that perchance I could tinker with the concept of getting a career in Journalism. I always liked English and deep, deep down, I wanted to persue something vaguely journalistic but thought it a lot of terribly hard work.

Why not then get involved in the glamorous and exciting world of THE MEDIA, where I could work with vacuous celebrities and wear jeans all day! THE MEDIA, where my friends would all be famous and I would earn loads doing something I'd not yet thought about. THE MEDIA, where I could say to people, 'Yeah, I work in THE MEDIA', and they'd all go 'Ooooh.'
Plus I'd found out that I could do a BTEC in Media Studies, and that meant NO EXAMS ever again. That is what I believe our American cousins call a 'No Brainer'.

In any case, if all else failed, I prided myself in not being that stupid. I could always do that generic job, Business, as I reckoned I could sell snow to people who have lots of free snow, like Canadians. And then there was my other passion, although I've never felt so passionate as to actually do anything about it: Acting.

Yes, at 16, I really did have a world of options at my feet. There were several things I could try my hand at, although I never really felt that strongly about any one thing over another, so my course of action was to take the path of least resistance, or to be more accurate, to study something that required the least effort.

That'll be Media then.

So that was my Master Plan. Don't try too hard, bumble along with my destiny in the hands of Fate, and Everything Should Work Itself Out In The End because after all, Life should be aaaaalright for those with half a brain.

Sixteen-year-olds are idiots.


Denim Boy said...

Careers Advisers are all c*nts.

I actually missed my appointment with mine at school and I think that may go some way to explain why it took me so long to find out how hard it was to get a job.

is it too late for you to make the move to become a juggler now?

Anonymous said...

Or pornstar. Pornstar would be good, Fweng and DB.

And I want to hear all about this snow that you could sell me... I might be interested. I assume this would be different from the 6 feet of the stuff outside my window right now?

luna said...

If you're unemployed you can wear your jeans all day too.
With holes in them too.

Joie DeVivre said...

Oooo - you're in the media !!

Eileen Dover said...

Hey! Don't knock media whores!!!!!


Weekends Off said...

At least you had a master plan. I'm still working on mine and well, I'm only half done!

Quick said...

16 year olds are idiots... I did much the same thing. I said I wanted to be a journalist whenever The Question was asked because it sounded kinda cool. I promptly left school to become a stonemason (FFS), left that after my apprenticeship because it was a shit job, bumbled through many silly jobs to eventually - and without the aid of any qualifications - become an editor of a weekly clubbing mag. Really, quite by accident. After three and a half years I decided to be a freelance arts writer because I like the theatre a lot and free tickets are nice, and also I hated working in an office.

I still think it's funny when I see my reviews pinned up at theatres all over the place. And I've stopped correcting publicists who introduce me as a journalist. In the end, the stupid 16 year old that I was became the thing he cluelessly said he was going to be.

Sometimes weird and funny shit does happen.

Quick said...

Also, just spent too much time reading your blog. It's good. Glad you didn't pay any attention to that slagging off in the Dissed post. What the fuck are those people about?

fwengebola said...

DB ~ My juggling dreams are over. And porn pays so poorly. Tschh.
LFM ~ But the wages! I could sell you some really superior snow. Good stuff, really. £50 a gram. Sound ok?
Luna ~ Screw jeans. I prefer tracksuit bottoms with an elasticated waistband.
JD ~ Was. I was in the media.
ED ~ Why not. Gasp - you're not one are you?
WO ~ Master plan? What master plan? I have no idea what's going on, ever.
Quick ~ A tremendous welcome. Your story is an inspiration, and that forum would appear to be a site where you allow your blog to be slagged off by a housewife who can't spell. My fault for agreeing to be reviewed by them, although I didn't realise I did that.

And congratulations on your fucking Ashes win. Grrrrr.

Eileen Dover said...


In a very loose way, yes.

Eileen Dover said...

I will say... I started my degree out that way, and migrated another way. But, less media, more communications.