From Shop Girl to Rock Star - My 5 Failed Careers

Posted on: Feb 17, 2016

I saw a great blog the other day by Charlee Sully at The Usual Studio about ‘6 careers I almost chose instead of design’. It did make me think, with a cold shudder, what I could have ended up doing had I not fought my way into a creative career (and it did feel like a fight at times).

*cue flashbacks*

Shop Girl
As an unsentimental graduate I was never going to last long working in a card and gift shop. I remained emotionally unmoved in the face of an army of teddy bears holding plush sateen hearts and shelf upon shelf of mushy Hallmark Moments. The only part of the job I took any pleasure in was vacuuming at the end of the shift.

I worked in a pub as a fairly accomplished waitress and was asked to help out behind the bar. My barmaid-ing career lasted an afternoon, after my shocking inability to do mental arithmetic was revealed (the old-fashioned till was no help) and I looked visibly panicked whenever someone offered to buy me a drink.

Sunbed Session Salesperson

Had there been any incentive or commission structure to sell sunbeds sessions in bulk while working front of house at a gym, I might have cared. However I was ultimately disinterested in helping people to become mahogany-coloured, and routinely beaten by the senior salesperson (whose target-beating streak was beset with rumors of under-the-table discounts).

Life Model
An unlikely career for someone as prone to chilliness and fidgeting as I (I’m susceptible enough to drafts while fully clothed). The novelty of getting paid to sit still and do nothing soon wore off, but this career would have made for one of the more interesting business cards designs.

Rock Star
Me and some guys from school, had a band and we tried real hard. But Jimmy quit, Jodie got…no, wait….

This is the one failed career that I actually mourn. Who wouldn’t want to be a rock star? It was great fun at times, playing the heavy rock music I loved, head banging away with abandon, feeling like the coolest person ever. We did loads of pub gigs, represented Coventry in a national Battle of the Bands and recorded a demo at Woodbine Street studios (which I still have on CD somewhere. As I recall it had a flaming skull on the front). But we all went our separate ways, and as bass is not really a solo instrument it’s now rather inevitably gathering dust in the spare room.

my failed career as a rock star


Oh, but what could have been…

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