When is a day job not a day job? When its more than a job. When it matters.
Writing and producing were my first love. Yet when offered the chance to pitch for a gig on a TV soap, I took a contract with a community arts project. After getting decent reviews for a book about film, I started working with youth charities. Having produced the North East’s top rated radio show, I opted for a role in the homeless sector.
Spot the trend? Where there’s a mission, there’s a way…to be creative and be a consultant for children’s charities, pilot a citizenship curriculum, lead a youth homelessness task force, turn hostels into Places of Change, manage services for families, young people, refugees, communities.
I don’t see day jobs as stop gaps. They’re a chance to make change. They can be exhausting, heart breaking. They also fill you up with stories of lives transformed. Can you do them and be creative? Totally. One feeds the other.
I’ve been a senior practitioner, area manager, regional lead and business contracts manager. The next step has never been about which sector a job is in, or the size of the pay cheque. It’s about where I can make a difference.
1998-2002 – youth citizenship and participation, with NCH Action for Children, NSPCC, Institute of Education, Learning and Skills Development Agency
2002-2005 – youth action and homelessness, with INLINE (Independent Living Newcastle)
2006-2015 – homelessness, youth, education, employability and community services, with Homeless Link and Home Group
2015-2017 – children, young people, family services, refugee and migrant services, with The Children’s Society