Family Magazine

First Steps on the Career Ladder (‘Life’s a Journey’ Weekly Nostalgia Link-Up, Week 49)

By Saveeverystep @saveeverystep

Welcome to year two of our weekly series of ‘link-up’ Posts which reflect on life’s journey, old memories and family stories (see below for more info).

New year, new theme, so how about stepping back in time to your early adulthood?

I left school at 18 with a clutch of A levels and an academic teaching staff who fully expected that every girl who left the campus of my prim and proper ‘Grammar School for Gals’ would descend upon some university or other and carry on where they had left off. Hmmmm.

family stories

My Britannic chums, 1986.(Me, second from left)

I was skint. I wanted a flat, a car and a social life, none of which were likely if I spent the next 4 years poring over more text books. So I determined to get a job.

In my parents’ eyes (this was 1985 I hasten to remind you) a ‘respectable’ job meant a bank, so I set about writing letters (on actual paper) to endless large corporations, begging for their attention. I finally found refuge at a large insurance company – Britannic Assurance. It was a large, terrifying building with endless corridors of marbled floors, with hundreds of brown-suited suicidal-looking people clocking in and out.

They offered me £3200 per year. Perfect. I got the job and started straight away.

Turns out my teachers were right. I should have gone to Uni. Within weeks I was bored senseless. Our desks were laid out in actual rows, with the ‘supervisor’/headmaster seated behind us (ALWAYS referred to as Mr X and NEVER by his christian name) so that he could watch us naughty girls like a hawk. And he did.

I took files out of drawers, dictated standard letters which secretaries typed and handed back to me (I could not be trusted to type, having only 4 A levels), and stamped things a lot. The stamping part was a highlight if I’m honest… a bit like playing post offices. I wasn’t allowed to write non standard letters, having only 4 A levels, and there did seem to be a competition to see who could get their work done in the fastest time (accuracy not necessarily important). This meant that I got to read my book (under the desk) when my work was finished (usually around 1pm). I read a lot of books that year.

I saved up Flexi time and messed about. A lot. I wan’t allowed to talk to customers, having only 4 A levels. You getting the picture? It was a little less challenging than the French literature I had been occupied with only weeks beforehand….

My Britannic chums are sadly no longer in my life. We just lost touch sadly, but my memories of the happy, hilarious and rebellious times we had there for the 18 months I could tolerate it will always stay with me.

Lucinda – if you ever read this – you rocked.

What was your first ever job? Did you go to Uni or just dive right in like me? Share your memories  by joining our weekly Link-up (new theme each week) with your own blog post, or simply by chatting in the comments section. Everyone is welcome for a dose of sweet nostalgia!


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More about the Life’s a Journey weekly memories series.

A selection of other posts from this series:-

FIrst day of school memories family stories

Week 2 - Old School Portrait

family stories best friends

Week 4 - Bestest Friends

family stories teenage crush

Week 5 - Teenage Crushes

family stories grease movie

Week 6 - First Movie Memories

family stories cinderella

Week 9 - Favourite Childhood Books

family stories

Week 19 - Becoming a Parent

family stories

Week 25 - Old Boyfriends

family stories

Week 39 – My home town


Tagged: family, jobs, kids, life's a journey, Linky, memories, nostalgia, stories

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