Thursday, July 7, 2016

What I wanted and how it turned out

I am starting a completely new chapter of my work life this autumn. A couple of weeks ago I signed a contract to start working as a teacher teaching Business, management and economics at a high school. Very exciting. I have been thinking that a teaching job would be fun and this is a chance for me to really try if this is a job for me before I add pedagogic to my MBA. This job kind of came to me and I grabbed the opportunity and are very much looking forward to start this new chapter in my life. Here is a reflection of my childhood dreams of jobs and how it corresponds with what I have done so far..

My childhood dreams about job and carrier path
Riding instructor - I have spent many of my childhood days making lists of horses and riders and teaching them how to ride. But I mean MANY hours. Running around pretending to be a horse, pretending that I am riding a horse and screaming to pretend students what to do with their horses.
School teacher
- I guess is was inspired by my great teacher in primary school but also as my mother is a teacher I used to pretend to be a school teacher a lot. Teaching my teddy bears how to read and write dreaming of my own black-board and making little red marks in their books
Radio host - I don't know at what age I got my own first recorder but I still remember how much I loved it or actually I think I still love it. I loved recording my own radio shows talking and singing. I also involved my best friend and together we made a lot of interesting shows. Later I also advanced and got a very cool big recorder with double microphones.
Working in an office - I used to sit in my mothers office room writing and stamping things. Calculating and using the fax machine. I still remember the smell of the stamp and the sound of the fax.

I also made a lot of books writing and illustrating but I guess I didn't understand that that could actually be a job so I guess that doesn't count.

What I thought I would become as a teenagerNot an easy question to reply I don't remember having a clear idea of what I wanted to do ( and I still don't really...) I think I was thinking of journalism & psychology. I loved school maybe mainly the routines and subjects such as Swedish, religion, psychology, drawing & illustrating. I loved to follow schedule and the variations of things. I hated mathematics, Chemistry & Physics. I was not an A student and never really had that ambition. I was perfectly happy having grades good enough in the middle. I also had 1 sometimes 2,3 of my own horses training and competing since the age of 8 which of course took a lot of my time so I had split focus growing up between school-work and my sport. I did have strict orders from my parents to keep my grades on the upper level otherwise my horses would be sold. And some how I did manage without too much effort to manage school, stable and fun.
Finishing high school I had no clear picture of what I wanted to do more a very lost feeling and I don't even think I was particular happy that the school was over and that I from that day had to make my own decisions.

My early work experience
My first job ( a part from garden and lawn mowing work home) was at a 4H camp where kids could come and hang out with animals I was 14-15 years old I think.

When I was 17 years old I started working in the local cinema. I was responsible for selling tickets, popcorn, sweets and summing up & doing the financial report after each job day. I worked every second week including weekends after school and stable and yes it was pretty challenging. One summer I even cleaned the cinema after the last movie, it was pretty creepy being by myself nighttime in the dark cinema. AND my god how much popcorn you find on the floor and chewing gums. Even today (not that I go to cinema very often...) I always look for the popcorn amount on the floor and cursing people to myself who leaves trash when they leave.. That same summer I also started working in our local super market Konsum. Me and my best friend worked most shifts together we had fun and was saving money to go on a inter-rail trip around Europe in the end of the summer.

I moved to Holland when I was 19 to a show-jumping competing yard belonging to Dutch Olympic winner Barcelona -92, Jan Tops. To get a job at Stal Tops a big deal for a horse girl like me. A professional stable is something different then stables I was used to back home in Sweden. More hierarchy, impressive and different caliber of horses and hard work from early morning to late evening 7 days a week. As a new groom I was at the bottom of the hierarchy to put it mild it was hell and the nastiness is nothing I had ever experiences before nor after. I wanted to go home after only a week but somehow it changed for better and I got great horses to ride, got picked to go with Swedish Olympic rider Rolf-Göran Bengtsson and 6 horses to sunshine tour in Spain to groom and ride. When I got back I got offered the job as stable manager with responsibility of the veterinary clinic and the dealing barn with around 25-30 horses and 10 staff. Big responsibility for a 20 year old indeed. I could write a book of my experiences personally, professionally and from the insight from the top sport from my time in Holland and on the highest level of European show jumping circuit.

After Holland I moved to the country-side outside Manchester in England working in a tack-shop ( a shop that sells everything you need for horses) and also working in a show-jumping yard riding and competing young horses and teaching students. Managing still to travel a lot to horse shows around England and rest of Europe. It was great combination of work and I loved the customer contact, the students, the new knowledge of horse and animal feed and supplements but especially that I really got to learn to understand and to speak English English pretty ok. Farmers with thick variations of Manchester/Stockport accents and British sense of humor was a challenge at first I can tell you but the best teachers I have ever had.

After these years I was ready to head back to school and University.

I started studying Medie Technology in Södertörn College ( In Stockholm) but then moved to Örebro University where I took my Master in Business & Administration (MBA) with focus on organization and management 2010

More work experience

One summer I had the chance to have the best summer job one can have. I flew to Boston USA and worked at a girl's summer camp in state of Maine. I worked with teaching the girls to horse back ride on different levels but also to ride the camp owners private horses. Great american summer I gained so many fun experiences and friends at Camp Fernwood.

While I was studying at University I worked every third weekend with people with mental disorders. Not in a hospital they lived and had treatment at a farm under strict restrictions and regulations with animals as part of their therapy. A new field for me and I was worried if this was a job for me but it turned out that I liked it and learned a lot from these years.

During my last year of studying I got a chance to do my master thesis for Swedish industrial company Atlas Copco and that was my way in to the company. After finishing my MBA I got offered a job in the quality department making processes in the internal management system. Quit a change from working with horses now in the business of big yellow mining machines. Within Atlas Copco I have worked at the production unit in Örebro for the division of Mining and rock excavation. I worked in quality department, logistics and as a regional business support in the marketing team before moving to customer center of East Europe based in Czech republic Prague. In Prague office I worked as project coordinator for a fleet management and spare part potential project and quality management support.

Creative explosion 
When Mila came along and I went on maternity leave I all of a sudden had so much time especially in the beginning sitting in the sofa breast feeding and when small babies are not eating they are sleeping so first couple of months I spent hours and hours drawing, reading and watching TV shows. As Mila grew older I got more and more inspirations from her and parenthood for my illustrations and to write my blog. I had a great gang of international friends with kids in the same age that I was hanging a lot with and having play dates with which also inspired me in my creative development leap. And the beauty of Prague of course. I do think my illustrations developed a lot during this period and I really enjoyed having all this time to focus on my creative side. I also got inspired and started to sew. At first I was really hopeless but practice makes perfect. Made hats, dresses, shirts etc and got better and better. I bought cool eco fabrics and made functional stuff which I was missing on the market. I managed with help to put together my webpage where I can show my work and what I do. I made illustrations for an international magazine in Prague,The Bridge, and also for a Swedish web-magazine as well as getting orders of family portraits. I also started to produced more hats and bibs and was selling them in an international bookstore in Prague. I have continue illustrating and sewing as much as I can but with two kids and house the time which I had in Prague is not the same. When we moved to Moscow I was planning to focus more on my business but it was hard as we had hard to adjust to this huge city and I lost a little bit of the pace for a while.

Well what to say. That I like variation in my work life. Life is to short to do only one thing. Is it my generation that we are not marathon runners when it comes to one profession or maybe it is just me. I like so many things and like to try things and to master things pretty ok before heading towards next challenge. I guess you can call me restless. That I have been able to work and live in so many different countries and cultures ( The Netherlands, UK, USA, Czech Republic & Russia) has made the world smaller and my horizons wider. Just the thought of settling down in one place is scaring me but at the same time more then ever tempting now with kids.

I have not climbed a carrier ladder, broken any glass ceilings, earned a lot of money or been very successful in one field. But what is success I keep asking myself. I am not a very material driven person so lots of money wouldn't really make me happier. I am grateful that I have done things which has really meant something to me, seen and tasted places and experiences from many different fields. So I guess that is what I will keep doing. Do things which makes me feel good and that gives me satisfaction.

I feel happy that I have had time to be home with the kids longer then today's norm and that I during that time could develop my creative small business and that it has given me a push that this is really something I want to do more with in the future. The combination of teaching, illustrating, sewing and spending as much time with the kids as I can I think will be a great recipe to try for the autumn. And dreaming that one day I will make that children's book I am dreaming about and to produce and sell more funky eco friendly cloths for kids.

So To wrap my job thoughts up, from my childhood dream jobs I have so far done all of it now when I am heading into the school world. Only one remaining and that is radio host... So when I get bored of being a teacher watch the space I need to get my own radio show organized. Well today that is not that crazy actually with all the podcasts around.

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