My Next Career Steps
As some of you may know, Friday is the start of my career as a full-time professional athlete. In order for me to progress further with my training, I have taken the step to concentrate my efforts on my sports, which will also enable me to motivate and inspire others more- it certainly wasn't a decision that I took lightly.
What was my dream job?
As a child, similarly to many others, I had many career dreams. I always dreamed of being a paramedic or a maths teacher and my career path was often swayed by my disability. I always had a passion for numbers but was severely bullied at school so, as a young person choosing a career, the thought of being 'stuck' at school as a teacher sounded terrible. After some research, I also found that the hours and pay of a paramedic weren't particularly appealing so I started looking for something a bit different in the medical field - that's when I found dentistry.
As my ability to walk was decreasing, I fell in love with the thought of being a dentist. Through college, I did plenty of work experience with my dentist and aimed my A Levels towards a career in dentistry. My grades were great and I was ready to go with my application until I had my assessment for my physical capability for dentistry - it turns out my foot wouldn't allow me to be a dentist!
The governing body decided that medically, I couldn't pursue a career in dentistry due to my spasmic tendencies. When my foot was touched, my whole body would spasm and I was deemed to be unsafe if performing a procedure on a patient. As there was no realistic future for life without my foot at this stage, I was unable to fight the decision so I was left to find another career path.
Why the financial services?
Feeling stuck in my wheelchair without any sign of relief, I sought a high-paid career that would be desk-based. My father has a career in finance and with my love for numbers, the career choice made sense. I underwent a degree at a specialist Financial Services University and upon completion, I started my first position as a graduate (May 2017). It was very much a sense of accepting my fate and I decided to try and find enjoyment outside of my degree and career.
At the same time as starting my position, I also received my first prosthetic from Blatchford in Basingstoke and started walking pain-free for the first time in 14 years. A few months later, I was up and running on my Blade XT and as you can imagine, with my ability to walk, I desired to be more active and explore the new able-bodied world. The concept of being behind a desk all day became increasingly difficult and in January, I decided to listen to my mind and move on to a healthier lifestyle - one where i'm able to inspire and motivate others while allowing enough time for my own progression and happiness.
The exciting thing is that from this Friday, I will no longer have a desk-job and will be a full-time professional athlete. Around my training and sponsor's requirements, I will be visiting schools and colleges to help inspire young people. I welcome this challenge with open arms and i'm really excited to see my progression when I have the time to train adequately.
With more time, I will be able to assist more with the development of the cadets within the Army Cadet Force and I really can't wait to see what the future holds.
If you'd like me to visit your school/college/organisation, drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org