Realising My Why

This post is probably a year late.

In August 2018 I had had enough of doing a job I wasn’t passionate about. I handed in my notice without having another job lined up and didn’t care. A few days later and I was fed up of trawling through job sites, only finding the same job I had just quit, but for other companies.

I ended up in the pub one night with a couple of friends who listened to my woes. They then asked what my passion was.

It’s the most cliche thing you ever hear but I spent my youth in my bedroom. On a Sunday I would sit on the floor, recording the Chart Show on my boombox, taking care to not let the DJ ruin the song. I would then spend the week creating my own radio shows, using the taped, Chart Show music as my playlist.

I never recorded any of these radio shows so there is no incriminating evidence of them ever happening. I promise you they did though and I spent my childhood wanting to be a DJ when I grew up.

At age 15 I tried to get work experience at my local commercial radio station. Unfortunately it didn’t happen but I wasn’t put off. At 17 I decided that if I was going to go to university, it would be to do a radio production course. A year later I moved to Warrington and began a Media Studies (Radio Production) course.

After two weeks of uni freshers life I bagged myself a show on the student radio station and found my home.

I loved it.

I’d spend hours throughout the week planning my show instead of researching media law or reading into the effects of video games on children. All I cared about was the two hours on a Friday from 4pm, inside that small broom-cupboard of a radio studio.

In my second year of uni, I spent the summer term on work experience at Chester’s commercial radio station. I didn’t get the chance to present, instead I compiled research into anything and everything that happened on each day of the year, in history. The idea being that my research would be used for that old radio favourite; Guess The Year.

When my eight weeks of official work experience ended I stayed on in Chester as a Broadcast Assistant for the Saturday sport show. My job was to record the football reports that were sent down the ISDN line, edit them and send them to the studio to be played out on air by the presenter.

I really enjoyed those days in Chester and I’m not sure why they ended up stopping.

By the time I had finished at university I was tired of education. In truth I should have done more to get into radio but having given myself a two year deadline, I found myself working in a call centre for nearly five years. I did some community radio during that time but my shift pattern wasn’t kind and there were some weeks I couldn’t do my show.

Fast forward another 8 years and you find me at the point where I began this post. I’d just quit my job and was being asked; What is your passion?

Now I’m sure you could answer that for me after reading all that. So why is it that I’m sat here a year later, having only just realised what it is?

I want to be a radio presenter. That is my goal. Always has been.

I love what I have been doing over the last year - making podcasts. It has allowed me to express myself creatively again.

Out of all the series I have had a hand in creating, my favourites are the ones which I have presented. I enjoy the editing process, don’t get me wrong. And i certainly won’t say no to a new client who is just looking for an editor. But the jobs I really want are the ones where I use my voice. Where I lead the show.

So where does that leave me, one year on from going freelance and starting my new career? It’s not quite a change of direction. I still want to be making podcasts and helping others on their podcasting journeys. It’s more subtle than that. Think of how a bob sleigh team lean into the corner to help them make the turn. That’s what I’m doing now. I’m leaning into the camber and forcing my career into the correct destination.

I’ve just looked at my business cards which arrived a couple of months ago. On the front it reads:

Voice Over, Presenter and Podcast Production

Even my subconscious knew that I wanted my voice to heard first and foremost. It’s just taken a little while for the rest of me to catch up.