“BIG FISH, LITTLE FISH, CARDBOARD BOX!”
So, for those of you old enough to remember – rave on. For millennials out there – what I am referring to with “Big fish, little fish, cardboard box”, is a dance move from the 80s/90s (not just a Bob the Builder stomper).
For me it also kind of describes my work experience.
I grew up on the Isle of Wight, with summers and weekends since the age of ten working in various part time jobs to fund my fun and my freedom. The jobs were varied – anything from chamber maid (REALLY hard work), waiting tables, serving in a shop, gardening, babysitting and to working in a picture frame factory. I kept working through my A Levels and during the year out I took before heading to the mainland to give Uni a try. By the time I left the Island when I was 20, I felt like a Big fish – in a small pond. It was time to leave, I felt like I had outgrown the Island.
When I moved to London when I was around 24 – my first job – a recruitment consultant (thank you Neal for giving me such a lucky break), I had no idea what I was going to do when I moved to London, I just knew I needed to be there.
It was nothing like I imagined. I felt tiny, London is massive. It was time for small fish, big pond. My career changed a number of times in my 20’s (from recruitment to event management), it felt very accidental, and I had no career plan. Eventually when I was nearing 30 years old I was given an opportunity to work for the BBC. I started working in a project support role, developed into programme management and later specialised as a business change manager. I pushed myself with each role, seeking more challenges – putting myself into situations where I was the small fish again, stretching, learning and growing as I went.
Years on, I am now a Director of my own small company – helping clients managing the people aspect of business change and transformation. This is where the cardboard box comes in… Each side of the box represents a skill or capability I have gained over the years which I need to perform my current job. Without each experience I would not be who I am today.
Without these experiences – being raised on the Island (big fish), becoming an adult and a business woman in London (small fish) and now running my own company by my own design (cardboard box) I wouldn’t be where I am today.
Did I mention where I am today? Living back on the Island, travelling to work later today in London.
The big fish is back.