I DIDN’T GO TO UNI & I’M NOT A FAILURE | QUEENBEADY

NEW LOOK QUEENBEADY

Leather Jacket Topshop | Jumpsuit C/O New Look | Shoes Miss Selfridge | Watch Larsson & Jennings | Bag Mango | Photography Matt McCormick

Firstly, I gotta give you a lil #LOL before you read any further. That precariously placed red splodge you see on my jumpsuit leg, this numpty went and spilt bright red nail polish on myself when it got it’s first outing and I can’t get rid of it. Any removal suggestions will be gladly welcomed as I just love it so much. Okay, okay back to the moral of the story. Lemme break it down for you hunnies. YOU DON’T NEED UNI TO GET YO’ DREAM CAREER. SHOCK. (Have I been watching too much Ru Paul?) I didn’t go to Uni and have had two very successful (or at least I like to think?! Yikes do I wanna blow my trumpet anymore?!) careers in my 10 years of working life. I didn’t go to Uni & I’m not a failure!

NEW LOOK JUMPSUIT

Back when I was leaving school in 2006 (stop the world I wanna get off, that is TEN years ago!) our school had a particular knack of coercing people in to heading to sixth form and then moving on to University to “achieve anything” in their life. For someone like me who wasn’t academic and couldn’t always apply myself to school subjects I felt backed in to a corner. I went in to year 12, the first year of sixth form, with 4 core subjects; Travel & Tourism, Textiles, English Language & Sociology. I only passed the three former subjects (I effing hated sociology.) My scores were horrific and my heart wasn’t in it, I was mourning a broken heart for the first part and then lusting to all mother of extents after another boy (who subsequently became my husband, yay me!) My head was not in the game. I still think to this day that had my circumstances been any different I would have still struggled over and over again. This post is for all those people who have felt like failures for not going to Uni and for those who don’t know what their next options are.

QB NEW LOOK MISS SELFRIDGE

QUEENBEADY NEW LOOK

GET YO’SELF ON AN APPRENTICE SCHEME. This is exactly what I did when I left sixth form. I had gone for an interview with Tui to become the resident Travel Apprentice in a store in York, within 3 hours of my interview I was offered the position. The next day I headed in to school/sixth form and handed my letter of leave to our head of year. I had an adult job to go to. Sounds scary & yes I’ve been working hard since the age of 17 but I have so much to show for it, a career where I worked my way up to Store Assistant Manager and a qualification to boot. Studying and working alongside one another doesn’t have to be hard work if it’s what you are passionate about. Click this link here to read about what Apprenticeships are available near you.

WORK WITH GREAT RECRUITMENT AGENCIES*. Work with ones that understand your goals and desires for your career or working life, such as Spotlight Recruitment. When I left travel 2 years ago, I wanted to go in to something that pushed the boundaries and I now work in Experiential Marketing & Events. Whilst its very different to what I was doing before, your recruiter can understand your strengths and how they can be applied to other jobs to put you forward for varying roles. A quote that always goes without saying is “two pairs of eyes is better than one” and that’s exactly why using a recruitment agency can do to get your foot in the door.

QUEENBEADY WALK

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NEW LOOK JUMPSUIT QB

BE PREPARED TO PUT YOURSELF OUT THERE. I have to do things that aren’t always that great, attend awkward seminars and luncheon meets, but it can sometimes get you in front of the right people and when you do find that, it will all be worth it. Even if you do have to sit in front of a smarmy man with greased back hair telling you about his yacht on the South of France, grin and bear it (if you can!)

WORK HARD TO GET WHERE YOU WANT TO BE. Success doesn’t just happen overnight, it’s something you work hard at to gain that status. I worked my (humongous) butt off in my interviews to get the job I currently hold as an Account Manager. For my second round of interviews with the company I went out of my way to create a PowerPoint presentation showing them exactly what I can bring to the table, and also how I would do it. It scored me massive brownie points as not only was I really selling myself for the role, I was also displaying my competency of using a computer & it’s programmes. You know the saying, “two birds, one stone.”

QB JUMPSUIT NEW LOOK

QB THINK

NEW LOOK JUMPSUIT QUEENBEADY

QUEENBEADY POSE

THE GREATEST MARKETING EXPERIENCE I EVER GAINED WAS FROM STARTING THIS BLOG. If you have a passion for anything, start writing it down online. Play on your strengths, create some amazing content AND GET MARKETING IT. You will get a really good vibe from social sharing and creating content and having this to show to a potential employer could put you head and shoulders above the rest. A side-line hobby could seriously help you. Blogging is not being ignored so work it to your advantage if you are applying for Marketing or Social Media roles.

INTERN. It’s not something I’ve ever done, however, having spoken to others about how they interned really gave them the experience to qualify them for their biggest role to date it seems a no-brainer. Yes, most opportunities aren’t paid, but if you are at home taking 2 weeks out of your Summer to intern won’t be the end of the world. Imagine how amazing that is going to look on your CV?

QUEENBEADY X MATT MCCORMICK

QB

QUEENBEADY

You know what they say, “Don’t measure your success on everyone else’s.” I feel like I’ve been a little bit of a cliché with all these quotes, but seriously, as long as you are happy and taking the right steps to get yourself on or up the career ladder then I applaud you. In a tough job market, it can be difficult so just remember to stand out and bring something a little bit different or unique to set yourself ahead of others. If you are struggling with the decision of what to do next after school or even in adulthood, speak to a careers advisor or check out the Citizens advice website for more guidance. Remember Uni isn’t for everyone and there are some fantastic opportunities out there!

Bee xxx

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32 comments so far.
  • Yasmin Rebecca

    Amazing post, and so true. I did go to university but a lot of that was because at 17 I was too busy going out with my friends, and chasing boys…oops, to figure out a life plan or even think about what I wanted to do with my life. After graduating 2 years ago I was completely lost, but I see that as a good thing as I’ve done loads of volunteer work, started my blog and been travelling. Now I’m ready to start a career so the great unknown can truly be great!

    I love this outfit by the way, the jumpsuit is amazing! xxxxx

    Y x | http://www.thesweetsevenfive.com

    • Hey Yasmin,
      I’m glad you enjoyed your uni experience. For some it’s the natural process and for other’s it just isn’t. I’m sorry that after you left uni you didn’t feel you had a plan in place, I guess it can come down to the lack of guidance or help available, which is sort of what I’m getting at for when you leave school, too. It sounds like you picked up the pace and made sure that you did lots to fill a gap. Our blogs are so great!
      Bee xxx
      Ps. Thank you for your kind words about my jumpsuit, I truly love it!

  • It is so nice to read a post about not going to university and the other
    options there are. I think it’s really important that people know their
    options, instead of just jumping into uni because that’s what they’ve
    been told to do. You don’t have to go to uni to be successful.

    I left school in 2005, and that’s slightly terrifying to think about, and went straight into college. College I loved. I enjoyed the classes, the freedom, the everything about it that was a hundred times better than school, and did think about uni. I thought about it, before deciding I could not spend four years of my life studying something that wasn’t going to have any effect on what I wanted to do. I’d always known what I wanted to do, so making that happen was the most important thing, and that’s what I’m really focusing on now. I am making a living from my writing – I’m just not doing it exactly the way I want.

    Loving the jumpsuit. I can see why you’re still wearing it with the nail varnish stain. 🙂

    xxx

    • Hey Kayleigh,
      Thank you for your lovely comment. I’m glad people are relating to this and have made decisions that have worked out much better for them. I think for me I had no clue what I wanted to do, except I enjoyed the travel & tourism which then led to my apprenticeship with TUI.
      Go you for making a living from your writing! I’d love to do that one day,
      The jumpsuit is too nice to not wear! Ha!
      Bee xxx

  • Yes yes yes to this! As an 18 year old who’s heard the ‘uni is the only way’ spiel so many times, I love reading experiences of people who are living a damn good life without it, and you’ve done so well! So cute about you and your husband too. Teenage sweethearts, you lucky buggers.
    Even though I told my tutor my plans for distance learning with Open University, he still tried to pressure me to do UCAS incase I changed my mind. Even though I’d be doing a degree anyway! He didn’t seem to have much faith in my plan to give full time blogging a shot alongside a degree, because it wasn’t the ‘standard route’. To be fair, apprenticeships were treated as a good option too, but god forbid you want to do something other than uni or an apprenticeship!
    Rant over. Fab post, fab outfit, fab photos!
    Lily xx
    jolihouse.com

    • Oh Lily,
      I’m so glad this is a refreshing read for you. You gotta do what you gotta do and there is no way that someone else should tell you how to go about your life.
      I think you should follow your dream as a full time blogger, as you know I love your space on the web. People / teachers don’t understand much outside of a conventional career so don’t let them put you off. GO FOR IT GIRL!
      Bee xxx

  • Amy Eade

    I love your jumpsuit and I can’t really see the red splodge! I spilt some nail varnish on a jumper and my mum managed to get it out with nail varnish remover. To be honest I went to uni because I didn’t know any other options but it wasn’t the best thing I’ve ever done – I enjoyed it but I wouldn’t say it’s massively helped my career. I’d definitely urge people to think more carefully about what they really want!
    Amy xx
    http://www.callmeamy.co.uk

    • HAHA! Thank you Amy. I think it’s noticeable to me as I know it’s there I tried and tried with the nail varnish remover and it just wouldn’t budge. SOB. I’m sorry that your experience with uni wasn’t the best, I hope you are somewhere in your life though, that does make you happy!
      Bee xxx

  • Love the outfit! Love the post too – I think with uni being SO expensive now, there’s no point in going unless you need to for the career you are going into. So many places offer internships now which are a great option!

    Jasmin Charlotte

    • Thank you Jasmin! I love the jumpsuit too – I aint gonna lie!
      That’s true, take my sister for example her course is about £4000 cheaper than another uni up the road? How on earth does that happen?
      Bee xxx

  • I absolutely loved this post, Bee! I didn’t go to Uni, either. I knew I didn’t want to at college but I was forced to apply anyway. I ended up declining my 5 offers and went off ‘to the office’ to train to become an accountant. I’ve now switched and work in radio. Anything is possible with or without Uni and young people should most definitely be shown and told that it is!

    It sounds like you’ve really worked hard to get to where you are now, and it sounds like your success is totally deserved! Oh, and you look fab in that jumpsuit, nail polish stain or not. 😉

    Soph x | http://www.sophierosie.com

    • Oh Sophie, it’s stories like yours that make my heart sing! I’m so glad you did what was right for you. University is about exploring, but you can do that too without going! It sounds like you’ve made some amazing career choices along the way. And thank you, I do work hard and I play harder. I think that is what it is all about!
      Bee xxx

  • The jumpsuit looks GORGE! And a cracking post. Well done again lovely.

    Maggie xxx
    http://www.secretlifeofmaggiemay.blogspot.com

    • Awww thank you Maggie, I’m pretty fond of the jumpsuit too and glad you enjoyed the post!
      Bee xxx

  • Aimée Julia Cottle

    Such a great post. I wish I’d seen something like this before I went to uni! I was made to feel, by my school and family, that there was no other choice but to go to uni. Unfortunately, hated it, and dropped out, reapplied to a different course, dropped out of that etc. After 3 years, I finally packed it in and got an apprenticeship. But I left uni with no degree and a hell of a lot of debt. I wish I’d left sooner – or not gone at all! x http://www.aimeeraindropwrites.co.uk x

    • Hi Aimee
      I think uni was generally the done thing back then and if I’m honest, apprenticeships were a little bit looked down upon then too. Which is such a shame because the experience is so vital and to get on the job ladder these days is so hard if you haven’t got that. It’s all a bit of a false economy isn’t it?
      What did you do your apprenticeship in?

      Bee xxx

  • Love this post Bee. And you are so right in everything that you say.
    I think for a lot of adults/teachers they seem so set on getting young adults into further education/uni and sadly a lot of people go and drop at as the realisation kicks in and also many go for the experience/moving out(away) and social aspect than anything education, but I guess even that is a kind of education, just not academic.
    I never attend uni either. Throughout secondary school and even once in college I was one that had absolutely no idea what I wanted to do with my life and to be honest at 32 I still don’t. But, I’ve gained qualifications, experience, met people through my years and jobs and I think experience counts for a lot over qualifications. So apprenticeships are definitely a good idea!

    Caroline.x
    http://www.carolineelgeywhite.com

    • You are right, uni I’m sure is such an experience and for the most part, I’m a little sad that I didn’t have those 4 years to go off and do my own thing and experience the parties and living life, working from the age of 17 hasn’t been a bed of roses, I grew up very quickly and sometimes wish I’d had a few more years of 6 week summers but alas, it wasn’t for me and I made the right decision to not persue it as I’d probably have come away with so much debt as you say. I agree, life experiences are far more valuable to me!
      Bee xxx

  • I loved University and luckily I have got a job from my degree (unrelated but needed a degree), however, I do not think that it makes me any better than anyone else. There are tons of people who have degrees and then are told they’re ‘over qualified’. I have friends who didn’t go to uni and they’ve done just as well or better than me. There are so many different routes into good careers! People definitely get judged for going to University as well but probably on a lesser scale I’d guess. It’s just silly really!

    Jaynie Shannon * / Morphe & Zoeva Giveaway Running

    xx

    • Hi Jaynie
      Really interesting comments here! What was your degree & what is the career path you have chosen?
      I think that’s my biggest bug bear, that for a specific job you need a degree qualification but it doesn’t necessarily have to be in that particular field (so confusing?!). It’s great that you now have a job because of that & I do not knock you one bit for that! You gotta do, what you gotta do.
      As long as we are consciously happy with the decisions and choices we make, no-one should knock anyone for the path they take!
      Bee xxx

  • AnnaInternational

    I love this. I went to uni – 4 times actually, and got three degrees and very nearly a PhD, before I took an honest look at my life and realised that the career I was pursuing was really not for me. If I could have my time over, I might have told teachers and parents that no, I didn’t want to study law or go to uni, and tried instead to follow a creative path – where my heart has been all my life. Hindsight is great of course, but I realised a year ago that I could carry on regretting, or I could change things. Whether you go to uni or not, your path in life is in your hands, you just have to work for it. And I totally agree that interning is crucial – my first job came off of an internship, when I said I was leaving soon they offered me a job then and there! And since then I’ve had more than 50 awesome interns (some not so awesome it has to be said) who have all gone on to do great things. It may suck to do it unpaid for a while, but it is always worth it. xx

    • Oh wow, your brain must be busting to explode. All that knowledge. Would you like to share some with me, haha! I’m just not academic unfortunately. As much as I’d love to be my brain just does not work like that & I’m a little envious of you. Wow, 50 interns. That’s incredible, I’m sure a lot of people could learn a lot from you!
      Bee xxx

  • You go girl! I loved going to Uni as I learnt a lot and met friends for life. However, I’m not working in the industry I trained for so in that respect, I wish I hadn’t gone. I’m now paying off a student loan for something I don’t even practice. I had to go though as it’s hardly possible in Sweden to work in an industry you don’t have a degree in. UK is great for this, which I’m thankful for! x

    • Oh no, what was your degree in? It’s really interesting to see what uni leads to in terms of job wise?
      Bee xxx

  • Get it from someone who has 5 University degress, including a PhD-this post could not be any more accurate!
    Also, may I add that University degrees are not an indicator of intelligence! I keep saying this to my students all the time, so I thought I should leave it here too in case anyone believes the opposite.
    You did great Bee!
    xx
    http://natbeesfashion.blogspot.com

    • Wow, FIVE UNIVERSITY DEGREES? Bloody hell woman, you must be so bleeding clever! Wish I was as intellectual as that, but unfortunately for me I aren’t, ha! Thank you so much toots.
      Bee xxx

  • 1 Week Mary

    I loooove this post! You’re definitely not a failure, you’re a bloody success and a very hard working one at that! You’ve worked hard to be where you are now so well done, you should be proud of yourself! Some great tips here, I’ve added the post to favourites and will be coming back to it when I need a kick up the backside. Btw, I couldn’t even see the red dot until you said it lol! Great post thanks for sharing Xx

    • THANK YOU. Thank you for your kind words. I’m so glad you enjoyed reading this post. We have to celebrate ourselves from time to time and in this day and age it’s hard to! I’m so glad you’ve bookmarked it, I hope I can write something poignant again for you.
      Bee xxx

  • Yes to this post for highlighting that there are other career routes!

    Mel ★ meleaglestone.co.uk

    • HEHE! Thanks Mel. It is so true though. A lot of people get so stuck when leaving school / college!
      Bee xxx

  • Love this post, i personally am at uni but im the only one of my 42 cousins that has gone so far (with the excecption of one going in sept!) so i love to see posts like this, encouraging people theres so many ways to be happy, successful and feel accomplished, because its true! Aaand, good for you girl, you go!

    Dana
    Fashion Dew // Bloglovin’

    • WOW DANA! 42 cousins. Blimey, you go girl, sometimes breaking traditions gets people to understand that it isn’t the only way to go!
      Bee xxxx

I’M BEE

I’M BEE

I'm Bee. 27 year old who is finally starting to understand herself. A Scorpio that's too nice to use that sting in her tail, regularly found searching for holidays or online shopping. Happiest when being fed, travelling & spending time with Mr C.

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