When I left 6th form, I had mediocre grades/qualifications stated on my CV. I had a distorted perception of the level of intelligence and grades you needed to have to progress onto University, although the student life never really appealed to me anyway. So, the only option I had left was to work. Reluctantly dragged into the family business, working in restaurants, I entered the big bad world convinced the Hospitality industry was going to be my professional home until retirement. Not a sentiment I was content with yet felt I had to accept it.

The Hospitality industry, along with a select few others, embraces those who don’t have the education behind them to go onto jobs that can offer limitless amounts of opportunities. Although it’s an industry students tend to work in until they acquire their degrees, the majority is made up of people whom never really intended to work in the industry long term but didn’t realise it’s like the mafia, once you’re in you can’t get out or they simply didn’t have much choice. Despite the lack of progression accompanied with my very questionable enthusiasm toward the Hospitality industry, I knew I might as well learn whatever I can to be reasonably good at it. Try and equip myself with the necessary skills to at least meet the criteria for the very limited progressive opportunities that may come my way. As I got older, I worked up to management level so at least I worked up to a respectable level with the skills and knowledge I had, even in the absence of ambition to succeed within this industry. I gained people management and communication skills I doubt you’d find in many other industries, at least not as refined as the ones you need to be half decent within Hospitality. These skills have lead me on to opportunities I would never have thought would be available to me as it’s out of the Hospitality industry, which has been one hell of a bonus and a confidence boost.

Although I’m working in a business development role which can lead onto great earning potential I personally don’t think that the experience I gain is enough to get the options I’d like to have for the future especially based on the very competitive job market that’s out there these days.

After breaking free of the influence I seemed to have absorbed somewhere within my youth where I thought you had to be more intelligent than me to go to University, where I thought the older you get the more options are depleted for what you can achieve and realising that the work experience I’ve gained would give me more of an advantage than other graduates whom have no work experience in anything, I decided to take a very risky leap of faith, and become a student. Now, although the thought of becoming a student in my late twenties, being retired from any type of education for 10 years, but also having to fit study in between a full time & part time job was extremely daunting, I just knew it was something I needed to pursue despite the idea of gaining debt on my mission was about as appealing as getting an STI from Susan Boyle. I had to pursue it, to give me the option of fulfilment of a career I’ll be participating in for the next 40 years.

I’m sure there’s a lot of people like myself whom have limited education, who just went on to working full time from 16, laying stagnant in a job wrapped in a cloak of self doubt and even suffering certain situations that have diverted you off the path you wanted to walk. There’s no question that education can offer more possibilities for your future, but you may doubt whether it can fit in to your already hectic life. You may honestly question, if it’s for you. Moments of rejection when you pursued a particular ambition reappear as a reminder of what happens when you take that leap of faith to pursue your dreams.

I’ve never been one to answer a question with a question, but if you honestly want to know, if educating yourself further is worth adding to the mound of your already robust responsibilities, if you can’t afford it would it be worth the debt? I must ask, how much fulfilment do you get out of your current profession and are you content with the opportunities it offers?