On January 30th Elaine Tebbutt agreed to tell me her story over the comforting warmth of a coffee. She has had a wide expansion of careers in her lifetime so far; from hairdressing and nursing, to even having her own business. Today, she shares her experiences with me over her 30+ years in the working world.
What was your first job?
I worked in a greengrocers as a saturday girl. I worked from 6am to 6pm for £10 a day.
You had a long career as a nurse, over 20 years.Why did you decide to become a nurse?
I watched my dad die in hospital and saw a nurse being rude to a patient. I thought to myself, “I can do better than that” and I did!
Why did you quit being a nurse?
Arthritis. Because of my health I couldn’t do it anymore.
If it wasn’t for that would you still be a nurse?
I think i would change my path but I would definitely still be doing it.
You decided to open a shop doing personalised handmade gifts.Why did you decide to open a shop?
Because I thought there was a gap in the market and i wanted to be my own boss.
After 3 years you decided to close down. Why did you close the shop?
Even though we weren’t at a loss, we were breaking even and I wanted a more stable life. The highstreet was dying and all the buildings were turning into offices. Retail just isn’t there anymore.
Do you miss the shop? what do you miss about it?
Yes, I miss that it was mine.
You now work for a charity. What do you like about your current job?
That i left to be my own boss as long as it gets done. I created the position and so i’m molding it to how I want it to be, doing it my way. As long as i produce the results they want i can do it how i seem fit.
Working for a charity means you must receive weird things all the time. What’s the craziest thing you’ve seen come into work?
I got a pair of Clairvoyant glasses and they were the spookiest thing I’d ever seen.
Growing up, what was your dream career?
I never really had a dream career. When I left school i wanted to do hairdressing but that was because nothing else really took my fancy.
Now, i would say i would have wanted to be a CEO of a company or something.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Which was your favourite career?
I like what im doing now but i really enjoyed nursing but for completely different reasons.
What is your greatest achievement?
I haven’t killed my kids.No, getting this job was as I had to talk them into it. I think that was a big achievement. But getting where I was in the operating theatre was also a big achievement when i think about it
If you could go back and change anything what would it be?
I would have spoken to my parents more. I wish I would have found out more about their lives, especially my dad if i had more time.
Career wise, I wish I would have started a career earlier and stick to it instead of changing because by now i would be in a comfortable position from working my way up to the top.