What were your early career choices?
Are you filled with regret over the choices you’ve made in your career, or do you celebrate them as valuable learning experiences?
Have you ever wondered what you would do differently if given the chance to start over?
Reflecting on my own career journey, I find myself contemplating a pivotal decision I made in my early days.
[My original post about my early career choices on LinkedIn received over 13,000 views and over 200 reactions and comments – share your thoughts on the post on LinkedIn Here]
My Early Career
Many, many years ago, just before sitting my A’level exams, an irresistible job offer came my way, prompting me to leave school and seize the opportunity.
My story began in Hong Kong, where I was a student at HK Island School.
Mr. Foggin, our careers master, created a task to teach us about job applications.
He encouraged each of us to create a resumé and apply for jobs that piqued our interest, challenging us to secure an interview.
Nervous yet determined, I scoured the classifieds in the South China Morning Post on Saturday mornings, hoping to find a fitting opportunity even though I had no idea what I really wanted to do after leaving school.
Among the sea of job ads, one caught my eye:
Korean Airlines seeking Hong Kong based Stewardesses
For a wide-eyed 17-year-old, the prospect of becoming a member of their cabin crew, traveling the world, and embracing the exhilaration that came with it seemed like an unattainable dream.
Books like ‘Coffee, Tea or Me’ and ‘The Fly Girls’ had fuelled my fascination with the airline industry.
The Job Interview Process
And so began a series of interviews, starting with a daunting “cattle call” in a vast hotel room packed with hundreds of hopefuls.
There was a panel interview, assessments, and one-on-one interview. It all went in a blur! And then …
With no prior interview or work experience, I became, what I was told at the time, the youngest member of their cabin crew, flown to Seoul for intensive cabin crew training and turned 18 in the midst of it!
[The photo below is of me during a flight, wearing my Korean Airlines uniform … and oh, so young back then.]
It was an awe-inspiring journey of personal growth and discovery.
I learned many valuable lessons before and after earning my wings with Korean Airlines so many years ago when my career journey began.
I celebrate that brave 17-year old woman who made a leap of faith and grabbed an opportunity that made her heart race.
What are your early experiences in your career? I’d love to hear what prompted your career decisions in the comments below – everyone has a story to tell and lessons learned! You can listen to the fascinating career stories during my interviews with podcast guests on Your Career Podcast
Over the next few weeks I will add to this post with details of my career journey over the years and the valuable lessons learned through my mistakes, choices and unexpected events that turn out to be ‘sliding doors’ moments …