My classmates from school would probably not be surprised to learn what I have ended up doing professionally. Languages, in general, and English, in particular, are and always have been both my passion and hobby. This special interest began to reveal itself during my childhood, which prompts an obvious question. What made me study an Engineering degree, which was so far removed from what I was really interested in 30 years ago?
I started my Engineering degree convinced that I would later embark upon a promising career, more so than if I studied what I was really passionate about. But it didn't take me long to realise that not following my heart's desire was making me genuinely unhappy. How could I spend my time and some of the most important years of my early adult life doing something that was so difficult and demanding when I had an alternative within my reach that, given my particular skills, was far more straightforward and stimulating?
My dad was crestfallen when I decided to switch degree courses, but now he sometimes says, 'Thank goodness you changed your degree!’ Time has shown me that working in the field you love gives you huge amounts of energy and enthusiasm, making your inner core shine. However, if it is hard work doing things really well when you devote your time to what you are passionate about, I cannot begin to imagine how difficult it must be for people who don't like their job. This insight into my life has made me think a great deal about how important it is to encourage children to go with their instincts and focus on their own particular talents - the inner voice that everyone has but all too often gets ignored, simply because we think too much!