Hello, my name is David Grove. I grew up in the county of Essex in the United Kingdom, and I want to share my story with all of you today.
Before my current position, I was working as an English Teacher in the city of Hong Kong. When I left that job and came home to England around November 2019, I was working to pursue my dream of working in film and television by becoming a freelance Production Assistant/Runner. I went to a training course to learn the ropes of on-set etiquette, responsibilities of a PA and how to set yourself up for self-employment. When I finished the course, I felt excited for the future. This was back in January 2020. Unfortunately, the entire media industry collapsed overnight with the introduction of lockdown. Needless to say, I was in absolute despair. All of my hard work and all of the money I saved to pursue this – just meaningless at this point. I didn’t even manage to book a single job.
For over an entire year, I aimlessly wandered about in search of new opportunities. Looking for something that would give me purpose. So, I thought I would give teaching another go! I applied to a number of jobs in Asia again as I did a couple of years prior – I even managed to get a few interviews! However, most were not interested in taking me on. In the end, there were two teaching companies that would offer me a job, and I took one of them. However, bad luck struck me again as I was not able to get a visa! The embassy was closed, and I would be left in a limbo for many more months. I was completely disappointed. As a young person, I felt like I was wasting away in what should be – the prime of my life.
However, a stroke of luck finally appeared to me. A lady from the job centre told me over the phone “Hello, David. We have a scheme that helps young people from the ages of 18 -24 get employment for six months.” “Go on.” I said in eager curiosity “Well, it’s referred to as the Kickstart Scheme. Any young person on Universal Credit can apply and this scheme is funded by the government to make sure that your wages are paid, and you get adequate training for full-time employment.” I knew that I had to seize this opportunity. Today, employers are hungry for young people with experience – even for entry level positions! It is fiercely competitive in England, and so I must take ANYTHING I can get.
I was sent a job ad for the position of a Marketing Assistant. It sounded like an ideal role for myself as I had an internship for a PR agency in Soho, and I was initially seeking these roles as I left university. Somehow, I managed to get to the interview stage. I would be having an interview with the Director, Jamie Farrow. I was quite intimidated as I haven’t had an interview in months. But I made sure to do my homework unlike the other candidates, picking up on some information about the company. After a couple of more steps, I was in. I was able to break out of my malaise and I was back in work.
Ever since then, I have been employed by Super Star Designs, a multi award-winning graphic design company based in Hoddesdon, Hertfordshire. I was provided training, and I was slowly eased into the workflow. I wasn’t simply thrown into the deep end of the pool and told to swim for my life. I’m enjoying my role, and I am eternally grateful to have such a kind, understanding and supportive employer. Every day I do something different, I am able to voice any concerns, ask for support and I am able to think outside the box. Every day I do something different and I am given the opportunity to learn independently, network and prioritise my daily tasks. Jamie, thank you so much for taking a chance with me.
Works for Super Star Designs, a multi award-winning graphic design company.