They say that the luckiest people are those who can do for a living what they would do for pleasure. I’m nt sure who they are, but they are very wise.
I am one of those lucky people. I worked as a professional political agent for the Conservative & Unionist Party for thirteen years. For every single day of those just over two decades, what I did for a living (well almost a living) what I would do for pleasure.
When choosing the sort of career you want, it may be you are motivated by money, success, achievement, fame or any number of combinations of these and other measurements. It’s a very personal decision.
One of my mentorees (mentees?) recently asked me what my “Life Plan” had been when I was young. I had no idea what they were talking about as I have never even thought of planning anything.
I have just been lucky enough to (mostly) stay employed for 40 years. If I ever had a plan, it was simply to avoid being in the position where I would need help from the state to survive. So far I’ve managed that, so I’d say I’ve achieved my Life Plan goal.
I didn’t decide that I wanted to pursue a career which would be my passion and not just a job. the opportunity presented itself and I took it. It was the best decision I have ever made.
My only recommendation to people who want to do a job they love, is to say if you see that opportunity – grab it!
The three greatest things about my career as a political agent were:
- Being paid (after a fashion) to serve a cause I believed in. I value service, duty and loyalty very highly. I always think and speak of my roles in politics being to serve my candidates, councillors, MPs and MEPs. I didn’t work for the party, I served it.
- The variety of the work. Every day really was different and most of the time unpredictable. My job was about understanding people and people are infinitely varied. One moment I was putting the chairs out for a meeting, another in Number 10 briefing the prime minister, and the next up to my armpits in ink trying to master a litho printing machine!
- Most of all the people. I know that sounds corny, but I mean it. My colleagues in “The Profession” (the Agents), 24 years later are still my closest friends. You can’t beat working with people who become friends. I’m lucky to have had the experience in all of my jobs, but my oldest “work” friends are from the party.
Next week four of the six other people I qualified with as an Agent will be meeting for our 37th anniversary reunion lunch. Their conversations will be as though those days were just yesterday, the days when I was lucky enough to be able to turn my hobby into my career. I won’t be able to join them this year by I will raise a glass to “colleagues.”