I owe a lot to my placement year. Prior to the 12 months I had never worked a 5 day 9-5 office job, instead my experience lay in Saturday jobs & 18 hour+ event days. It wasn’t that I was incapable of working 5 days a week plus weekends just that I hadn’t put the practice in.
For 4 months getting up at 7am and not getting home till 7.30pm was one of the hardest things, I imagine it is how new parents feel when they get no sleep & are always exhausted. I would rush around every morning trying to get ready, with little care or focus on what I looked like, then fall asleep without fail on my commute into London – never even having the chance to take my book out my bag – and by 8pm I would be tucked up in bed dreading the ‘early’ start. All good intentions of using my time wisely, eating breakfast & feeling refreshed every morning were quickly dismissed within the first few weeks of placement, and for a while I just thought I was not a morning person, doomed forever to always feel worn-out if the alarm went off before 10am!
However fast forward 2 years later to the present day & the story is quite different. I get up every morning at 5.30am, leave the house by 6.30 & am in Central London by 7.20am. My commute to GPJ is just shy of 2 hours every morning (but only 1.30 hours home – not 100% sure how that works) and in the mornings not only do I actually take care in getting ready, I have the time to enjoy it & not feel rushed. I actually enjoy the commute because I’ve been able to get back into reading (a lot), as well as dabble in my biggest money drainer of buying expensive coffee (with a viable excuses of the early start). The 5.30am start does not kill me, I’m even more surprised to say that when I get home in the evening I don’t just get straight into bed but actually have a weekly social life. Okay on the weekends I don’t necessarily start the day till 10am but this is a major improvement from 19-year-old me!
There are a lot of practical skills that my placement year taught me, an abundance of mistakes that educated me on how ‘not’ to do things & the chance to see where I wanted to go within the industry. But most of all those 12 months in 2012/2013 built me up to survive a 9-5, 5 days a week, commuting at peak time, real persons job!
When you were on Placement what is the main thing you learnt? If you are currently on placement what’s the one thing you are having to adjust to? & if you’re applying at the moment, what are you most excited to learn?