Jaffer – the team’s newest Culturapede

The date was the 1st December 2011. I was sat at home, writing and reading through my assignments and up popped an email on my Blackberry from a colleague of mine sending me through a variety of vacancies which she thought I’d be interested in. Out of the three one stood out – a job titled Promotion and Engagement Coordinator for an organisation called Culturapedia and the best thing was they were based in Blackburn! Opening the link I realised that the job role entailed aspects which I wasn’t all too familiar with but it was still of interest to me. Although it wasn’t youth work in the sense that I knew it (working directly with young people on a daily basis through youth centres etc.) it did have an element of working with young people as well as another passion of mine – the performing arts. I wasted no time in ringing Lyndsey (Company Manager) and asked for more information. It was after this call that I knew I had to apply for the position.

Let’s fast forward to the 16th December 2011 when I had my purple suit, black shirt and purple tie on (yes it all sounds very purple, but ask anyone who’s seen it and they’ll tell you it’s an amazing suit!) Being based around the corner from the offices I  was the first to be interviewed and arrived for 9am. I met Rob and Lyndsey who were really cheery and made sure I was at ease, I answered all the relevant questions and then went on to meet two other members of the team – Sue and Claire. At 4.30pm that evening I got the all dreaded call but if you’re reading this you’ll know that in fact it wasn’t bad, it was actually excellent news. Lyndsey offered me the job and told me that I could even have some time off in January to sit my final year university exams. I’ll be honest though, I wasn’t listening that much because I was just so happy and so shocked that I had secured my first full time job!

I started on the 4th January and since then I’ve already done some amazing things as part of my job. This includes going up to Glasgow to the Irn Bru festival, Europe’s biggest indoor festival where I accompanied some young dancers to perform through the somewhereto_NW project and got to go on the rides. My personal favourites were the horsies and the teacups  I’ve even overcome my fear of dogs – well one dog, Charlie Brown who resides as our office pet pooch. It was only a matter of days of getting to know him and now I am so much more at ease of having him around and find it amusing how he spends most of his days sleeping (if only we could all do the same heh?)

I often think to myself: “What if I never applied for this job?” because there were many times I was thinking of not doing so as it wasn’t youth work as I knew it but now I am so glad I did. I have been welcomed into a small amazing team of passionate, and at times, crazy people whom all believe in the arts and ensuring that groups of people (whether young or old) are given opportunities to shine.

I leave you with this message – if you ever see an opportunity which you think: “Ahhh, this isn’t me because it’s not what I’m used to…” just go for it, because it’s those kind of opportunities which will surprise you the most. Here’s to an amazing 2012!

I’ll see you all next month but for now take care and keep checking back for more info.