Senior Health & Safety Consultant Emma-Louise Spicer is featured in the latest newsletter for WISH (Women in Social Housing.) Read the article below to find out more about her unique career journey, from being home-schooled to working from home, and everything in between!
“An arrow can only be shot by pulling it backwards. So when life is dragging you back with difficulties, it means that it’s going to launch you into something great.” My career journey is somewhat of a unique one mainly due to my educational experience, and I admit that I have reminded myself of this quote a fair few times over the years whenever I have faced a challenge or obstacle. As a child I was home-schooled and due to a number of reasons I was behind my age group in my academics. My education and potential career wasn’t considered a priority for my future, rather I was under the impression that I was destined to a life as a homemaker. However, I always felt that I wanted something different to this and I decided that to give myself a better chance of achieving a career I would have to enrol into mainstream education.
I took the plunge and secured myself on an entry level course at Hadlow College, specialising in Animal Care. Following a review of the work that I had submitted, two weeks into my course it was decided by my tutors that I should be moved up to the Extended Diploma in Animal Management. I was absolutely thrilled, but the good news didn’t stop there. My tutor also raised with my parents that the work I was completing was nearing degree level and I should apply for university.
As you can imagine, I didn’t waste any time submitting the application, with references from my supportive tutors which was a massive help as I only had two GCSE’s to my name! I was accepted into university in 2012 and completed a BSc in Conservation and Biodiversity. I can honestly say that I put everything I had into my degree, it was so important for me to prove to myself that I could achieve whatever I wanted if I really put my mind to it.
After 3 years of hard work and dedication, I received an email from my degree tutor informing me that I would be graduating with a First Class Honours. With my new degree in hand, I interviewed for job after job and unfortunately faced a lot of rejections. I tried not to let it get me down, but after all my hard work I couldn’t help but feel deflated. But I persevered, and in December 2015 I secured a job as a Graduate Health, Safety and Environmental Consultant.
My first graduate position was a great opportunity to practice my environmental skills while learning about health and safety. I worked hard to develop my experience and skills and in March 2019 I applied for a Health and Safety Consultant position at calfordseaden, which I was accepted for.
My hunger for learning has never stopped. I have recently been promoted to a Senior Consultant, and with the support from my colleagues at calfordseaden, I now have a distinction in the NEBOSH General Certificate and I am currently working towards my NEBOSH National Diploma in Occupational Health and Safety. My next step will be to become chartered once I have my diploma under my belt. During my time at calfordseaden I have been encouraged to take ownership of my work and to progress my skills and career.
I am still in disbelief that my education and career journey has led me here. That sense of accomplishment that I first experienced when being moved up from my entry course to more recently becoming Senior Consultant just 5 years after graduating, is my driving force and will continue to push me to achieve the best I can for years to come.
Back to my introduction, there will unfortunately be times where life may seem like it is pulling you back, but you just have to be resilient, work hard, and have faith in yourself and you will launch forward to achieve things you never thought were possible!
Read the article on the WISH website here.