I' m coming home soon. I' m ready to get back on the career ladder. Hopefully I' ll be able to continue as a journalist. Or maybe I' ll be an astronaut or a marine biologist or a pole dancer


on Accountancy magazine .

Good old PwC meant that my CV was in decent shape, and after an interview and a couple of writing tests, I was offered the job in February 2000.

My role as a researcher/reporter soon developed into just reporter, and as time progressed, to deputy online editor and finally, online editor. It didn' t take me too long to adjust to the ' press' thing, and soon I was having a great time - attending press launches at Tate Modern, watching the cricket in a hospitality box at Lords, sitting in on proceedings in the Houses of Parliament and interviewing industry luminaries.

Quarter life crisis

But one day, in a typical London rush hour, I stood on the tube with an armpit in my face and other unwelcome intrusions to my personal space, when I read a story in the about ' quarter life crises' . It basically reported that huge numbers of people in their mid-20s were starting to feel disillusioned with their job, free time and life in general. And I realised that I was one of them. By this stage, I had a mortgage on a tiny one-bedroom flat in a grotty area of south London and I spent over two hours each day getting to and from work. When I wasn' t at work, I spent ridiculous amounts of time and money in London' s bars and pubs, or watched TV and fell asleep on the sofa. Something had to change.

So I became a trainee professional golfer. Strange as this seems, it' s what I did. I' ve played golf since I was 10 years old and after my GCSEs was offered a trainee position at my home golf course in North Wales. But quite understandably, my parents were keen for me to finish school and the go to university, so I turned it down and did what they suggested. But now, as I looked back nostalgically at long summer days spent on a beautiful green golf course, I felt I should give it another shot. It seemed to hold the key to job satisfaction. So I phoned up a south London golf club and was invited for an interview.

The professional asked me a few questions, watched me hit a few balls, asked for my handicap certificate and offered me the job. We were sitting in his office at the time, and I obviously had a few doubts about taking it - a severe drop in salary for one. But when I asked him if he was happy with his job, he just pulled back the curtain of his window that looked straight on to the first tee, and asked ' what do you think?' So I accepted.

The job basically involved selling equipment and green fees, repairing golf clubs and giving the odd lesson. More importantly, I was encouraged to play as much golf as possible to get down to a handicap of four to turn professional. For the first few months, it was the ideal job - out in the sun, playing golf and hardly any stress. Eventually even my golf improved. There were no deadlines, only a 10-minute car journey instead of two hours on the train and tube, and I didn' t even have to wear a suit! But all good things come to an end. The golf had improved but was still not good enough. When the only real mental stimulation you get is when someone wants a refund and you have to play around with the credit card machine for half an hour, it' s time to make the move.

Another factor was the money. I was on approximately a quarter of my former salary. While I' d done my sums and worked out that if I ' drew my horns in' , didn' t party too much and still wrote some freelance articles, I would still be able to cover the mortgage and eat, I was frustrated when friends rang and I couldn' t go out.

So I gave up my job, sold my flat and went to India. Then to Sri Lanka, Thailand, Laos, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand and the Cook Islands - a beautiful little island full of palm trees, friendly locals and wild chickens. I' m coming home soon because my money' s running out, but I think I' ve finally got over my quarter-life crisis. I' m ready to get back on the career ladder.

Hopefully I' ll be able to continue where I left off as a journalist. Or maybe I' ll be an astronaut or a marine biologist or a pole dancer…

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