It’s the time of year again when thousands of students are poised to receive their exam results; results that may determine which course they can take next or whether they get their preferred place at University. In our latest post, our practice’s founder, Jaye Snell talks candidly about her experiences of school, results days and the highs and lows of her educational journey…
It’s 14 months since I started Exe Bookkeeping and Payroll Services in my hometown of Exmouth, Devon but believe it or not when I left school, I didn’t even have a full Maths qualification and I couldn’t wait to get as far away as possible from the town that I associated with the most miserable time of my life.
I hated school, really hated it, suffering at the hands of bullies for many years until the educational establishment could do no more but offer me a place at a local college to complete year 11 and my GCSE’s.
I was very academic and at school I was looking at entry to higher papers for Science, History, English Language and Literature as well as Food Tech, one of my most favourite subjects. Unfortunately, this was no longer an option at the college, and I was left with Human Physiology & Health, Higher Maths and P.E, my most hated subject.
That year when I achieved my GCSE’s I was so disappointed; I wasn’t interested and hadn’t done particularly well. I blamed everyone else and the situation before finally vowing that I would stay on for a second year, having the option to cover Psychology and Sociology, subjects I came to love and did very well in.
I was due to stay on to complete my A-levels choosing Psychology, Higher English and History but life had a different plan and money took precedent. I had the opportunity at 18 to complete the Association of Accounting Technician’s (AAT) qualification fully funded by my then employer, a local haulier, but anxiety and to some extent post traumatic stress, meant I was not able to step foot in the classroom and that opportunity was lost, but it’s not something that I feel a whole lot of regret about now.
In the years that followed, I had a motorbike accident, lost jobs and went anywhere I could to earn some money. I ended up feeling this was my lot, that I could never afford to complete my AAT and I was never going to achieving anything more. I became bitter, felt stupid and that the bullies had ripped my opportunities away from me.
I threw myself into work taking roles within the retail, educational and manufacturing industries completing everything from direct customer services to accounts administration and as time went on the passion for accounting and bookkeeping remained, as did my desire to have my own business.
Spurred on by the achievements of my bookkeeping aunt who had taken to night school later in life, a full 13 years after leaving school I finally found myself in a position to start studying for my AAT via distance learning with a local training provider. No accounting practice would consider me for a job or apprenticeship as I did not have the environmental experience of someone entering the profession straight from school, but this just made me more determined because I knew I had real world experience of working within businesses completing the functions that I wanted to help other small businesses with.
After two years of study I gained the Level 3 Diploma in Accounting and choose to diversify to the Institute of Certified Bookkeepers (ICB) adding to my remit Payroll and Self-Assessment quickly followed by Advanced Bookkeeping and Accounting and examinations to complete limited company accounts under FRS105, all whilst working full time and dealing with ill health.
Now, I have a thriving practice with over 25 clients, a part time employee, someone starting work experience and I have moved into my own office space with big plans for growth and a focus on helping to support small businesses in the area with their bookkeeping needs.
The moral of my story and the reason for my openness is to let those students eagerly awaiting their results know that if you don’t get the results you want now or in the future, it’s not the end. Opportunities exist for you to self-study and gain the qualifications and real-world experience you need to thrive in today’s workplace and economy. Maybe your aim is University but even if that doesn’t work out there are other options, don’t give up on yourself, find your passion and go for it and don’t let anybody tell you, you can’t achieve your dream career, you’re just taking another route to the same destination.