Career Change Queen: Caroline’s Story #careerchange #retrain

Caroline LashleyYour Name and Age:  Caroline Lashley, 51

How did you start your working life?  A long time ago – as a Saturday girl in Sainsbury’s Balham!  I’ve had a varied career since…

What training / jobs have you done in the past?  I’ve worked in a bookmaker’s taking telephone bets, worked at Unilever as a short-term editorial assistant, been freelance writer/editor at RADAR (Royal Assn for Disability & Rehabilitation), been associate lecturer at the London College of Communication (previously London College of Printing), and working as a secretary, administrator and press officer in the London Probation Service as it then was.

Why did you think about taking a new course?  When I was working as a Breakfast Club Manager at a primary school in Mitcham, one of the things I did was baking muffins using over-ripe fruit (rather than bin or waste it!) and keep in my hand in as it were.  Staff would always comment on the lovely smell baking made and often suggested that my talent I should do something with it.

What made you chose this course? I applied for my current course back in 2012 but because I hadn’t realised what a trek it was on the number 60 bus from Streatham to Old Coulsdon, I missed the start of the interview and wasn’t allowed to take the interview test. So I had to wait nearly a year before I got a letter from CALAT saying that if I was still interested (in the meantime, I’d been put on a waiting list), I was invited for an interview and test, and this summer, I took it, passed and secured my place on the course.

How has it been making the transition back to study?  I don’t think it’s been hard as I’ve worked in schools for a while now – according to most people that know me, I’m always studying or reading or doing something educational, so it’s ok.  Can’t say so for other people, though…

What are the biggest challenges? Giving up my Saturday lie-ins!

What’s your favourite thing about your new course? I’ve yet to discover what my favourite thing is.  All I know is I like to have quite a bit of space in the kitchen and be left alone to get on with what I’m doing….

What’s the thing you least enjoy about it?  I’m not overly keen on people who get under my skin and on my nerves…

How do you fit in retraining with other commitments – family, work etc?  I work part-time at a secondary school in Wandsworth, and do the odd freelance food review for a website and currently am aiming to set up in business as a personal cook and baker, so I’m keeping myself fairly busy..

Where do you hope to be in five years’ time?  Hopefully, in five years, I’ll be running three successful websites and making a very comfortable living

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