Career Envy

27 Jun

Last weekend, Wellington College hosted the second Sunday Times Festival of Education, and on the Sunday my father, who is governor at not one, not two, but three local schools, convinced me to accompany him there. Partly it was the summer holiday boredom (even though I’ve only been at home three days, which is frankly pathetic), partly it was the desire to see inside one of these mystical public schools that everyone talks so much about, and partly it was the fact that Robert Winston, David Starkey and Bob Geldof were all on the programme of speakers. OK, OK, it was mostly Bob Geldof…

I’ll be writing in more detail about some of the speakers in my next entry, but the topic of this post is actually career envy. And, no, I’m not actually talking about Bob Geldof now, although I’m not denying that it would be nice to have people cheer like that when I walk into a room. In fact, the envy was not focused at any of the myriad of celebrities who were giving their views on the future of education. The person who let loose the green-eyed monster inside me was a surprisingly ordinary girl sat two seats away from me in the first talk. We were about the same age, and there was very little to distinguish one of us from the other. Very little apart from the fact that while my festival entry pass had simply my name printed on it, hers contained one vital little extra word: Press.

A little silly perhaps, when surrounded by television presenters and rock stars, to be jealous of a freelance journalist, but the truth is I don’t want to be a celebrity. I just want to write (and preferably to get paid for it, because I also like eating, and I hear that’s rather hard to do without money). And for me, wearing that press pass around my neck would be, if not the end goal, at least part of the way there.

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