The Unexpected Path to My Dream Job

The Margaret Effect

So, why did I become a bilingual private secretary? Blame it on Margaret! My best friend decided to enrol in a course in Maidenhead, England. And being the loyal (and slightly lost) friend I was, I thought, “Why not?

Just before changing plans, I had been offered a place at a well-known teachers’ training college in London. But I wasn’t thrilled about it. The college in my hometown didn’t seem too keen on having me, so I had to find something else. And fast!

Bilingual Bonanza

It was a two-year course. I learnt all sorts of useful stuff:

  • Shorthand (that secret writing for grown-ups)
  • Lightning-fast typing
  • Secretarial skills
  • Even a bit of law and economics

And the best part? Languages. Yes! German quickly became my absolute favourite.

After my first year, I spent six whole weeks working for Daimler Benz in Stuttgart, Germany. The work was about as exciting as watching paint dry. But Germany? I was completely smitten. I knew it was where I wanted to be.

The Corporate Carousel

A year later, I was working in the export department of a famous juice company. And six months later, I switched companies and stepped up to become the Tax Director’s assistant in the music business. The perks? Fantastic. My office view? Breathtaking—overlooking the beautiful Außenalster lake in Hamburg.

But wait a second. It wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows. The work itself wasn’t exactly mind-blowing.

Sure, my boss loved having an English assistant—it was probably pretty cool back then. And me? I was the youngest assistant around—and bored.

Soon, I moved within the company to work with the Head of Personnel and Corporate Organisation. The boss? Great. The work? Well, let’s just say it wasn’t exactly setting my world on fire.

The Doubt Creeps In

That’s when the doubts started creeping in. What was I learning? Was my work making a difference? Was it pushing me to be my best? Was it letting me use my creativity?

BAM! The Calling

Decades later, BAM! It hit me—my true calling. And guess what? That’s what I’m still doing right now. Running my own English language training business.

You see, sometimes it takes a long and winding road to discover what you really love to do. And work that finally aligns with your core values.


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Foto Christine Sparks

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