I thought I would know what I wanted to do when I finished university, but when the time came, I didn’t! I studied geography; I loved the theories surrounding people’s connections to the places in which they live, and why those places are designed that way. I considered going into town planning, but decided it wasn’t for me.
I started applying for any job that looked interesting. There was A LOT of form-filling! I went from short contract to short contract, mainly covering secondments and maternity leave. My main roles always involved dealing with paperwork; I wasn’t getting any variety or real job satisfaction. When it was time for me to start filling in application forms again, I decided to look for something a bit different.
My next job was at a housing association. I was customer-facing and working within communities. It was such a change for me and made me feel excited about the opportunity. I loved the ethos and the customer-focused attitude that I hadn’t encountered before entering housing. I remember how much it surprised me that housing is much more than the houses; it’s about the people who live in them.
Fast forward eight years, and I’m still working in housing! Things have changed for me personally; I’ve had two children and gone part-time and am performing a juggling act that I’m sure all parents can relate to. I feel lucky that I work in a field that allows me the flexibility to do everything I want to. I have just been accepted onto MHA’s Future Leader programme; I’m excited for the opportunity and am looking forward to many more years in housing.
Sarah is Money and Benefits Advisor at Monmouthshire Housing Association