What were you doing at 24?

(34 Posts)
HotChoc10 Thu 04-Aug-16 16:37:47

I am 24 now and want to get some perspective! I am a communications officer in a large public sector organisation, after graduating in 2014 with a Politics and History degree. I earn £24k, which is plenty for my living expenses where I am based, but I still often wonder whether I should go off and do training in a more lucrative discipline, like accountancy.

Currently, some of my peers are off in the city earning bucket loads of cash in law or finance, while some are temping and still struggling to find permanent work. I’m not sure how far along I’m ‘supposed’ to be relative to other people my age.

So what were you doing at 24, and how has your career progressed since then, if you are older?

lovelyupnorth Thu 04-Aug-16 16:39:21

24 customer service 15k. Now 42 marketing director 40k. And 2nd business.

peppatax Thu 04-Aug-16 16:41:57

I'd just graduated at 23 and was earning about £22k doing a job I 'liked' and had passion for. I retrained as an accountant at 25 and now 6 years later earn approx. £50k.

Following your passion is great but I'm much happier now knowing I have a guaranteed but transferable career and will always be able to live well. It keeps me going on the tough days.

SugarMiceInTheRain Thu 04-Aug-16 16:42:19

Sounds like you're earning a pretty decent wage for someone who graduated 2 years ago. At 24, I had quit teaching as I hated it and was earning an embarrassing 14K as an HR assistant. Had my first child just before I turned 25 and have been self employed since, earning £10-20 an hour, but very part time hours! When DC3 starts school I will look into retraining or finding more work in my current area (music tuition). All my friends from school are in high earning jobs (engineering, medicine, magazine editor) but money isn't everything Do something you will feel happy doing and enjoy. Doing a job you hate just for the money is soul destroying.

helenatroy Thu 04-Aug-16 16:43:34

Dancing till 4.00 every morning. Then getting up for a job that I loved, paid me a pittance but enabled me to live in central London. Happy with no real living expenses.

Mymouthgetsmeintrouble Thu 04-Aug-16 16:47:22

Stop comparing yourself to other people and be proud of your own achievements , i was earning crap money at your age but was blissfully happy in my homelife which was enough for me , happiness is my priority in life , we have done well with what income we have but have a good work life balance too , probably could have earnt a lot more but would have been less happy

Queenbean Thu 04-Aug-16 16:47:24

I wouldn't believe what your mates say about earning bucket loads of cash. The first few years in a big bank or law firm are bloody hard work and not as well paid as everyone seems to think they are!

You're earning a good salary now, but you would make much more if you moved in house. Ie doing corporate communications for a large financial services company would easily have you on £60k by the time you're 30. Which is much less work and hassle than going back and studying!

At 24 I was doing one of the routes above so speak from experience smile

ineedamoreadultieradult Thu 04-Aug-16 16:48:14

At 24 I had just returned from maternity leave to my full time Operations and Logistics Asssistant job earning £19,000. I have now had another child both are school age and I took a part time call centre jobs for a better work life balance earning £9000 a year. Money isn't everything.

AngelsWithFilthySouls Thu 04-Aug-16 16:53:58

I was on a training contract at an accountancy firm and had just passed my last exam to be a CA. Earning about £28k I think in my last year of training contract. Still work in the same field but 6 years on have a much better salary and returned PT after maternity leave.

snowgirl1 Thu 04-Aug-16 16:54:59

What do you want to do - communications or accountancy? I think you'll probably ultimately progress further in a career that you actually want to do.

peppatax Thu 04-Aug-16 17:13:45

I think it's a good idea not to sell you soul but there's a difference between hating a job and sticking out a job with more benefits than costs.

Same with work life balance - as PP said, there's a lot of flexibility offered by accountancy firms for women who have had children and it's worth sticking out the training for this.

Money doesn't buy happiness but I'm happy knowing a career change has bought me a house, 12 months of mat leave and a flexible career which will last beyond having young DC

HotChoc10 Thu 04-Aug-16 17:17:49

Thanks for all your replies!

Queenbean - you might be right, And the ones who’ve gone into law and trading especially are certainly all working very long hours.

I know I shouldn’t compare, really, but I find it useful to get some insight when I'm having doubts.

jclm Thu 04-Aug-16 19:57:06

At 24 I was in the second year of a PhD.

Money may seem quite important in your 20s but after children, youll probably want a flexible job and a better work life balance, as other posters suggest.

SoHereItIs2016 Thu 04-Aug-16 20:00:54

At 24 I'd just qualified in my chosen vocational career. Earning £19,000 ( 16 yrs ago).

I was living in London and hating it, lonely and depressed!!

Don't compare yourself to others!

Bombaybunty Thu 04-Aug-16 20:01:35

Staff nurse in a London A&E department. Occasionally took charge of the shift.
Can't remember what I was earning but it wasn't enough!
Now work in a non clinical nursing role earning about £50k pro rata.
Desperate to leave.

AyeAmarok Thu 04-Aug-16 20:09:26

At 24 I'd just finished my MSc and was about to start accountancy training, think I started on about 19k!

CouncilComms Thu 04-Aug-16 20:11:20

Funnily enough, at 24 I was a communications officer in a large public sector organisation! I earned around £18k. I have worked in two other organisations since then, and took a year out to travel. I now earn around £30k in a comms role, specialising in digital. The public sector is not lucrative and by no means perfect but it suits me and my current lifestyle so I'm pretty content.

Lilaclily Thu 04-Aug-16 20:38:05

Just starting an Msc
Dating unsuccessfully

71HourAchmed Thu 04-Aug-16 20:38:31

Working as a scuba diving instructor in the Caribbean. Was meant to be a gap year after University, 4 years later came back to the UK (pregnant) with new DH, joined a Big4 firm, now on c£60k.

Although I'm 'behind' a number of people who are the same age as me, I don't regret my 5 years in the Caribbean at all - was about the best time of my life.

BendydickCuminsnatch Thu 04-Aug-16 20:41:12

Sole trader cake maker, worked in a cafe too, and pregnant smile 2 years ago.

Dakin1 Thu 04-Aug-16 20:48:42

I was in exactly the same job as you! Was only earning £20k though and living in London (it was 11 years ago).

Am now a digital marketing manager for a merchant bank and loving it. Earn £42k. No longer based in London.

I would branch into digital and do a CIM digital marketing diploma. That + your comms experience will make you very employable in marketing, digital and comms in any sector.

MuffyTheUmpireSlayer Thu 04-Aug-16 20:53:39

Teaching. Mothering. Pregnanting.

I was still 24 two months ago so very little has changed since then (aside from the fact that the summer holidays mean that I can take a 6 week break from teaching! grin)

MuffyTheUmpireSlayer Thu 04-Aug-16 20:55:05

PS I don't think you're "supposed" to be anywhere in particular at the moment. Just wherever is best for you! If you're happy that's what is important. If you're not then whatever you're doing to change that is what's important.

NerrSnerr Thu 04-Aug-16 20:58:50

At 24 I was a staff nurse on about £20k. I am now 34 and am a community nurse on £30k so £10k in ten years!!

lljkk Thu 04-Aug-16 20:59:14

omg, that was half my life ago (eek).
When I was 24 I accidentally immigrated & started basically the same job I do now. Coz I like it. There's a career ladder to do other stuff, but I don't like what's up the ladder.

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