Monique, 18, made some se­ri­ous cash as a pro­fes­sional nanny.

Girlfriend - - GF FEATURES -

“I have never known what I wanted to do when I fin­ished school. It used to stress me out so much be­cause it seemed as if every­one had a plan. I spent hours go­ing through the uni cour­ses hop­ing one would jump out at me and scream: ‘This is for you!’ But of course, that didn’t hap­pen.

Even­tu­ally, I had a chat with a fam­ily friend who was re­ally sup­port­ive and told me it was OK to not know what kind of ca­reer I wanted. She showed me there were so many other ways you could spend your first year out of school, and so to­gether we made a plan.

I picked uni cour­ses that I thought I could po­ten­tially be in­ter­ested in and ap­plied for those. I got ac­cepted into my first pref­er­ence and I de­ferred it for a year. Then I signed up to a pro­fes­sional nanny agency and got a full-time job nan­ny­ing. I loved the free­dom of hav­ing my own in­come and I also learnt a lot about bud­get­ing. Turns out it’s hard to save money if you spend your whole pay at Zara ev­ery week! Luck­ily, I learnt that les­son quickly and started sav­ing my money for an epic Europe trip.

As it was a pro­fes­sional job, and not a ca­sual gig, it did mean that oc­ca­sion­ally I missed out on hang­ing out with friends. But I un­der­stood that I had made a com­mit­ment and had a re­spon­si­bil­ity to be a good worker for my em­ploy­ers.

I went away in the mid­dle of the year and spent the Euro­pean sum­mer trav­el­ling all over. I had the time of my life check­ing out all the des­ti­na­tions, try­ing dif­fer­ent foods and learn­ing about other cultures.

It was a real eye-opener for me and made me re­alise the world is a much big­ger place than my lit­tle cor­ner of it.

When I came home, I went back to my nan­ny­ing job and saved more money (and spent some along the way). I had also fig­ured out that I wanted to work in events and mar­ket­ing – some­thing I dis­cov­ered while I was trav­el­ling. I’m so glad I took a year to do some­thing dif­fer­ent, rather than start some­thing I wasn’t sure of. Not only did I have an amaz­ing time, I also learnt a lot about my­self and I’m psyched to start my course this year.”

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